Anthrax is a band I have learned to appreciate over the years. Their show at Fortarock this year was the first time I had seen them live and I was blown away by the enthusiasm of this band. Mostly seen as the little brother of the Big Four, their stage presence was much better than the disinterested Slayer or the cranky Megadeth shows I have witnessed over the years. The chance to see them live in a venue and also one nearby was not one I should squander, so after a long day work I was up for a good evening of fun! Unfortunately due to this long day, I missed the opportunity to see Bliksem kick off the evening. Too bad, but that’s life.
After the intro of their latest album Worship Music, Anthrax kicked of their show with a trio of classics! Is there a better way to get a crowd going, than with ‘Among The Living’, ‘Caught In A Mosh’ and ‘Got The Time’? With the first few notes of ‘Among The Living’ being played, the first moshers could already been spotted. Signals that an enthusiast crowd found their way to Haarlem on this Monday.
This enthusiasm seemed contagious, because Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Frank Bello and Charlie Benante were very engaged with the crowd. Joey even made some pictures with the cameras of the fans, without stopping with singing. Scott made some jokes and Frank just played his ass off with a big grin on his face. Indeed no mention of Jonathan Donais. He did a very accurate impression of a statue. Hopefully he was just completely stoned out of his mind, so he would’ve had an excuse (although lame) to be so extremely boring. If this is his normal stage presence (never have seen Shadow’s Fall playing and I’m almost 100% certain that this will remain the case), than I pity the guy. If you play in such a great band, with such great songs, wouldn’t you enjoy it or at least play the part, since there are people paying to see you? Joey tried to make fun of him a few times, to get him going, but nothing would help.
Luckily this was the only minor complaint of the performance. They played classic after classic and the crowd loved it! The war dance that the crowd pulled off during ‘Indians’ was quite a funny sight to behold. With the subsequent ‘In The End’ (with nice banners celebrating the legacy of Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell), they played one of my favorite songs of the last few years. It goes without saying that I enjoyed the heck out of it. Other highlights were ‘Medusa’ (which is played way heavier live than on album), ‘Efilnikufesin (NFL)’ and ‘I’m The Law’.
The whole show was one big party! Anthrax showed everybody again that metal shouldn’t always be so awfully serious and that there’s a place for bands in our scene to just have a good time to. The grin after the show didn’t left my face for a few days and now writing this review I feel my lips curling up again. Little brother my ass!
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