• Misael Ruiz

Anthrax and Black Label Society In Hollywood, California

Thrash metal legends and pioneers Anthrax last year celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band. To celebrate the occasion, Anthrax went on tour and brought with them two powerhouse acts, Black Label Society and Hatebreed. Concerts are back in full force and Hollywood showed their appreciation to these metal legends by selling out the Hollywood Palladium in advance! It was a Friday night in Hollywood and what better way to let off some steam than to thrash it up with metal. The stage was set for Black Label Society as a banner hid the stage from view so fans could be surprised for when the show starts.

The banner came down and revealed the members of Black Label Society on stage as they started their show with Funeral Bell. The fans went wild as frontman and founding member Zakk Wylde shred on his guitar like no one else. The pounding of heavy metal was felt throughout the venue as fans moshed and crowd surfed throughout the performance. The stage was beautifully lit and Wylde has his signature mic stand complete with human skulls and cross. As the night went, on Black Label Society played many of their hits which included Heart of Darkness, Overlord and You Made Me Want to Live. Halfway through the set, Wylde took a quick break from his guitar and walked over to a piano that was on stage. He started playing the next song In This River which is a beautifully written and played ballad. To make it extra special, the song was dedicated to the memory of the Abbott Brothers Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrel of Pantera. Banners with their faces were put up on stage for the venue to see. One thing BLS shows are known for are for the guitar duels between Wylde and Dario Lorina. In the middle of Fire It Up, they had a guitar duel that lasted several minutes, but it's always music to everyone's ears hearing it. Now at the end of their set, BLS played their most famous song, Stillborn. They said their goodbyes and left the stage for the headlining band of the tour.

The lights went out and the sold out venue erupted with excitement. For several minutes, a montage of video clips was shown of many musicians and celebrities talking about their experience with Anthrax's music. Musicians included Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Rob Zombie, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Phil Anselmo (Pantera/Down), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) and many more. Once the montage ended, the intro track to Among the Living started. The banner covering the stage was brought down to reveal Anthrax on stage as they started their show with Among the Living from their 1987 album of the same name. Anthrax got off to a really strong start as fans continued to mosh, head bang, raise their horns and crowd surf the whole night. Up next was the crowd-favorite Caught In a Mosh and that song is 100% guaranteed to drive the audience absolutely crazy. The sold out Hollywood crowd did not disappoint tonight with that. Anthrax didn't slow down at all as up next is perhaps their most popular song, Madhouse. An absolute classic song in the thrash metal genre. Now that a few classics were played, Anthrax went back to their original album, 1984's Fistful of Metal. They played the track Metal Thrashing Mad and of course, the fans went mad. After a few more songs, guitarist and founding member Scott Ian took to the mic to talk to the audience about how crazy it's been to be playing thrash metal after 40 years. He also talked about how the tour was supposed to happen last year, but we know how that went down so even though 2022 is Anthrax's 41st year, they were treating it as 40. Once the speech ended, Anthrax went back to playing more classics. Some of those classics included I Am the Law, Antisocial and Only. It being Hollywood, there were bound to be some surprises. Anthrax is credited for helping bring about the genre of Nu-Metal and rap metal with their collaboration with hip hop group, Public Enemy. One of the songs that revolutionized that style was Bring the Noise. That was the next song on the setlist. What was the surprise? None other than Public Enemy singer Chuck D came out to join Anthrax in singing the song. An extra special treat for the audience and a definite memorable moment. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. Anthrax chose to end their set with their usual ending song, Indians. Before the guitar solo, Scott Ian likes to pause the song and demand a war dance from the audience to which the audience responds with bigger mosh pits. The show came to an end and fans everywhere were seen smiling, tired, sweaty and everything in between. Anthrax thanked the audience for supporting them for 40 years then left the stage. Metal is here to stay regardless of what others think.


Photos and review by Misael Ruiz


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