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ANTHRAX Live In Dublin, Ireland

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Thursday, July 3, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

At Dublin's Academy Venue On Abbey Street

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Review by Justin Ryan

Due to its close geographical proximity to the major English summertime metal festivals of Download(formerly known as Monsters Of Rock) and Sonisphere, Dublin has now become an annual stop off for many of the bands booked to play gigs at Donington or Knebworth Park. It's a win-win situation for all concerned as it gives the bands an opportunity to play to their loyal support in Dublin. It also gives Irish metal fans an opportunity to see many of the bands from that year's British metal festivals without having to travel to England.

At Dublin's Academy venue on Abbey Street, right bang in the middle of Dublin city, New York City's ANTHRAX were in town tonight ahead of their saturday night appearance at this weekend's Sonisphere festival. The Academy(capacity 900 people) has taken over as Dublin's main club size metal venue from the larger Ambassador Theater(capacity 1300 people) as the latter has become an exhibition center in recent times. Although this has meant a more intense live experience for fans at the Academy, it has also meant that shows now sell out more quickly than before. Tonight's show was an instant sell out when it was announced by the promoter in advance of the ticket sale date, that 1987's critically acclaimed and fans favourite, Among The Living album was to be perfomed in its entirety.

The sold out venue was crammed packed before tonight's support act took stage at 8pm. Irish metal band, TWISTED WRATH served up a thirty minute set full of 1980's thrash metal riffs, tight guitar solos, mid song tempo changes and impressive drumming. A couple of their songs also contained SABBATHesque old school heavy metal groove sections to them. Obvious influences on this band would appear to be 1980's material from MEGADETH and METALLICA, PANTERA, MACHINE HEAD and the aforementioned BLACK SABBATH. The players in this band cant be as old as most of the material that has influenced their choice of sound which once again proves the absolutely impervious to time, classic quality of the thrash metal that was written by the best metal bands of the 1980's. TWISTED WRATH's new album is set for release this coming January and should be an interesting one judging by tonights material.

At one minute to 9 pm, the house lights were dimmed and the PA system that was playing AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock" was turned off. Only the large black and white banner bearing ANTHRAX's band logo was visible as the band members took to the stage. Drummer Charlie Benante was first to appear, followed quickly by riff monster Scott Ian, then Frank Bello and Jonathan Donais. Once the intro to the opening riff of the song, "Among The Living" was played, Joey Belladonna walked out on stage. Smiling broadly at the ear splitting reception he received, Belladonna quickly placed the energy drink he carried on top of a nearby amp and grabbed his microphone to deliver vocals to a crowd going absolutely berzerk to the shows opening number.The ground floor standing section which holds about 700 people had turned into one giant mosh pit, the likes of which is usually reserved for SLAYER's "Angel Of Death" when they come to town. "We've a full house here tonight, Dublin and I feel this is going to be a good one" was how Belladonna described what was happening in front of him. "Have you ever been caught in a mosh, Dublin?" was his introduction to the second song of the night. The pit in front of him did not relent in intensity from the opening number and throughout the one hour and forty five minute set remained at full throttle, which presented an amazing spectacle to compliment the music on stage. Belladonna was suitably impressed. "What a crowd. You're making us feel real good here tonight, Dublin" was his message to his adoring pit.

As promised, Among The Living was delivered in its entirety, but not in exact album running order. To add a bit of unpredictability to the show, the band deliberately omitted "I Am The Law", which was played later on in the show. Both "Madhouse" and "March Of The S.O.D." were dropped into the set's sequence unexpectedly. The latter song was dedicated to both Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell, with two massive portrait banners of the men being dropped over the ANTHRAX banner just before the song started. Scott Ian's own personal tribute was evidenced through the stunning guitar he chose to use for the song. Beautiful black and grey portrait artwork of Ronnie and Dimebag adorned the axe, an amazing dedication to absent friends. "Can we get a war dance here tonight, Dublin?", was the frontman's smiling address to the pit prior to the brilliant "Indians". Before playing "One World", Scott Ian commented, "Ok, before we play this next song, there have got to be some people here tonight who know what vinyl is. Yes, that's right, vinyl! This next song is dedicated to those here tonight who would have discovered our band back when people listened to music on vinyl, not iTunes!". The knowledgable crowd's laughter then turned into a chant of, "fuck iTunes, fuck iTunes". "Fuck iTunes? Did I just start that!" was Ian's witty response. "On the Spanish version of the album, this song is known as "Uno Mondo", Ian quipped before the band tore into the track. Joey Belladonna presented "Imitation Of Life" as a song that had only ever been played live once in the bands history outside of America and that was in Belfast the night before. "So count yourselves lucky, Dublin!" added Ian.

A four song encore concluded the night's proceedings. "Im The Man", THIN LIZZY's "Jailbreak", "Fight 'Em" and "Anti-Social" were, like the excellent material that went before on the night, delivered flawlessly to an ecstatic crowd who had been in fine voice all evening. Clever use of the stage lighting during "Jailbreak" to resemble jailhouse searchlights was a nice touch as was Belladonna's tribute to the fans. "We've been doing this for over thirty years and we are so thankful for your support". Scott Ian had the night's last words with, "We'll have a new album out soon and believe me, it's very fucking metal!. We'll be back here next year to play for all again". A group bow and wave concluded a memorable concert.

Check out fan filmed video of "Among The Living":

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