L.A.Z. and illadope are wrapping up a big gift for their hometown 

click to enlarge Slayer has added a Nov. 20 date in Colorado Springs to a farewell tour for the thrash metal pioneers, joined by strong support acts including Primus and Ministry. - FABIO DIENA / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Fabio Diena / Shutterstock.com
  • Slayer has added a Nov. 20 date in Colorado Springs to a farewell tour for the thrash metal pioneers, joined by strong support acts including Primus and Ministry.

On Friday, July 19, the Zodiac will play host to a hip-hop homecoming of sorts.

Da iLLAZ, a duo comprising emcee L.A.Z. and producer illadope, are currently embarking on their Future Circle tour, which includes stops in Denver (July 20 at VYBE Denver), Albuquerque and Omaha, though their Zodiac stop holds a special sense of importance for the duo.

Wanting to reconnect with and “leave a lasting impact” on the music scene for the city they still consider home, the pair plan to give a portion of the night’s donated ticket proceeds to OneBody Ent’s children’s arts programs and, in a broader sense, throw a safe, celebratory musical party for Colorado Springs’ independent musicians, artists, DJs and fans.

“I wanted to see what all we could put together on our own after the Clear Soul Forces Swordplay tour, where we were openers for Noveliss,” explains L.A.Z. “Fast forward a few months, and here we are! We wanted to have an event that introduces folks to our style and for people to go out for 719 Day. This is an event that’s meant to be community-driven.”

Location Details Zodiac Venue and Bar
230 Pueblo Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO
Bar/Club and Event Center

L.A.Z., now based in Detroit, and illadope, based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, both originally hail from Colorado Springs, although they didn’t “officially” meet until 2009 through a mutual friend, then began collaborating remotely on music. While the two self-describe as “opposite personalities,” their chemistry is readily apparent on their debut LP, People Under Detroit, which was released in May 2019.

The title pays homage to Los Angeles-based DIY hip-hop group People Under the Stairs, one of illadope’s personal favorites, and whose musical DNA runs abundantly through the project — indeed, many of the beats were sourced from “a wooden box of vinyl” with unreleased beats that illadope picked up from People Under the Stairs’ Thes One.

The results of this experimentation, however, are anything but derivative, with L.A.Z.’s fluid, good-natured rhymes playing perfectly off illadope’s colorful, adventurous production for a distinctive musical character. The LP, along with Da iLLAZ’s two previous singles “Martini” and “Prozack,” stand as an assured opening statement from the duo.

Da iLLAZ will be joined by OnlyTev, D Supreme and Craftmatic for their Zodiac appearance.

Elsewhere, the Broadmoor World Arena recently announced a show that should certainly pique the interest of all local metal fans — tickets are now on sale for Slayer’s Nov. 20 stop on their farewell tour, The Final Campaign.

While farewell tours have become something of a running joke in pop culture, if any metal band deserves a victory lap, it would be Slayer. Easily one of the most influential metal acts of all time, Slayer were thrash metal pioneers and have managed to remain relevant and controversial throughout their career, continually refusing to compromise their ferocious musical vision and often graphic lyrical fixations.

Some critics have asserted that Slayer’s material has aged better and that the band has enjoyed a more sustained vitality than their most prominent peers — Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax — and many entries in their back catalog, particularly their 1986 masterpiece Reign in Blood and 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss, still sound remarkably fresh to modern ears.

In recent years, Slayer has soldiered on following the departure of original drummer Dave Lombardo and the 2013 death of founding guitarist and prominent songwriter Jeff Hanneman. Their final, 2015 LP Repentless was a well-received collection of the band’s signature, pummeling thrash metal, with guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Paul Bostaph joining original members Kerry King and Tom Araya. This lineup has remained through the majority of Slayer’s ongoing farewell tour, and the one fans should expect to see on the seventh and final leg that stops at the World Arena.

As an extra incentive to anyone on the fence about catching Slayer for their final hurrah, their support acts are nearly as iconic, or at least carry as much endearment for fans of heavy alternative music from the ’80s and ’90s. Joining Slayer are Primus, Les Claypool’s perennially warped experimental metal act; Ministry, probably Nine Inch Nails’ only competition when it comes to industrial metal that manages to be both punishing and hummable; and former Pantera frontman Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals.

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