February 5, 2016
The Bomb Factory
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Mike DiQuinzio
Photos by Brian Ullrich
Anthrax Continues To Spread The Disease
Supporting current kings of metal Lamb of God, Anthrax reminded Dallas why they are the forefathers of thrash when the tour hit the Bomb Factory last Friday. Although their set was only 40-minutes long, they dared the new breed to upstage them and left the frantic crowd wanting more.
With the awesome cover art of their upcoming album For All Kings as their backdrop, Anthrax stormed the stage to the now-classic "Fight ‘em Til You Can't." This song is special for two reasons: first, because it was the leadoff single from their long-awaited comeback Worship Music, and second, because it was the first time many fans got to hear Joey Belladonna back where he belongs. This song, and Worship Music as a whole, is absolutely classic Anthrax with a new-millennium shine that I am always happy to hear in their live set.
It didn't take long for the band to turn back the clock, though, and as soon as the opening chord to "Caught in a Mosh" was struck, the room expanded in anticipation of the storm that was about to hit. This song hits every bit as hard as it did 30 years ago, and Anthrax delivers it with the same energy in 2016 as they did in 1986.
Other Anthrax standards like "Got the Time" and "Antisocial" followed in quick succession before it was time to hear some new stuff. Many in the crowd were already familiar with "Evil Twin", the first of two tracks making their debut from the soon-to-be-released For All Kings, and welcomed it with the same enthusiasm as the older material. This and "Breathing Lightning" both mark the introduction of Jon Donais as a creative force in Anthrax and, by the sound of them, he is a perfect fit. This show was also the first time that Jon looked settled into his role as a permanent member of Anthrax. He was much more relaxed and showman-like than in previous performances where he seemed much more focused and reserved, although brilliant nonetheless.
Speaking of performances, there's not much more praise I can bestow upon Scott Ian, Frank Bello, and Joey Belladonna that I haven't stated in previous reviews other than to say they are the reasons behind Anthrax's stellar live reputation. They know how to work a room, whether through their heartfelt tribute to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell "In the End" or whipping the crowd into a frenzy for the infamous Wardance of show-closer "Indians." These guys bring an intense and contagious energy to their stage that the fans continue to feel long after the houselights come up.
Anthrax have become masters of the 40-minute support slot; they hit fast, hit hard, and know they have zero time for filler. Unfortunately, this also means some songs have to get cut, and on this night, those songs were "Madhouse" and "I Am the Law." But they will have plenty of chances to make that up to us when they tour behind For All Kings in the coming years.
Scott Ian illustrated the legend of Anthrax perfectly when he asked the crowd if they liked thrash metal, to which the crowd roared in approval. Scott's response? "You're Welcome." It doesn't get much cooler than that, folks.
For all Kings will be released on February 26, 2016 on Megaforce records.
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
Caught in a Mosh
Got the Time
In the End