Aug 18, 2022

Anthrax / Black Label Society - The Fillmore

Category: Live Reviews

ANTHRAX / BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

8/18/22

The Fillmore

Silver Spring, MD


 Black Label Society Setlist:  Funeral Bell, Destroy & Conquer, Overlord, Heart of Darkness, A Love Unreal, Made Me Wanna Live, In This River, Trampled Down Below, Set You Free, Fire It Up, Suicide Messiah, Stillborn

 Anthrax Set List:  Among The Living, Caught In A Mosh, Madhouse, Metal Thrashing Mad, Keep It In The Family, Antisocial, I Am The Law, In The End, Only, Got The Time, Bring the Noise (Partial), Indians



In the post Covid world it has felt like everything is slowly starting to become the “new normal”; the reality is that everything is slowly going back to what it was - one day at a time.  The Anthrax / Black Label Society 2022 US world tour is the first real semblance of what a true Heavy Metal concert should feel like in 2022 because both bands delivered blistering sets and the venue was standing room only, chock full of crazy metal heads that moshed their asses off.

 Hatebreed opened the show but their set was too early to catch on a work night.  What many bands tend to forget is that the average working class person has to work on week nights and when a show starts too early it’s nearly impossible to catch those early openers.

 Black Label Society took the stage at 8 PM sharp and their set was absolutely amazing.  Zakk Wylde ALWAYS plays his ass off and the doom crew were in full effect with the Maryland Chapter of the Black Label Society.

 Zakk has been wearing a kilt onstage for several years now and on this night his red plaid kilt moved around almost as much as his long curly hair.  Zakk sold a few of his stage played guitar on this night and posted photos of them signed on his social media accounts.  

 This version of Black Label Society is a force to reckon with and may be the tightest version of the band to date!  Second guitarist Dario Lorina is best known for his tenure in the Lizzy Borden band but with Zakk he’s grown into a very different player.  Dario can emulate the signature Zakk leads and sounds perfectly.  Wylde gives the spotlight to Dario at various points in the set and lets him shine.  During “In This River” Zakk plays piano while Dario handles all guitar work and nails the solo written by Mr. Wylde.  Dario also uses a violin bow during several parts of the show and while he may be overlooked during the live shows due to the heavy shadow that Wylde casts, Dario is a beast on guitar!  I give Dario a lot of credit for knowing how to back off and play the support role because Dario has always been a lead guitarist first and in Black Label he is more often holding down the rhythm so Zakk can solo.

 

The Mongoose, the unsung hero of The Black Label congregation, Mr. John DeServio on bass….this m.f.-er is one amazing player and while he may be small in stature, his playing is larger than life!  J.D. is a flashy player and performs effortlessly while holding down the groove for Zakk to shred over.  

 Jeff Fabb is the bands current drummer and on this night they celebrated his birthday by presenting him with a chocolate icing covered cake.  If you look in the photo above you can see them presenting him with the cake and the look on Jeff’s face says it all!

 Random side note:  For his show Zakk allowed all photographers to shoot the entire set so essentially we were inside the barricade for the entire hour to shoot their entire set.  I walked away with 1,000+ amazing photos of the band.  Thank you to Zakk for allowing us to shoot the entire set!

 “Stillborn” closed Zakk’s set and at the end of the song J.D. was not present for the bands final bow; Zakk looked around and clearly mouthed, “Where’s J.D.?” as the band thanked the crowd and did a final bow.  As soon as Zakk left the stage a large white curtain was lifted up and this was so the Anthrax stage could be set up to give the illusion of a large rock show.  The curtain also served as a movie screen.  Ten minutes before the band took the stage a movie played which served as the bands intro.  Clips from the bands quarantine YouTube videos played and amongst those in the clips were Kerry King, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Gary Holt, and many more.  

 Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante is dating Butcher Babies singer Carla Harvey and she was at this show, mingled amongst the crowd, took selfies, and stood side stage to watch her man rock out!

 Anthrax opened with “Among the Living” and this tour is clearly a celebration of the band’s 40 years together.  Every era of the band was represented for the most part and three covers were performed yet each song is so well known in the bands catalog that they didn’t feel like covers.  “Antisocial” is by the Canadian band Trust but Anthrax own the song because their version was a hit internationally and much better than the original.  “Got The Time” is a Joe Jackson classic which Anthrax made their own, and “Bring The Noise” is a Public Enemy classic which made it acceptable for bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Rage Against the Machine to blend Rock with Hip Hop.  

 During Anthrax’s set the mosh pit was intense and the crowd surfing was non stop.  The security guys up front definitely earned their paychecks on this night!  

 “Metal Thrashing Mad” was the one song that defined the entire evening because it’s not only an old school thrasher from the bands early days but it also described the mood of the room perfectly!

 The last two years were rough on everyone and this crowd were definitely ready to rock as were all of the bands.  Scott Ian addressed how rough it was just sitting home these last two years and he vowed to make up for it with an intense show.

 Joey Belladonna is one of the most underrated vocalists from the 80’s thrash scene and if you get the chance to witness him live, onstage you will not be disappointed because he still delivers an amazing performance, still has his signature long black hair, and has the energy of a 20 year old kid!  Joey played around with photographers and at one point he stuck his face directly in my camera lens which created this fun photo! (See below)

 Each band had their own merch table and they were scattered in random spots throughout the venue.  Anthrax had the main merch table which sat directly across from the front doors and was the prime spot.  Fans could buy a tour poster fully signed by the band for $60.  The Black Label Society merch table was inside the concert hall on the right side, all the way in the back.  Black Label fans could buy a fully signed Vinyl record of “Doom Crew Inc” for  $60 (the splatter vinyl version!), a large BLS flag fully signed by the band for $60, and a large poster fully signed by the band for $60.  Most BLS shirts were $35.  The Hatebreed merch table was downstairs in the basement close to the bathrooms and fans could buy signed vinyl, signed posters, and guitar picks as well as a limited edition show only shirt.

 Scott Ian introduced “Only” as a song that was part of their history and one that they had not performed in many years.  It was great to hear this John Bush era classic but you have to wonder how awkward it has to be for Joey to sing this one every night.  In a recent interview with Eddie Trunk the subject of singing “Only” was brought up and Joey commented that he was asked to sing it, so he did.  There was clearly a bit of awkwardness amongst the band when it was brought up and even Trunk commented that it was a touchy subject to talk about.

 During “Bring The Noise” Joey left the stage and Scott took over lead vocals with Frankie singing backups.  This cover was partially performed and led into the nights last song, “Indians”.  

Another random side note:  Taking a close look at Scott Ian's guitar picks on his mic stand his fandom for the band KISS was evident with his guitar pick which featured his face sporting Catman Peter Criss's make up

 All in all this was an amazing night for heavy metal, the fans and the bands were all in good spirits and this show truly felt like how it was pre Covid; no masks just metal!

 

 

Author: Bob Suehs