As soon as this gig was announced I instantly wanted to go. I hadn’t seen Anthrax since a festival performance (I think Sonisphere 2010) and a catch-up with the NY thrash legends was long overdue. The prospect of an Anthrax only show was clearly much in-demand as the tickets sold out almost instantly as soon as the online box office opened and I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it. However the day before the gig, Mosh ended up having a spare ticket and I was quick to take it off his hands.
Anthrax’s gig at the Cathouse had become part of the Glasgow rock club’s 25th birthday celebrations and before the band hit the stage, the club’s owner got up and said a few slightly inebriated words and indulged the crowd with a funny Weegie parody of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” segueing into a parody of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. However much it humoured the crowd, we were eager to see Anthrax and waited with baited breath for their performance after the club owner left.
Then the lights went down and a strange UFO-esque rumbling noise echoed throughout the Cathouse before Anthrax exploded onstage straight into the classic “A.I.R”. The crowd went wild and the pit instantly opened up among the audience in the middle of the room. It was only just the beginning of the madness as the intense moshing, fist-pumping and shout-alongs consistently continued throughout the entirety of the set. The set was chock full of classic Anthrax smashers, though it featured a lot of the awesome material from 1985’s Spreading the Disease (apt considering this year is the record’s 30th anniversary and Anthrax recently released a re-mastered package of the album). Through songs like “Caught in a Mosh”, “Madhouse” (the most appropriate description of the Cathouse during the gig – it should have changed it’s name for the night!) and “Medusa” to newer numbers like “Fight ‘Em til You Can’t” and the new single “Evil Twin”, the gig was insanely good fun from start to finish. The band and the crowd were clearly having a good time all night, and as frontman Joey Belladonna and guitarist Scott Ian said several times throughout the show, it was a party.
The second half of the set featured another plethora of classics including “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L)”, a rare airing of “I’m the Man”, “I Am the Law” and a triumphant ending in “Indians” which all featured increasing insanity from the band and crowd alike, culminating in an epic War Dance during the closing number. During the second half, a mass crowd surfers started to surface from the pit supplementing the madness. It was very reminiscent of Anthrax’s performance in Bochum, Germany that was documented on their 1986 U.S. Speed Metal Attack video. Overall it was simply good high energy, heavy thrash metal fun for the entire show enjoyed by both crowd and band alike – you could see it in Anthrax’s faces every time their heads bobbed up from their own moshtastic performance.
Anthrax’s performance at their special one-off show in Glasgow’s Cathouse was simply awesome. I can’t say much more than that. The only way it would have been better for me was if they had more time to play – I’d personally love to hear more from the Persistence of Time album as I think it’s criminally underrated and has some of my favourite Anthrax songs on it, but that’s just me.I’ll be more than happy to go and see Anthrax shows over and over again should the opportunity arise, I’d thoroughly recommend that everyone else should do the same. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the band, or a newbie, get yourself along to an Anthrax gig and you’re guaranteed a great fun Metal Thrashing Mad time!
Anthrax are still touring a few dates in the UK and Europe (including Birmingham, Leeds, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Gothenburg and Helsinki) until the end of the first week in December before taking some time out over the festive season. Anthrax then return to the road for a massive tour around the U.S. (as headliners) and South America (supporting Iron Maiden) starting in January until the end of March. Anthrax are also confirmed as playing at Clisson, France’s Hellfest on the 15th of June. I repeat what I said before – if you get the opportunity to see Anthrax, go and do it and you won’t regret it. Keep on Spreading the Disease!
I was going to do a review of my own, but there’s really very little to add to what Sean’s written above. The sound was good, the crowd were awesome, the security staff were professional and helpful… you know you’re going to be be in good hands when they’re singing along to the songs as well!
The overall set was very similar to that from the previous night’s Slayer support slot (review up of that shortly), but with the addition of some more songs, all of which Sean mentioned above. Also more chance for the band to engage with the crowd and that’s what Anthrax seem to do better than their “peers” in the Big 4. Megadeth have the technical/speed edge; Slayer have the dark, brooding evil; Metallica have… erm… an album with Lou Reed. Anthrax have sheer entertainment value. They’re fun in a way that few bands manage to be.
This was the first time I’ve seen Anthrax headline a show since, I think, the Sound of White Noise tour. Always the bridesmaids, never the bride, it’s a crying shame as they’re simply brilliant live. To see them finally headline a slot and in such a small venue – one that Scott Ian reckons is probably their smallest show ever, certainly in the UK – was a genuine privilege.
It was a shame not to have Charlie on the drums – he’s at home with a damaged hand/wrist – especially as it was his birthday. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the video of the crowd singing for him that Scott took, though. Jon Dette more than ably filled in.
I have to close in thanking Sarah and Claire at Nuclear Blast for guestlisting Gary and I, which means that Sean could take my ticket. All three of us hugely appreciate the gesture, in particular Gary who turned out to be the only person with a photo pass. Pretty special!
Oh, and don’t forget the new Anthrax album out in February – For All Kings!
All photos by Gary Cooper – coopsgigphotography.co.uk