Watch Former Machine Head Guitarist Phil Demmel Play "Raining Blood" and More in First Show with Slayer

Former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel made his live debut with Slayer yesterday, December 3, at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark. Demmel is filling in for guitarist Gary Holt on the band’s current European run, after Holt bowed out to return home to be with his dying father. You can check out footage of Demmel and the band playing several songs, including "South of Heaven" and "Raining Blood," above.

Just 24 hours earlier, Demmel had played his final show with Machine Head after 15 years with the group, after announcing in October that it was time for him “to step away and do something else musically."

Prior to his first show with Slayer, Demmell posted on his official Instagram profile:

"Full circle. Karma. It's so crazy how things work out. I got a text less than 24 hours after I played my last Machine Head note. 11 years ago (almost to the day), I had to leave a tour to fly home and be with my family when my father passes away. Some amazing dudes stepped in to cover for me and to help the band out. I am filling in for a legend who has replaced a legend in a legendary band on their farewell tour.”

“Despite the fact that Slayer is the reason I wanted to play heavy music, it's beyond my utmost honor to [be] asked to do this. Learning 19 songs (Not just songs, SLAYER songs) has been a daunting task and I have worked very hard to do Gary and the entire camp proud. As we all here send our love and support to @garyholt_official as he goes through a life-altering time, the rallying this camp has done is amazing. Thank you all for your support as I grab the baton for a few shows and fly the Bay Area flag high on stage right.”

"And lastly, the biggest hero is [wife] @martarino for being so selfless after having her partner home for two days, sends him off to follow this crazy dream. All hail the Queen."

Following the performance, Demmel posted the following: “Never has 90 minutes gone by faster. Made a few mistakes but I feel really good about this 1st one. Much love to all of you for the ongoing support.”

For all upcoming Slayer tour dates, head to

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.