I had seen Anthrax on the Repentless North American Tour with Slayer and Death Angel back in 2016 at the same venue and thought their performance was top-notch. But last Wednesday’s show was something else, let me tell you. The current KillThrax 2017 Tour sees them headline alongside Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada, and Code Orange, in a lineup that is more eclectic and interesting to the metal generalists.
The Devil Wears Prada were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd at The Tabernacle, ready for a night of metal madness celebrating some of the finest acts around. The band’s unique metalcore sound, peppered with melancholic passages, really pops out live, and I was extremely impressed with their stage presence and performance. TDWP have an almost esoteric quality about them live and I highly recommend catching them on this tour if you haven’t done so already.
It’s hard to believe Killswitch Engage have been around for almost 18 years. I remember first listening to these guys as a senior in high school and thinking they were going to be the next big thing in the post-Bay Area thrash scene. The band have rightly been recognized as one of the pioneers of the metalcore sound but their live performances harken back to the legendary Bay Area thrash scene of the early 80s, with nonstop headbanging, jumping up and down, and interacting with the crowd that makes them a phenomenal live band.
I remember seeing young dudes in KsE tees leaving the venue as if they had just had their asses kicked by a professional kickboxer—so was the relentless energy they transferred to the crowd by the end of their set. The band’s monster setlist included favorites Hate by Design, My Last Serenade, and the End of Heartache, but the highlight of the night was their cover of Dio’s Holy Diver with Joey Belladonna of Anthrax doing the lead vocals – that performance alone was worth the ticket price for the show!
The Tabernacle crowd roared louder than I’ve ever heard them when Anthrax got on stage. Buoyed by solid performances by the supports, the nearly sold-out crowd kept up with Anthrax’s super performance all night long, marking one of the finest concerts I’ve witnessed in a long time. The band immediately went into Among the Living and Caught in a Mosh, and never let up with Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna, and Scott Ian pumped up and full of energy in typical fashion. They followed up with epic renditions of Breathing Lightning and Evil Twin from 2016’s For All Kings before ending the night with Antisocial and old crowd favorite Indians.
From the set design to lighting and sound engineering, seeing Anthrax is a complete spectacle. It’s witnessing the evolution of one of the most important bands in metal history: one that managed to stay on top by never quite changing their direction. Check out Anthrax’s For All Kings (Megaforce/Nuclear Blast) and get pumped for their next live show. Aside from the fantastic performances, the healthy mix of old and young metal fans catching a glimpse of two different generations of metal musicians also made the night very special.