by Sean W.
I can practically remember the show like it was yesterday. Anthrax and Testament in 1987 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. Anthrax was touring for Among the Living and testament for The Legacy. To this day it was one of the most incredible shows ever. I had gotten into Anthrax in early 1986 when I found a used copy of the cassette at Unicorn Records (RIP). I practically listened to that album every day driving to and from school. Minus Persistence of Time, I loved the Joey Belladonna era of Anthrax. When Bush came in, I was done. He was fine in Armored Saint but not in my beloved Anthrax. I was able to catch Anthrax with Joey on the State of Euphoria and Persistence of Time tours. They were always great live. I also caught them with Bush on the We Have Come For You All tour and it was a really good show.
When the American Carnage Tour was announced there was no doubt that I’d see the show. The first leg of the tour had Testament as the openers. That band never disappoints. This current leg featured Anthrax with the newly re-re-reunited Joey Belladonna on vocals. I was pretty excited about that since it had been since 1991 since I had seen him live.
I will say that even though I love…even adore Megadeth, I wasn’t too excited to see them this time since they are still playing Rust In Peace live. I had just seen it 6 months ago . But Megadeth always delivers. And they did once again last night. More on that in a bit.
So now the adventure of the day begins. I grab my best friend Amelia and her boyfriend Cody and we shuffle down to the other side of town to grab my other best friend, McMaster and head to San Antonio. Good conversation, good music playing and everyone is pretty excited about the concert.
We get to the show, check out the shirts which weren’t all that great so I got to save myself $40. Jason had a floor general admission ticket and we had seats. About 20 minutes before Anthrax hit stage we went to our respective sections and waited for the show to begin. Our seats were pretty decent and we had quick access to the lounge area of the AT&T Center.
The lights go down at 6:55 and Jim Florentine from That Metal Show and Crank Yankers fame is on stage as he is the Jagermeister MC for this tour. He does 5 minutes of comedy about metal and such and next thing you know Anthrax hits the stage.
They come on and open up with Caught In A Mosh. Good times. Anthrax has always been a very tight band as far as their playing and last night was no exception. A big part of that is because of Charlie Benante’s drumming. He’s a beast of a drummer. Anthrax only had a 45 minute set so they played the hits that you’d expect. They also added in Only from the Bush era and it was alright. It’s the only song from that era that I like. I have to say how surprised I was of Joey’s voice. He sounded great. He hit the high noted pretty well. Lucky for us it was only the second night of Anthrax being on the tour, so they were all still fresh. They sounded great and I got a little choked up when they played Madhouse. Spreading the Disease, is such an important album to me. I really felt like we flashbacked into the 80s for a brief minute. It was nice to just forget all of the worries of today and rock out like I was 17 again when the only thing I had to worry about was doing enough school work to get by and play drums. Simpler times for sure. But again, Anthrax was great and I actually wish they would have been the headliner to get a longer set and play some deeper cuts. being such a short set, I was only a slight bit disappointed that they played the 2 cover tunes, although they were big songs for them.
- Caught In a Mosh
- Got the Time
- Metal Thrashing Mad
- I Am The Law
After Anthrax I head up to the lounge area behind our section to grab a coke and a hot dog. A boy’s gotta eat! Shortly after Florentine is on stage again and Megadeth hit the stage right after he walked off stage. They open up with Holy Wars and the crowd was all over it. People love the Rust In Piece album. Me? Not so much. But they sounded great, as always. Dave is one of the greatest metal guitarists ever in my opinion and he was great again last night. The addition of Chris Broderick has been nice as well. They did 5 other songs after playing Rust In Piece and sounded great except at the end of Peace Sells where Drover on drums couldn’t quite get his feet together. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a nerd and could overlook or not even notice such things, but I can’t.
- Holy Wars
- Hangar 18
- Take No Prisoners
- Five Magics
- Poison Was The Cure
- Tornado of Souls
- Dawn Patrol
- Rust In Peace…Polaris
- A Tout Le Monde
- Symphony of Destruction
- Peace Sells (encore)
- Holy Wars (reprise)(encore)
Now I’ll drop back a little in that during Megadeth’s second song, McMaster walks back to where our seats were and calls me down to the rail. We were only 4 rows up from the floor. He puts something in my hand and tells me to grab Amelia and Cody and meet him in the hallway right now. I didn’t really even look at what he gave me and grabbed the other 2 and we walked out immediately. Upon getting in the hallway I pull the wad of stuff out of my pocket and see that we were given Jagermeister VIP passes courtesy of Jim Florentine. Hot damn! We get escorted upstairs and ushered into a large VIP suite that had about 20 other people in it. It was straight back from the stage. It was stocked with beer, Jager (gross), Jager swag and food. We were told to make ourselves at home and Jason introduced us to his pal, Florentine.
While I’m not the greatest fan of That Metal Show, he’s the bright spot on the show. The dude is really a metalhead and absolutely hilarious. You get the feeling that he’s “one of us.” It was really pretty nice of him to give all 4 of us access. It was totally unexpected and a bit humbling. Certainly I don’t deserve that sort of treatment but will not complain about it. Thanks Jim!
So Megadeth finishes their set and Florentine goes down to the soundboard area and does another quick routine. Shortly after he’s back up in the booth with us hanging out.
Slayer hits the stage and opens up with World Painted Blood. For this tour Slayer was playing Seasons in the Abyss in its entirety. I didn’t care too much for that album when it came and that tour was the only other time I ever saw Slayer. It was also the last time that I was in a mosh pit. My nose is still a little crooked from that show! I have a love/hate relationship with Slayer. I love everything up to and including South of Heaven and a few tracks from Seasons. Up until World Painted Blood, I just couldn’t get into any of it. I tried, believe me. I’ve bought every one of their albums and throughout the 90s and 2000s got rid of all of the post-Seasons albums. The new one was a little bit of a return to their late 80s glory. While it’s not great, I can stomach it.
With Slayer doing Seasons I wasn’t too excited about it, but hearing it live again had me pumped up a little bit. I hadn’t listened to that album in 10 years or more and it felt weird knowing every word of an album that I had been slagging for 20 years. After last night, I will call myself a fan of that album now…minus the title track. Still can’t get into it. As for Slayer’s performance, they sounded awesome. Tom’s voice was sharp. He doesn’t headbang anymore because of problems with his back and neck. No biggie. Kerry and Jeff were solid. Slayer has a unique sound and a unique riffing style. Some time during their set, Jason and I looked at each other and both basically said the same thing…”They invented that.” Lombardo was awesome. He’s such a beast of a drummer. I was fortunate enough to see and meet him when he toured with Testament on The Gathering tour. It was cool hearing them to South of Heaven and Aggressive Perfector. Slayer kicked everyone’s ass in the building last night. I’m sure that’s a pretty consistent thing. My only criticism of their show is that they got a little off in the intro to Seasons but they figured it out pretty quickly. Slayer!
- World Painted Blood
- Hate Worldwide
- War Ensemble
- Blood Red
- Spirit In Black
- Expendable Youth
- Dead Skin Mask
- Hallowed Point
- Skeletons of Society
- Born of Fire
- Seasons In The Abyss
- South of Heaven
- Raining Blood
- Aggressive Perfector
- Angel of Death
As I saw during the Iron Maiden show a few months back, they have a person on the floor behind the soundboard doing sign language to each band’s lyrics for the hearing impaired folks in the crowd. Florentine was sitting next to me during Dead Skin Mask and I point the sign language lady out to him and say, “Dude, you gotta work this into your act. Someone doing sign language to Slayer lyrics!” If any of you faithful readers see him do this line in an upcoming act, you know where it came from! haha
As always, it was a great night with great friends…the ones who came with me and the ones I ran into at the show. Thanks again to Jim Florentine for his awesome act of kindness.
Let’s hope for a full blown Anthrax tour!
The story courtesy of Sean at themetalfiles.com – check the site out!