Anthrax / Killswitch Engage / The Devil Wears Prada / Code Orange
April 18, 2017
House of Blues
By Mike DiQuinzio
Photos by Sam McClary
Ruotnikufesin (N.F.T.) - The Killthrax Tour 2017
Three generations of metalheads came together to battle it out as Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, The Devil Wears Prada and Code Orange brought the Killthrax Tour 2017 to the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas last Tuesday night. Although there were clear favorites among the varied crowd, those who dared to educate themselves by taking in all four bands were surely rewarded by passionate sets from each.
Although The Devil Wears Prada had the unenviable job of warming up the crowd, there was a respectable amount of people anticipating their arrival. Lead screamer Mike Hranica did not disappoint them as he roamed the stage delivering his intense vocals in stark contrast to those of rhythm guitarist and clean vocalist Jeremy DePoyster. I admittedly know very little about TDWP, but their set was very tight and their songs seemed to have more going on in them than many other bands of their genre. Their newest release, Transit Blues, is a very interesting listen and seeing them live made me want to hear it again, which is high praise coming from an aging headbanger like myself.
After a pulverizing set from Killswitch Engage, fans roared in anticipation as Anthrax's backdrop was revealed. A short sound- and light-check later, they strode onto the stage as the pre-recorded intro to "Among the Living" played. All hell broke loose as vocalist Joey Belladonna emerged, pumping his half-mic stand as Frank Bello, Scott Ian, and all in attendance shouted "Disease! Disease!" in unison. Not quite a regular fixture in their live set, "Among the Living" is the perfect opener; it got the pit swirling, fists pumping, and every fan shouting along.
"Caught in a Mosh" followed as Scott Ian stood alone at center stage, illuminated by white spotlights as he strummed the opening chords. Few songs get people as pumped up with a single chord as this one does, and a better pit anthem there will never be. From these two songs alone, it was clear from the get-go that Anthrax was not going to be outdone by their younger tour-mates.
Their strong momentum was kept up with "Madhouse," "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" and "I Am the Law" before delving into the newer material. "Breathing Lightning," the first of three selections from For All Kings, allowed for a break in the moshing as Joey led the crowd through a sing-along over the opening chords. Gradually, the song built up to its full power and the pit re-opened, although we would soon find out just how big it could get.
The pit reached its peak during "March of the S.O.D.," an unanticipated but very welcomed surprise. People who hadn't moshed all night were suddenly fighting their way to the pit, which threatened to sweep away anyone standing too close. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Their all-too-brief set ended with "Antisocial" and "Indians" as the crowd took full advantage of their opportunity to do the Wardance to the continued delight of everyone on stage. At any given moment during the show, you could see a band member smiling proudly at the chaos they were causing, and rightly so; every single band member played flawlessly all night long. Lead guitarist Jon Donais has especially proven his worth not only by playing the classic solos note-for-note, but by reinvigorating Anthrax and co-writing some of their best material to date.
It's a testament to the greatness of Anthrax that, although they played less-common favorites like "Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)," I couldn't help but wish they played more new songs. "Breathing Lightning," "Evil Twin" and "Blood Eagle Wings," were awesome, no doubt, but Anthrax may be the only band that is putting out new material that is 100% on par with their classics. Say "Metallica" and I'll say you're fooling yourself. That For All Kings came out 35 years into Anthrax's career is a miracle, and if you haven't heard it yet... what are you waiting for?
For All Kings is out now on Megaforce Records.
Transit Blues is out now on Rise Records.
Among the Living
Caught in a Mosh
Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
I Am the Law
March of the S.O.D
Blood Eagle Wings
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