July 29, 2015
House of Blues- Los Angeles, CA
The legendary House of Blues on the Sunset Strip has been making the news for a few months now because word got out that this venue will be demolished to make room for new hotels (yay, right?). The final week at the House of Blues saw many of the venue’s regular acts. For the final metal show to take place, the House of Blues picked none other than the thrash metal legends from New York, Anthrax! The show sold out a couple of weeks in advance to no surprise and on the day of the show, a line had already formed hours before doors opened. On July 29th, Anthrax would transform the House of Blues into the Madhouse of Blues!
A few minutes prior to show time, the venue had already filled with metal heads and was so crowded that was difficult trying to get around the venue. Fans had become so eager for Anthrax to start the show that they started chanting, “Anthrax! Anthrax! Anthrax!” At 9pm, the lights went off and the crowd screamed in excitement as the curtains lifted to reveal the stage with four of the members on stage with bassist Frank Bello in his usual posture and back turned to the crowd as he was already head banging, clearly excited to start the show. Longtime vocalist Joey Belladonna was the final member to come out and greet the crowd and say, “How the fuck are we doin’, California!?” Now that all members were in place, Anthrax started their two hour blistering set with three songs from their sophomore Spreading the Disease album. The first song was A.I.R. Once the song started, it was no surprise that the crowd came alive right away and a mosh pit broke out as fans had been waiting to start one; even crowd surfers had already started to appear. Belladonna would sing, “You’re no good, misunderstood” then he would hold out the mic to fans and they would finish the lyrics, “A.I.R.!” The second song was the highly requested and rarely played and was Lone Justice. Fans in attendance got the first treat of the night with this song. The next song was their most popular song, Madhouse (get the Madhouse of Blues reference now?) By this time, the crowd really went insane and crowd surfers had gotten out of control to where concert photographers were forced to leave the photo pit before the song ended. It truly was a madhouse. Belladonna took a quick break to give a speech to the fans before veteran guitarist Scott Ian started the familiar guitar riff which let moshers know their song was about to start. That song would be one of their best songs, Caught in a Mosh! The show had just gone underway, but this song had already produced the biggest mosh pit of the night and had moshers pushing and shoving against each other like heated up atoms. Fans were singing along as Belladonna sang, “Talking to you is like clapping with one hand” Scott Ian sang backup vocals, “What is it?” and the crowd along with Frank Bello on backup vocals as well would finish, “Caught in a Mosh!” A satisfying way to hear the song come to an end was when Belladonna, Bello, and Ian would sing the final line, “What is it? CAUGHT IN A MOOOOSH!!” In the End from their newest Worship Music album was the next song and the band paid tribute to fallen metal legends Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell (ex-Pantera) by having their backdrops changed to photos of them. Anthrax brought out another song from their newest album, Fight’em ‘Til You Can’t about the dead coming back to life and fighting ‘til you can’t fight no more. Belladonna gave a quick speech on how it doesn’t make sense that they’re tearing down the House of Blues. They continued the show with Medusa and after, Got the Time which is one of their catchier tunes that got the crowd singing along, “Got the Time, tick-tick-tickin’ in my head!” Anthrax played another gem from their masterpiece album Among the Living called A Skeleton in the Closet which the fans received with praised as it is a very fast and thrashy song which would make anyone bang their heads. Scott Ian paused to give a speech of his own saying, “I know someone will go online and prove me wrong, but I’m pretty we haven’t played this song since 1984. It’s from the Fisful of Metal album and the most unlikely song we’d play. I’m not even gonna tell you the name. You figure it out!” That song would be the rarely played Across the Universe which continued with the track Be All, End All. The next three songs were songs from their Among the Living album. Drummer Charlie Benante started the familiar drum beat of Native American drumming which could only mean they were about to play Indians. This is a fan-favorite song and it had the crowd singing along, “Cry, cry, cry for the Indians!” Scott Ian stopped in the middle of the song stating that the venue will be torn down after August 3rd so this is the fans’ very last chance to do a big fucking war dance! The fans listened and continued to dance and shove each other. The title track to the album Among the Living would follow after that. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) is another song that Anthrax hardly plays and the fans were happy to hear it for themselves. Belladonna and the crowd would sing simultaneously, “N.F.L., nice fuckin’ life!” In honor of Ronnie James Dio, Anthrax played a cover of Black Sabbath’s Neon Knights. If there’s anyone that comes close to sounding like Dio on vocals, it’s Joey Belladonna. His high-notes were spot on and does a great job of keeping Dio’s memory alive. Anthrax started to bring out the odds and ends of their catalog and the first song was one of the first rap-metal songs, I’m the Man. Anthrax brought out their next surprise who was Chuck D from hip-hop group, Public Enemy. If he came out, fans knew they were in for the song Bring the Noise which was the song that began the rap-metal and nu-metal genres. Fans praised that song and sang along and moshed without showing signs of being tired. The show was sadly coming to an end and Scott Ian began strumming his guitar and fans started going, “Oh-ohh…wah-ohh” since they knew the final song of the night would be their Trust cover of Antisocial. Anthrax went out with a bang with this song and everyone sang along to, “You’re Anti, you’re Antisocial!” and the most fun part of the song where Belladonna and Bello would sing, “Antisocial!” and the crowd would follow with, “Antisocial!” Finishing up, Anthrax thanked the crowd and said they’ll be back real soon with new music and will see everyone again. Anthrax left the stage and people on the floor could be seen in pain and limping from being crashed into all night, but with a smile and look of satisfaction on their faces to have witnessed a truly memorable performance.
Review by: Misael Ruiz