Livestream Review: Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – A Vulgar Display of Pantera

As the world starts to, dare I say, pick up the pieces from a global pandemic, live events in some cases are opening up to crowds, and live streams are becoming fewer and fewer.

There was a live stream that happened over the weekend that was a little special, a chance to rewind back to the 90s and revisit a band’s catalogue that was synonymous with that period. Headed up by Philip H. Anselmo and his band The Illegals, we were treated to A Vulgar Display of Pantera hosted by Housecore Records.

Overall the live stream ran for about 2 and a half hours. Firstly starting off with video packages and amusing interviews and skits, before the guest support slot from Melbourne’s Grindin’ Thrashin’ Punk Rock Wrecking Machine King Parrot. A band I must admit I didn’t know beforehand but after their 20-minute set are now firmly on my radar.

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I only had the pleasure of seeing Pantera live once which was all the way back in 1994 at age 15. Throughout the years I’ve always considered Philip H. Anselmo to have an incredible presence. Even in recent interviews leading up to the stream the deep drawl of his voice and intense nature still has the effect it did on me as a teenager, and seeing him so invigorated as time has passed is a great thing to see.

The set started off wonderfully with “Suicidal Thoughts Part 1”. The audio very briefly cut out but it was a minuscule amount of time. After the song there was a pause, a dedication to the Abbott brothers (the legendary Dimebag & Vinnie Paul) before heading in to “A New Level” and “Mouth For War”.

“Becoming” and “We’ll Grind That Axe For A Long Time” were pleasant surprises in the set and after “Fucking Hostile” the Illegals played “War Nerve” live for the first time.

A Great Rendition of “This Love” followed with Calvin Dover from En Minor dueting with Anselmo. How do you top that? Well with “I’m Broken”.

After the video package interlude of Dimebag Darrel and Vinnie Paul, the Illegals came out and redid the whole of “Suicidal Thoughts Part 1” explaining that the audio has been bad the first time. This was a shame as I know the band wanted it to be perfect and this space obviously meant that another track had to be scrapped but the show must go on.

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The homestretch featured “Domination” and “Walk” which saw Anselmo gesture to the roughly 50-strong audience in attendance. He was joined on stage by a young child for the duration of the song.

The set ended with “Sandblasted Skin”. Overall an enjoyable slab of hits with rare diamonds nestled in the undergrowth.

A Vulgar Display of Nostalgia.

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