Editor's Review: Anthrax Live in Hollywood

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Tuesday, June 10, 2003 @ 2:46 PM

Anthrax Live at the House of B

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Now, if you’ve ever read any of my past reviews, the biggest complaint I have every time is the subdued, lackluster Los Angeles crowds. Usually the venue is filled with industry folk that are there because they can be, not because they are necessarily fans. Well, according to the incredible response of fist-pumping, insane mosh pits, crazy crowd surfing and audience singing that blew the roof off, I’d say everyone in LA is a hardcore Anthrax fan! On the last night of this particular leg of their US tour, Anthrax came storming onstage and delivered the goods nonstop for an hour and a half with a vengeance and passion!

I’ve seen Anthrax a bunch of times, and this particular time I was anxious to hear their new stuff from We’ve Come For You All. Much to my dismay, they kicked the show off with “What Doesn’t Die” and “Black Dahlia” while I was standing outside in the Industry will call line behind people arguing with the ticket guy: “My name has to be on the list! I know Anthrax’s tour manager’s brother’s cousin’s friend who used to roadie for them in 1986.” Come on – step aside and go buy a damn ticket! So anyway, thanks to that, I missed what I understood was a crazy singalong. I know Anthrax had been a little disappointed up to this point that most people didn’t know their new stuff, but that was not the case tonight, much to their delight!

Vocalist John Bush, with his freshly skinned head, rallied the troops through such classics as “Got the Time,” “Caught in a Mosh,” “NFL, “Madhouse” and “Antisocial,” where naturally, chaos erupted on the floor, as die-hards pummeled one another around in giant circles. Not only is Bush a superior vocalist, but he can work the crowd into a frenzy. Bassist Frank Bello and guitarist Scott Ian thumped around the stage in clear, harmonious mayhem. Newest addition, guitarist Rob Caggiano, laid it down like he had been with these guys from day one, although he is more restrained – physically, not musically -- than the other members. Charlie Benante… what can I say that I haven’t said already? This guy is a motherfucking MACHINE on the drums!

I did get to catch “Safe Home,” which sounded WAY heavier than it does on the album! They ripped through some of my personal favorites including “Inside Out,” “Only” and “Black Lodge,” all of which have way more aggression and power live than the album versions. After tearing it up on “Metal Thrashing Mad,” the guys came back onstage for “Bring the Noise.” Bush then took an audience poll: “Scream if you want ‘Indians!’ Scream if you want ‘I Am the Law!’” The audience responded to each with such a deafening roar, he asked again, as to which “Indians” took it, and they blasted through it like it was the last song they’d ever play again.

I was fortunate enough to get to hang with the guys after the show, and they all seemed in great spirits. LA is a tough crowd to win over, and they were pleased to end this leg on such a high note. Yes, Keanu Reeves was there for the entire show – he’s a beer-swilling, chain-smokin’ dude who spent a lot of time discussing Slayer, so he’s alright in my book! Also on hand for the show was Armored Saint’s Phil Sandoval, as well as a good chunk of the KNAC staff and friends.

It was an absolutely stellar and flawless show! If you do not own We’ve Come For You All yet, you suck.

Anthrax Set List:

What Doesn’t Die
Black Dahlia
Got the Time
Caught in a Mosh
Safe Home
Inside Out
Mad House
Black Lodge
? (sorry, I stepped out)
Efilnikufesin (N.F.L)
Metal Thrashing Mad

Bring the Noise

Click here for a recent interview with Bush and Ian.

Click here for the 5-star review of We've Come For You All.

Be sure to check out Anthrax.com.

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