Slayer Announce Reunion, First Live Shows In Five Years

Slayer In Concert With Primus, Ministry And Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals - Las Vegas, NV

Photo: Getty Images North America

When Louder Than Life announced its 2024 lineup on Wednesday (February 21), the biggest surprise was to see Slayer's name on the bill. The thrash metal icons hadn't teased a reunion and played their last show together five years ago. But the Louisville festival isn't the only show they're playing this year. Slayer also revealed they'll be performing at Riot Fest, even though the full lineup won't be announced until the spring.

“Nothing compares to the 90 minutes when we’re on stage playing live, sharing that intense energy with our fans,” frontman Tom Araya said in a press release, “and to be honest, we have missed that.”

“Have I missed playing live? Absolutely. Slayer means a lot to our fans; they mean a lot to us," guitarist Kerry King added. "It will be five years since we have seen them.”

Slayer went on a farewell tour in 2019, and since then King has been most vocal about calling the retirement "premature."

"The reason I say ‘premature’ is because my heroes from my childhood are still playing! I can still play, I still want to play, but that livelihood got taken away from me,” he lamented in an interview last year.

As for the farewell tour, King called it a "bummer."

“We were going to all these places where we have all this history," he recalled. "It’s a bummer to think, ‘I’m not gonna see my friends there again.’ You’d get to that country and know you were going to see these people, and you’d see them yearly. I haven’t seen them now in three years. That sucks. And the fans, too. Slayer means a lot to our fans, and they mean a lot to us. I know I will see these people again, but no Slayer leaves a big hole for a lot of people.”

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