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SLAUGHTER SURE KNOWS HOW TO SLAY A CROWD

SLAUGHTER in concert with WOLFGANG, Utah State Fairpark Coliseum, Sunday evening, April 23; one performance only.

Usually rock bands release an new album and then tour the world trying to get fans to buy it. Sunday night Slaughter did things a little backwards. They will release their new disc, "Hear No Evil," on May 2, but the boys dropped by the Fairpark to get a little concert footage for an MTV video.Those in attendance were diehard fans, happy to see the band after a lengthy Utah absence. After an announcement about the video, the crowd was ready to go. Smoke machines went to work, red fire-engine lights twisted and a low rumbling stirred the crowd to a frenzy.

Mark Slaughter, front-man for the band, urged the crowd to raise their arms and wave, which they were only happy to do.

"Every time we come to Salt Lake City, it feels like we are coming home," he yelled, sparking loud cheers from the crowd.

As expected, Slaughter ran through its hit list, giving its fans just what they wanted.

"Burning Bridges" started off the hit parade. The anthem-style rock tune further energized the crowd gathered around the stage, where one fan was injured and had to be taken to the hospital after getting hit in the midsection. But the show went on without a pause.

Next was "Wild Life," off the breakthrough album "Stick It to Ya."

Slaughter took every opportunity to praise the crowd's intensity, further stoking the fires of adoration, which makes a good-looking video. The rock veterans proved they know how to work their crowd.

"This next song sums up how we feel about you," Slaughter said as he launched the into tune "Mad About You." The crowd ate it up despite some sound trouble at the right side of the stage.

None of the individuals in the band showed more than average talent on their instruments, and as always their songs succeeded because they distort their guitars just right and write rock/pop tunes with a hook.

Slaughter does have a distinctive voice with a lot of range and plays an adequate guitar, but even his modest talent stands above the rest of the group. This was an average band with a clever vocalist who managed a surprising number of bubble-gum hits with heavy metal guitars.

Still, with a building full of folks who love the foursome, they could do no wrong. "Fly to the Angels," a soaring ballad came next, broken up by dialog from the band as they instructed the audience how they were to cheer next. Still, the song was a highlight that inspired the standard event of everybody pulling out their lighters and waving them in the air.

Those who plopped down their ten bucks to see the live show were treated to some of the tunes from the forth-coming disc.

"Searching," was a new song featured early in the show. It carried the distinctive Slaughter flavor, letting us know that they haven't deviated from their norm in any significant way. Judging from the crowd response this is good.

The band knows what satisfies their fans, so they switched back to an old favorite for the encore, "Do Ya Know," which everybody had been waiting for.

Always known for treating their fans well, the band met with a special group of ticket holders after the show to talk and sign autographs. The group deserves credit for knowing its audience and satisfying them.