Anthrax celebrates 40th Anniversary with 1,000’s of fans in Cincinnati with Black Label Society and Hatebreed.
It’s a midsummer Monday evening in Cincinnati and the hottest place to be tonight was the new Andrew J Brady Music Center as thrash metal masters Anthrax stormed into town with one of the most anticipated tours of the summer. The earlyish start to the evening didn’t deter a crazy, metal hungry crowd who poured into the venue to help celebrate an incredible 40th anniversary of one of the kings and pioneers of thrash metal / Anthrax.
Technically 2021 was the true 40th Anniversary of the band but with the covid pandemic disrupting much of normal life during the year the guys, thankfully, are extending the celebration well into 2022. During the set Scott Ian mentioned how important Cincinnati is/has been to Anthrax over the years, fondly reminiscing with fans about the several tours and shows held at the nearby venue, Bogart’s, which drew a huge cheer from fans.
As for the show, A stage length white curtain hung from the top of the stage while the house lights dropped and a brief video compilation of musicians and actors helped introduce Anthrax, sharing their thoughts and memories of the band over the years. With Scott’s silhouette, complete with his Jackson guitar and double devil horns, now projecting through the curtain the guys started the evening with “Among the Living”. The curtain drop immediately followed, finally revealing the stage to everyone and a huge roar came from the crowd. In Rapid fire fashion Anthrax mainstays “Caught in a Mosh,” “Madhouse” and “Metal Thrashing Mad” came pouring from the stage.
Front man Joey Belladona was smiling all evening, often interacting with fans between lyrics and tossing picks out to fans all evening. Demonstrative bassist Frank Bello was all over the stage, jumping, hair whipping and generally having a killer time on stage and Scott Ian and his relentless guitar riffs provided fans with an awesome visual spectacle along with the powerhouse music. Overall the evening couldn’t have been better as all of the Anthrax favorites were in the set tonight including a Trust cover of “Antisocial,” “I Am the Law,” and a Joe Jackson cover of “Got the Time”.
With only a few songs remaining this evening, Scott addressed the crowd one last time thanking us for all the awesome and continued support over the past 40+ years and explaining they wanted to do something special this evening for us. Digging deep into their catalog they found a song that they have never played in Cincinnati as “Only” from the 1993 album, Sound of White Noise was up next. Anthrax finished their almost perfect set in Cincinnati with a raucous rendition of “Bring the Noise” before ending the with mega hit and fan favorite “Indians”. It was a fitting end to an excellent evening with legends Anthrax! Cheers guys, here’s to another 40 years!
Providing main support tonight was Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society. The Cincinnati chapter of the Doom Crew/BLS was well represented as Zakk, guitarist Dario Lorina, bassist John DeServio and drummer Jeff Fabb took the stage this evening. Not much for on stage banter but rather their face melting assault of shredding guitar riffs BLS was on fire this evening, treating fans to scorching renditions of “Funeral Bell,” “Destroy & Conquer,” “Overlord” and “You Made Me Want to Live”.
With all the guitar wizardry going on Infront of us there was a poignant and moving tribute to Dimebag and Vinnie Paul as Zakk took his place behind his Baldwin piano with a stirring rendition of “In This River”. There were live action shots of both Dimebag and Vinnie draped over the speaker cabinets on either side of the drum riser which added to the emotion of the song and performance. Black Label Society finished off their 90 minute set with a scorching “Fire It Up” complete with a Zakk and Dario Guitar duel while playing behind their heads (with Zakk standing atop of his piano, towering over the crowd) followed by “Suicide Messiah” and finally the classic “Stillborn”
Starting things this evening was metalcore legends Hatebreed, Frontman Jamey Jasta and the guys were hellbent to get the moshing, crowd surfing and headbanging going from the very beginning of their set, even making a deal with the crowd, tomorrow when you wake up with a voice like mine, you tell people you saw Hatebreed last night!!! A cool shout out to Exodus as Jamey told everyone “When we were starting out and we wanted to get things going we would put Exodus in the tape player and turn it to 11” before rolling into a wild cover of “bonded in blood”
For more than an hour Hatebreed rolled through fan favorites “Perseverance,” “Destroy Anything,” “This Is Now” and “Smash Your Enemies” with their usual relentless, high energy style that had the whole venue jumping and moshing. Egging on the crowd surfers Jamey shouts “Keep on coming up and when you get up here you make sure you give me a fist bump” as Hatebreed closed out their time in Cincinnati with “Live for This,” “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” and finally “I Will Be Heard” – Kicking the evening off to a fiery start.