Live at The House of Blues

West Hollywood, California

March 27th, 2013

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

When I was in high school, many eons ago, Anthrax came out with a killer album called “Among The Living”. Being a comic book and sci fi fan, I loved that they wrote songs about Judge Dredd and the “Walking Dude” from Stephen King’s “The Stand” so they permanently cemented themselves in the league of one of the greatest metal bands of all time.

Fast forward many years and I have to say I lost Anthrax somewhere along the way but when they announced the “Among the Living” tour with the original lineup from that record, I had to go and see it and have a flash back of metal awesomeness. I have to say the show was way better than I thought it would be and in terms of fun, it was off the scale to see these songs live.

They started the set with the title track and the audience went crazy. We were all singing along to the chorus and the band had an intense energy. They continued with “Caught in a Mosh” which obviously got the mosh pit flailing, I always thought these guys invented the term.

While the crowd had quite a few fans from the golden era when the album was released, the newer fans far outweighed the seasoned thrashers.

“I Am the Law” followed as it does on the original release. I loved this song as a young'n and still do many years later. They followed through with the next two off of “Among the Living” ; “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” and “A Skeleton in the Closet”.

At this point in the show, two huge banners rolled down from above. The one on the left had a picture of Ronnie James Dio, the one of the right had Dimebag Darrel on it while a swelling instrumental played (it is called “Hymn 1” on their new album). This lead directly into “In the End” off of their latest release “Worship Music”. I was unfamiliar with the album at the time but the song was so cool, I went and bought the album from the merchandise booth before I left the show. The material definitely felt like it had a Dio influence in the vocal delivery and I loved it.

Scott Ian announced the next song as, “a great song we didn’t write and we have a special guest to help us out with it”. Slash took the stage and joined them for a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” which progressed into “March of the S.O.D.” a cover of Stormtroopers of Death (Scott and Charlie’s other band from back in the day).

They rounded out the middle section of the show with another awesome song from the new album, “I’m Alive”. I can’t emphasize enough how impressive the new material was to see live.

Since having bought the CD, I have listened to “Worship Music” non-stop. The entire album is solid with every song being a repeat listener. I love the two they picked to play live especially, but there are so many other great songs I would have loved a few more off the new album.

After this song Joey said it was time to go back to “Among the Living” because as we all knew, that album has a “B side”. This led into the war-drum build up of “Indians” which is a great song about the plight of the Native Americans. Furthering the offerings from “Among the Living” they played “One World”, illustrating Anthrax’s social consciousness.

They finished up the album with “A.D.I. /Horror of it All” and “Imitation of Life” . As the album drew to a close so did their set. The band waved goodbye and then departed.

The chants of "Anthrax" and the stamping of feet commenced immediately. The crowd did not have to wait for long, as the band re-emerged and played another oldie with their comedic Beastie Boysesque song, “I’m the Man”… “Yo, Watch the Beat!”.

The next song of the encore was an immediate sing along fest, everyone knew the words to “Antisocial” and it was a great energetic set-closer. Scott Ian took the mic once more, “If you looked at the setlist you might think we are done, but this is LA… we have one more special guest for you tonight”.

Chuck D from Public Enemy came out and they performed “Bring the Noise” which was an awesome way to finish up the night. Chuck D bounced around the stage while they pulled off a way more metal than the original version of the classic collaboration.

It was definitely an awesome show and way better than I expected. I loved the songs and the performance and it rejuvenated my love for Anthrax. Now I listen to the new album continuously and have been having fun going back and revisiting their back catalogue as well.

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