SLAYER has recruited Gary Holt from veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS to be SLAYER's guest guitarist, temporary filling in for Jeff Hanneman who is currently recovering from surgery. Holt is accompanying Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar) and Dave Lombardo (drums) on their five-date Australian Soundwave Festival tour, which kicked off today (Saturday, February 26) in Brisbane.
The first low-quality fan-filmed footage of the Brisbane performance can be viewed below.
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. World Painted Blood
02. Hate Worldwide
03. War Ensemble
06. Hallowed Point
08. Mandatory Suicide
10. South Of Heaven
11. Raining Blood
12. Black Magic
13. Angel Of Death
Holt had the following to say about his stint as touring guitarist for one of metal's most venerated bands:
"How can I put into words how excited I am to have been asked to play with SLAYER? Hard to describe, for sure.
"Legendary band, check. Old friends since the birth of thrash metal. Check. Get to play 'Angel Of Death' live, priceless!
"I'll do my best to live up to the standard they've set for so many years, while we all wish Jeff a speedy return to health and his rightful place in SLAYER."
Hanneman underwent emergency surgery on his right arm late last month after contracting a serious infection, possibly caused by a spider bite. He is now recuperating at home and is expected to make a full recovery. He will return to the SLAYER lineup as soon as he has fully recovered.
While Hanneman's doctors were not able to definitively identify the infection's origin, they diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis, an infection caused by bacteria. According to WebMD, necrotizing fasciitis can destroy skin, fat, and the tissue covering the muscles. The disease sometimes is called "flesh-eating" bacteria.
"Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years," said Araya, "so we just want him to completely recover as soon as possible."
"After everything that happened last year," King added, "we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again," referring to Araya's severe back and neck pain that prompted his January 2010 surgery, unfortunately leading to the band's postponement or cancellation of numerous shows in 2009 and 2010. "Jeff is totally on board with this decision, so we will tour as planned. At this point, we can't pinpoint exactly what day he'll be back, but he'll be back as soon as he possibly can. And we can't wait for Jeff to get better and get his ass back on the road."