My first encounter with Pantera wasn't a good one. I was browsing my favorite metal record store in Iowa back around 1987 or 1988 and came across a used copy of the first Pantera album, Metal Magic. If you've even seen the large format vinyl LP version of the cover, the horrendous artwork is hard to erase from your mind. This was the pre-Phil days of Pantera when Dimebag Darrell was Diamond Darrell, and Rex Brown was Rexx Rocker. Of course, the band was virtually unknown outside of Texas at that time, and I thought it might be a solo album from the female backup for Thor! The shop owner threw it on the turntable to give me a listen. It sucked, so I didn't plunk down the $5 for it. This has come to be one of my biggest record-buying regrets, haha.
Pantera bassist Rex Brown is bringing his newest band Kill Devil Hill to Skyway Theater Studio B in Minneapolis on Tuesday, November 19, so I thought it'd be fun to pull out some Pantera material from my archives. I'm guessing I saw Pantera close to 10 times, the first when they were opening for Skid Row soon after the release of Vulgar Display Of Power. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see them on the Suicidal Tendencies/Exodus and Prong/Mind Over Four tours for Cowboys From Hell.
Here are pictures from Pantera performing at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore, California as part of Ozzfest on September 2, 2000. This was one of the weakest Ozzfest lineups, and Pantera was undoubtedly the best band there. The band tore it up in characteristic fashion and left no doubt that they were still at the top of their game. I'll have additional posts with some other live pictures and memorabilia. There's 17 photos in this set, which you can view in the slideshow below.