Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From The Vault - ANTHRAX

I've seen Anthrax a few times throughout the years, and here's a few recollections from those concerts. The first time seeing them was in support of Persistence Of Time on the Clash Of The Titans tour, a triple-headlinging show with Megadeth and Slayer with support from Alice In Chains at the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 8, 1991. The Facelift album was just starting to take off, yet Alice In Chains opened with the unreleased (at the time) song "Would?" that would later appear on Dirt. Following their 30 minute set, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer each got about 50 minutes to floor the crowd. Shows of this type were rare in Iowa at the time, so this concert wasn't missed by metal fans in Iowa. You can download the audio of Anthrax's show here.

Following the shock of vocalist Joey Belladonna being replaced with Armored Saint's John Bush, Anthrax embarked on bigger headlining shows in support of Sound Of White Noise. I caught the band at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio during the summer of 1993. This and the Cedar Rapids concert in 1991 were the best shows I've seen Anthrax play, and at this show they played a good part of Sound Of White Noise along with all the favorites from the previous albums with Joey.

By the time Stomp 442 came out in 1995 thrash metal was largely dead as grunge had taken over. This tour saw Anthrax returning to clubs such as this show at The Lone Star in Kansas City with Life Of Agony and Deftones. The club had recently moved from their location in the Westport area of Kansas City and didn't seem set up to handle a packed, rowdy crowd. During the Deftones' set a railing on an elevated area near the stage fell off and caused some chaos for a few minutes. While it was great seeing Anthrax in a small venue, clearly some of the magic was gone with the departure of guitarist Dan Spitz.

Anthrax later hit the road in early 1998 before Volume 8: The Threat Is Real was released, and this show at Roadhouse Ruby's in North Kansas City with Season To Risk was the last time I saw them with John Bush. Again, another good show but the band's declining fortunes were palpable.

It's hard to believe seven years have now passed since I last saw Anthrax at First Avenue in Minneapolis (on January 14, 2006) when they surprisingly revived the classic lineup with both Joey Belladonna and Dan Spitz. The band was completely rejuvenated and in high spirits for this one. At some dates on this tour Among The Living was performed in its entirety, but not this one. This show was another favorite because they played a large chunk of Among The Living alongside a number of older songs from Spreading The Disease that I'd never seen them play, like "A.I.R.", "Medusa", and "Aftershock" as well as "Metal Thrashing Mad" and "Madhouse".

Anthrax performs Thursday, April 4 at First Avenue in Minneapolis with support from Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, and Holy Grail.

RELATED CONTENT: Here's some other recent Anthrax-related posts: audio downloads of Anthrax in 1991 on the Clash Of The Titans tour and former Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz's new band Red Lamb in St. Paul on March 24, 2013, reviews of the Red Lamb album and March 24 concert (with pictures), pictures of S.O.D. in 1999 and 2000, and stories and pictures of former Anthrax vocalist John Bush with Armored Saint.

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