The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip has been the stomping ground for the metal community for decades. With the legendary venue facing the worst, being closed down, they needed a metal act to help close the doors. Who else to fill that bill other than one of the big four themselves, thrash metal icons Anthrax.
Having been one of the founders of what is now known as Thrash Metal, Anthrax was the supreme choice to end the era. As the line wrapped completely around the building, an empty floor soon became filled with hundreds of eager metal heads waiting for Anthrax to hit the stage.
As the lights finally went down, the curtains remained closed but the Black Sabbath cover Mob Rules blasted through the room. As soon as the curtains fell and the band went straight into the hard riff off their Spreading the Disease album, A.I.R, immediately the circle pit erupted on the floor and the head banging began. The band ignited energy in the venue unlike anything you’ve ever felt. (Only being there would make you fully understand.) As soon as lead singer Joey Belladonna belted “Young and free, something you’ll never be…” the crowd was singing just as loud. Only real Anthrax fans were here tonight and this would be a show for the ages.
Anthrax has always been known for their raw energy on stage and that was brought to the table tonight. With thrash hit after hit the crowd and band were feeding off each other. Four songs into the setlist, the ultimate mosh song, Caught In a Mosh rang through the room. Bassist Frank Bello killed his bass line along with drummer Charlie Benante hitting harder than ever. Lead Guitarist Jonathan Donais ripped his guitar solo and the hardcore stomper himself Scott Ian held up the rhythm section with his hardcore riffs and stage presence. The stage setup was bright orange and red with huge 10-foot tall banners spanning the width of the stage. Each one with a significant figure on each side. On the left, Ronnie James Dio and the right, Dimebag Darrel. Anthrax gets the point across very well when it comes to honoring fallen metal legends.
Anthrax broke out classics like Madhouse, Indians, and even their cover of Neon Knights off the Ronnie James Dio tribute record. A special guest joined them on stage, none other than Public Enemy’s Chuck D. As he busted out the crowd favorite lyrics, nobody could resist banging their heads. To close the night, the raw hardcore cut Antisocial was played. All of the energy from the crowd of the previous songs were nothing compared to what was thrown into the last four minutes. The band ended with a full band bow and the show was over. It was the end of an era of metal music being spread across hundreds and thousands of ears throughout its time on the infamous Sunset Strip. Anthrax was the perfect band to end the night: Metal at the House of Blues was put to a mighty rest.
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