Anthrax Marquee Theatre Tuesday, January 24
Everyone knows Anthrax played the Big Four in Indio, California, last year, of course. And as much as I hate to admit this out loud or on paper, I missed them, even though I was in Indio.
They played first, sometime in mid-afternoon, before Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica, and my friend Britney and I rolled into town late after leaving Phoenix that morning and were too busy drinking from a Jim Beam bottle in an ice-filled trash can to realize how late we were. But while sprinting from the parking lot, we heard them, and what I heard sounded awesome.
Last night, I got a chance to make up for missing out. Anthrax played at the Marquee Theatre to a packed crowd. Death Angel opened and Testament followed close behind, ending around 9:45. They put on quite a stage show; dramatic, colorful and crazy loud. At 10:15, Anthrax went on, and before they had even played a note, half-full water bottles flew from the crowd, drenching moshers in anticipation of what was to come. When Anthrax catapulted into "Earth on Hell," people from the pit were already crowd-surfing.
Singer Joey Belladonna did a hell of a job, and one could clearly see that he was putting every ounce of energy into his performance.
I know there are a lot of awesome old-school metal bands out there, but I must say that it was awesome seeing Anthrax get such a thrill from just playing and being on stage. And I'm talking headbanging, sweat flying from '80s frizzy hair or flying graying beard thrills.
Throughout the show, Belladonna interacted with the crowd, whether it was asking fans if they were ready to get their asses kicked or thanking them for sticking around for 30 years and supporting them or chatting about (in a screaming high octave) how "sunny and electric" Arizona is.
The show was fantastic, but after performing for 30 years (with array of vocalists), you would expect Anthrax to have it down pat. And you would be right.
Last Night: Anthrax at Marquee Theater
The Crowd: A huge range. I saw a half-pint about 11 years old, several metal heads in their 20s and 30s, a 50-year-old woman with tatted-up boobs hanging past her waist, and an extremely tall old man, with an old Father Time-style beard, who for sure has been a fan since the beginning of Anthrax.
Personal Bias: "In the End," in memory of Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell, always touches my heart. Seeing it live was awesome. There definitely was power in the air. Okay, that was my one hippie moment.
Overheard: A man screaming out "It was 1983!!!!!!" when Scott Ian announced that the next song was from the band's 1984 Fistful of Metal.
Earth on Hell Fight 'Em Caught in a Mosh Antisocial I'm Alive The Devil You Know Indians In The End Got The Time N.F.L.
Madhouse Metal Thrashing Mad I Am the Law