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Mar. 29th, 2013


Mar. 29th, 2013 11:40 am
cathyn: (Johnny!)
Last night I went to see Anthrax at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. In good news, Joey Belladonna, their original singer, was still back (everyone they've had sing with them since they fired Joey has SUCKED). In better news, having seen Anthrax last year, they announced that they would be playing "Among the Living" in its entirety. At least three of the tracks they would be playing had never been performed live before. Color me stoked!

There were three opening acts, the first of which, High on Fire, we missed as we thought getting a slice of pizza across the street would be more important. The second, Municipal Waste, was largely unremarkable. Cookie Monster vocals, shitty mixing which prevented hearing the guitar for the first 4 of their 6 songs, meh. Exodus played next, and they were tight, energetic, and really stirred up the action in the pit. While they were playing, I saw the most metal thing I've ever seen. A guy in uniform (Black concert T, jeans, regulation long hair, black boots) IN A WHEELCHAIR, being pushed around the pit by a similarly dressed metalhead, THRASHING HIS ASS OFF, giving and taking hits like a champ! BAD ASS!

When Exodus finished up their set, the lights came up, their gear was removed, and the roadies scrambled to set up Anthrax's gear. Allow me to say, the stage was small. Very small. We were up in the balcony, I shit thee not, ten yards from the stage. Also, it should be noted, this venue fits 1000 fans. End of story. Intimate show, not a bad seat, or SRO place in the building.

Then the lights went BLACK. With a fury they played the first side of the album. Yeah, "Among..." is old enough to have first been released on vinyl. The title track led to "Caught in a MOSH", which lead to the highlight of the evening for me, I AM THE LAW! I think this song is among their best work. And the crowd was into it with a vengeance! They then crushed out "Efilnekufesin (N.F.L.)" and "Skeleton in the Closet", wrapping up Side 1. I was sweating like a demon, having sang and thrashed my ass off.

They took a short break, water and Red Bull (Joey drank about ten cans during the show. Well, half cans. He'd chug about half, then toss the half-full can to someone in the audience) dumped in, sweat toweled off, and they came back out to play...Not "Indians", first track on Side 2, but "At the End" a tribute to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darryl. Then out comes a surprise guest. Scotty is talking to the crowd about their Cover Album EP they released a few months ago, and that his favorite track is really guitar-heavy, and he was gonna need some help. Enter KIRK HAMMETT, stage right. They played AC/DCs "T.N.T." and KILLED IT! Joey's voice was perfect. At the end, Scotty said "Oh, that was Kirk Hammett. He plays guitar in some local band. Truth be told, I think those young kids have a bright future..." Then they launched into "The March of the S.O.D."*

More talking, a song from one of the post-Joey albums (meh), and then "INDIANS", "One World", "A.D.I./Horror of it All", and "Imitation of Life" wrapped up Side 2. Amazing! They left the stage, but the house lights stayed down as the "ANTHRAX! ANTHRAX!" chant shook the rafters. They came back out and did the song to which a whole genre of music owes a bow of thanks, "I'm The Man!" Linkin Park, KORN, and a couple dozen Rap-Metal bands owe royalties on every dime they've ever made to Anthrax and Public Enemy for "I'm The Man" and "Bring tha Noize". They wrapped up the show playing "Antisocial", said ten minutes worth of thank-yous to the crowd, tossed guitar pick, drum sticks, Red Bull and Gatoraid into the crowd, took a bow and left.

One of the best concerts I've ever seen!

* If you know anything about Anthrax, all good, if you don't, 3 or 4 of the 5 guys in Anthrax started out in a New York City club band called The Stormtroopers of Death, or S.O.D., who had a fantastic debut album in "Speak English or Die!"

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