Anthrax with Death Angel and Testament

House of Blues, Orlando Florida 11/01/11

Words/Photos by Ron Man

I’m not going to bore you with the history of Anthrax. For that you can go to Wikipedia.
I will say that after the departure of lead singer, Joey Belladonna in ’92, I was really no longer a fan. For me, it was kind of like when David Lee Roth was out of Van Halen, the magic was gone. The difference being, Van Halen went on to be an even more successful band with out Dave. Whereas, Anthrax with out Joey… well… not so much.

Fast forward nearly two decades.
I started hearing the buzz about the new Anthrax record, Worship Music, and got excited. My excitement rested mostly with the fact that Joey Belladonna was back and was as awesome as he ever was. I don’t buy new music anymore, just not interested. However, I rushed out and bought this one. I was not disappointed. I am not writing a review of the new record, but I have to say that it is definitely the best thing to come out of the Anthrax camp in 20 years. This should win the album of the year, hands down!

With that said, it was announced that Anthrax would be hitting my city. Awesome! I am there!

Death Angel was half way through their set when I walked in. I have to say, I’m not really familiar with them or their music. It was heavy, it was thrashing. The bottom end was a bit too heavy in the mix. The mega double bass hits were a bit much.

Again with history lessons, I’m not going to get into the history of Testament. Once again, check out Wikipedia for that.
These guys were arguably one of the best bands of the Thrash Metal genre.
These guys brought their “A” game tonight and were just killing it! Singer Chuck Billy was awesome and you could just see it that he was having a blast! Alex Skolnick was shredding like it was 1987! As awesome as it was, I was most impressed with the fact that all these guys are my age (mid to late 40’s) and were still blasting it out like they were 20. At this point I figured, Anthrax was going to have to be amazing. There’s no way I would want to have to follow Testament. They were that good.

Anthrax started their set with Earth On Hell from their new record and they owned the room the rest of the night. Typical of an Anthrax show, it was non stop high energy!

Joey was spot on with his vocals. Charlie is nothing short of a monster on the drums. Scott and Frank were all over the place. Guitarist Rob Caggiono was fantastic and the only non original member of the band. However, he’s been with these guys for nearly ten years, so he’s hardly new. As I stated earlier, the fact that these guys are my age and older, just blows me away. Although, Rob is a youngster at 34. They delivered a performance that guys half their age could only dream of.

Anthrax played 5 songs from their new record as well as 5 songs from their smash “Among The Living”. A couple from “State Of Euphoria” and some classics like Metal Thrashing Mad and Madhouse. There were no John Bush era songs performed. Thank God!

Anyone that has been to a HOB show knows that security is tight and any “Not Mouse Approved” behavior will not be tolerated. So the mosh pit action was virtually non-existant. People were getting ejected. However, during the song “Indians” Joey pleaded with security to let the people rip it up and with the cry, “WAR DANCE!!!” the place erupted into what could be best described as a giant, swirling washing machine effect. It was a sight to behold. Crowd surfing and all. Indeed, it was just like 1987!

In just what seemed like 10 minutes, the 90 minute set was over. Anthrax lived up to everything I had hoped they would be. They blew the roof off of the joint. If you get the chance to see this show, do it! You will not be disappointed. Additionally, go out and BUY the new CD. It’s the best thing out there right now.

Sorry my pictures are lousy. That’s all I got!

I'm the drummer/lead singer of a classic rock band in Central Florida. I'm happily married and have no kids. I drink lots of Jagermeister.
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