Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, January 11, 2006


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

For fans of Anthrax, the reuniting of Joey Belladonna and the rest of the band was long overdo. The departure was something of a surprise when it occurred, and the coming together of the two forces was maybe even a bigger surprise when it was announces in '05. For those in Columbus, OH the wait to see the line-up was almost a year long, and the anticipation was intense as reviews from around the globe of the band's live performances was nothing short of spectacular from heavy metal rags spanning the globe.

So when Belladonna hit the stage with the riffs of Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, the audience, which waded through two openers, were finally able to release its pent up energy and raw emotion.

Anthrax's set was 90 minutes of energy and what seemed like years of aggression ready to be let out. Since the departure of Belladonna, both himself and Anthrax took their own paths in the music world, but sometimes a band just has that chemistry together that even better talent cannot replace. Although most would agree Anthrax was at its best with Belladonna at the helm, and that Belladonna was at his best when fronting Anthrax, there is no doubt that when together, Anthrax is at their best.

The show was 90 minutes of non-stop deep guitar riffs and heavy double-bass drum beats. And even with the band's past history, on stage there seemed to be little animosity as the vibe between Belladonna and the band we as if the crowd was transported back to 1989 and the height of the Anthrax craze.

Even with 90 minutes being packed to the gills with hardcore Anthrax material, almost everyone in the audience could be heard leaving the show wishing another song was part of their set. And for Anthrax, that is a tremendous accomplishment to achieve. Although caught in a catch-22, Anthrax has enough material, both popular to the masses and with the diehards, that no one is completely satisfied. Although it may sound like a minus, what it means is that even after playing songs like Caught in a Mosh, Among The Living, State of Euphoria and others, fans still wanted more. Anthrax fans are Anthrax fans to the core, and what that means is each Anthrax addict has a song somewhere in the vast library that has become their own.

 

This show was a show that has been waited on patiently by fans for year. Much like the hyped Motley Crue reunion tour, Anthrax was in the same boat, just more of a cabin cruiser versus a cruise ship. But in both cases, fans are flocking to the shows to relive the days of old, and hoping against hope that those old days can help ignite some new music. In Anthrax's case, I think it may be more likely than not that this line-up, with Belladonna, will produce new music, which means another tour. How kick-ass is that?

Dan Spitz
Scott Ian
Joey Belladonna
Joey Belladonna
Scott Ian
Scott Ian