Anthrax‘s Joey Belladonna – photo by Alex Crick
Anthrax brings so much energy to every stage I see them on! On January 18th, they brought Black Label Society and Exodus to help them obliterate the Paramount Theater. And obliterate they did!
Celebrating 40 years, New York’s Anthrax thrashed the stage like only Anthrax can do. When I said that I like it when bands show pure joy, no band does that better than Anthrax.
Before Scott Ian, Joey Belladonna, and the boys arrived on stage, a curtain was draped hung from the ceiling. This isn’t unusual for an Anthrax show, but this time, Keanu Reeves, Corey Taylor, Gene Simmons, Rob Trujillo, Henry Rollins, Slash, Dave Mustaine, Norman Reedus, and more appeared on screen to help them celebrate 40 years of face-melting metal.
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax – photo by John Rudolph
Joey Belladonna & Scott Ian of Anthrax – photo by Alex Crick
For those fans in the audience, Anthrax hasn’t lost any of the energy from their beginnings in 1982. The amps power much more than the speakers. They powered the crowd with high-voltage thrash metal.
We were gifted a setlist that spanned most of their active years. They spent most of the show’s first half in the ’80s leading off with “Among the Living,” “Caught in a Mosh,” “Madhouse,” and “Antisocial.” The journey continued through the ’90s and landed in 2011 with “In the End.”
Anthrax is one of those bands from my childhood that I never get tired of seeing. They are super tight and full of energy, and watching Belladonna play off of every band member was incredible. You can see what 40 years of experience brings. Every note, every vocal, and every movement were seamless. They are a unique band that every metal fan needs to experience at least once.
Black Label Society‘s Zakk Wylde – photo by John Rudolph
Dario Lorina of Black Label Society – photo by Alex Crick
Many in the crowd knew who they were there to see, and they were flying their colors. Clad in black vests with white, Black Label Society banners on their backs, Black Label Society fans welcomed the band to the stage.
Some of metals most loyal fans flock to see Black Label Society. I’ve seen them in concert, primarily supporting headliners, and there is no shortage of black-vested fans screaming their allegiance to BLS.
Black Label Society grabbed the stage by the scruff of the neck and never let go. These guys are just great, blues-infused metal with terrific melodies. They are super heavy with thunderous guitar riffs and deafening drums. So deafening that my shirt moved from the energy blasting from the stacked speakers and amps.
Zakk Wylde is a terrific, charismatic frontman who looked like a character in Braveheart while sporting a kilt. He has a massively wide stance on his riser and played his guitar like a battle axe. His blonde hair flowed back and forth, swirled around his head. For a powerful looking guy, his voice was beautiful. I could have listened all day.
I love bands that have a great time. This band laughed like they were having the best time anyone could have. Every band member was magnetic, and New Jersey bassist John DeServio was no different. He could not contain his laughter, and I was all in. He was so fun to photograph. I appreciate the energy that he shared with me. He worked my camera, which allowed me to get such terrific shots.
Exodus‘ Lee Altus – photo by Alex Crick
The destruction had begun promptly at 6:30, with Exodus bringing the West Coast heat. They started the carnage with “The Beatings Will Continue.” The fans were ready for anything. The testosterone-fueled and male-dominated crowd was well-lubed with substances only a witch doctor could decipher. They sang along to every song, and then the mosh pit formed. It looked like a black leather-clad tornado turning counterclockwise. As with most metal shows, the crowd got rowdy, but usually, they are just straight-up cool people.
One thing that stood out was when Exodus invited a young kid onto the state to play one of their songs on guitar. The band gathered around the young man, and the crowd went nuts.
Anthrax – photos by Alex Crick
Anthrax – photos by John Rudolph
Black Label Society – photos by John Rudolph
Black Label Society – photos by Alex Crick
Exodus – photos by Alex Crick