For the live rock music scene is alive and well as old school thrash meets modern day metal. As one of The Big 4, New York natives, Anthrax and Virginia veterans Lamb of God perform to the metal masses as they embark on a 43 date tour with supporting acts, Deafheaven & Power Trip. The international leg of the tour will feature Iron Maiden on multiple shows and Megadeth performing a one-off April 28th. As WSOU presented Tuesday night’s 1/26 show at AEG’s Starland Ballroom, a packed house of Anthrax and Lamb of God fans proved that heavy metal is alive and well in Sayreville, NJ.
From Dallas, Texas, Power Trip kicked off the night with their signature style of hardcore speed metal. Lead vocalist, Riley Gale immediately got the crowd going and it wasn’t long before a full blown mosh pit ensued. As a fan of grunge, hard rock and heavy metal, I must say I was instantly impressed by their live energy as the band proved themselves earning much respect and new fans.
Taking the night into a darker, more melodic direction, Deafheaven took the stage as frontman George Clarke’s evil scream vocal-style and signature hand motions captivated the well-rounded metal crowd. Drummer Daniel Tracy left a searing impression with his lightning fast tempos, tasteful transitions and brutal blast beats. Off their new record, New Bermuda, an enthusiastic crowd response was witnessed during their performances of “Brought to the Water,” “Luna,” their one-off single “From the Kettle Onto the Coil” and Sunbather’s “Dream House.”
Appearing at Vintage Vinyl in NJ prior to the show for an exclusive signing of their new custom playing cards in promoting their highly anticipated February 26th release, “For All Kings,” Anthrax proved yet again, the genuine love and respect they share with their fans.
Lights went out as the pre-recorded epic opener “Worship” (Intro) played, off of “Worship Music.” Creating a calm before the storm-like feeling, these furious-5 hit the stage with “Fight Em ‘Til You Can’t.” Proudly displaying their signature pentagram logos on both sides of the stage, Benante, Ian, Belladonna, Bello and newly recruited Shadows Fall shredder, Jon Donais, the band fired on all cylinders as the well-oiled metal machine that they are.
As part of their set, fans enjoyed classic Anthrax hits, “It’s A Mad House,” “Caught In A Mosh,” and closed with their own “Run To The Hills,” equivalent, “Indians,” The band also performed 3 “Among The Living” classic hits, including “Got The Time” and Trust’s “Antisocial.” In a humble yet epic tribute to the very legacy of Pantera late, great Dimebag Darrell & Ronnie James Dio, fans throughout the venue would witness the on-stage banner images in remembrance of both fallen metal gods.
As Anthrax laid down the law with an unrelenting, killer set list, it wasn’t until Lamb of God took the stage, that the gates of hell opened. Despite LOG’s uncertain future back in 2013 due to lead singer Randy Blythe’s “manslaughter” incarceration in Prague, Russia, the band inevitably returned to what they do best, owning their set with an aggressive, unrelenting, groove driven energy and stage presence. One might argue that Randy Blythe is a modern day Phil Enselmo as his signature screaming vocals captivated both Anthrax and LOG fans, alike.
Midway into their set, a humble Blythe acknowledged their roots in foremost praise of Anthrax, carrying them out 12 years ago along with New Jersey’s E-Town Concrete and their brothers in Godforbid. “Ruin” was the song of gratitude to each band that paved the way to their mainstream status. In honoring those that put their lives on the line having served in the U.S. armed services, Blythe paid tribute to many of those fallen before tearing into their signature hit, “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For.”
From speaking with various rock fans to full-blown metalheads, whenever Lamb of God has come up in conversation, I’ve always heard the same statement, “They’re incredible Live!” That declaration couldn’t be any more accurate as the band delivered an impressive and tight performance. From white strobe lights to socio political and religious video imagery, Lamb of God showcased their signature style of aggressive, unrelenting heavy metal to a massive metal crowd.
Anthrax’s Set List
Caught In A Mosh
Got The Time
In The End
Among the Living
Anthrax’s Current Lineup
Lamb of God (Partial Song Setlist)
Now You’ve Got Something To Die For
Lamb of God Lineup