All Photos: David Bronstein
Effortless is one way to describe Anthrax’s show at the Forum in London, relentless would be another. For over two hours the New York thrash band belted out crowd favorites, scooped into new material from their 11th album For All Kings and then half way into the show played 1987’s seminal record Among the Living in its entirety. Whew!
This was a statement and of course it was never needed as 2,000 fans packed into the Forum to witness the one and only Anthrax. Singer Joey Belladonna covered every inch of the stage; running to the front, the drum riser, right and left never letting up, you’d never guess that he’s pushing 60.
‘A.I.R’ from album Spreading the Disease opened the show to a rousing cheer and a slew of metal fans head banging. Indeed the first half set which lasted almost an hour was made up by fans voting on what they wanted to hear from the band. This included such classics as ‘Madhouse’, ‘Be All, End All’, and ‘Aftershock’. Three songs also made it from the band’s latest release and went down a storm.
Guitarist Scott Ian was just as energetic as Belladonna and just when you thought that the band can’t keep up this frantic pace, everything went x100 when they launched into Among the Living front to back. ‘Caught in a Mosh’ the perfect song to start one is always a delight to hear, the roof of the 83 year old building almost came off during next song ‘I am the Law’.
We are so spoiled that we are never waiting for the classic ‘Indians’ in anticipation, but of course when it comes, towards the end of the set, it is welcomed like an old friend.
There is a brilliant chemistry between the five some, and that’s no wonder given how long the band members have played together. So even if there have been plenty of line-up changes throughout the years, one is still reminded that singer Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello have been with the band since 1984 with small gaps in between and drummer Charlie Benante since 1983. Scott Ian one of the most recognizable musicians in thrash has been here since the beginning in 1981.
Anthrax came, played and conquered and even though it was never intentional they were so tight, so wickedly brilliant and so genuine that they gave a few lessons right here tonight to their peers. After nearly 40 years of thrashing our heads Anthrax on the evidence of tonight will be doing this for forty years more.