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Frank Bello of Anthrax energizing the crowd

Frank Bello of Anthrax energizing the crowd

Metal legends Anthrax kicked off their 40th anniversary with Black Label Society and Hatebreed at The Van Buren in Phoenix, AZ on July 26th. Hatebreed kicked off the show playing a set including “Proven,” “I Will Be Heard,” and “Live for This.” The group formed in 1994 and lead vocalist Jamey Jasta, bassist Chris Beattie, and lead guitarist Wayne Lozinak are all founding members. Drummer Matt Byrne joined in 2001 and rhythm guitarist Frank Novinec joined in 2006. 

Chris Beattie rocking his Jackson bass

Chris Beattie rocking his Jackson bass

Hatebreed has released eight albums starting with their debut album Satisfaction is the Death of Desire and the newest release is Weight of the False Self (2020). Their sixth album The Divinity of Purpose (2013) was number one on the US Hard Rock chart and their following album The Concrete Confessional went to number two.

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The mighty Black Label Society began in 1998 with Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde who welcomed on board bassist John ‘JD’ DeServio to hold down the low end for his outfit. Drummer Jeff Fabb joined BLS in 2012 and guitarist Dario Lorina joined in 2014. BLS has released 11 studio albums with the most recent being Doom Crew Inc. released last year. 

‘JD’ DeServio with his custom Schecter bass

‘JD’ DeServio with his custom Schecter bass

Legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde

Legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde

BLS had two walls of amps and DeServio had a variety of Schecter basses with DR strings in different colors. BLS’s intense hour-long set included a tribute to Pantera’s Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell with “Set You Free,” followed by “Fire it Up,” and the closer “Stillborn.” 

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Anthrax closed the show playing numerous thrash metal classics to thrill the crowd for their 40th anniversary tour. Anthrax is part of the Big 4 of Metal along with Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth. The band formed back in 1981 with guitarist Scott Ian, drummer Charlie Benante and lead guitarist Dan Spitz. Bassist Frank Bello joined shortly after and lead vocalist Joey Belladonna replaced previous singers Neil Turbin and Dan Lilker in 1984. The classic lineup of Ian, Bello, Belladonna, Spitz, and Benante have released seven albums together including some of the most groundbreaking thrash albums like Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, and I’m the Man

Frank Bello taking the stage

Frank Bello taking the stage

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After Belladonna left the group the first time, Armored Saints’ John Bush would be the lead vocalist from 1992-2005 and was on four of the group’s albums. Spitz departed the group in 1995 and was replaced by Meat Loaf guitarist Paul Crook (1995-2001) and Rob Caggiano, who had two tenures with the band. The classic lineup reunited in 2005 for two years until Spitz and Belladonna departed once again. Bush would replace Belladonna for a second time. Belladonna returned in 2010 when the first Big 4 concert took place. 4/5ths of the classic lineup with Caggiano released Worship Music in 2011, which was the first album with Belladonna since Persistence of Time (1990) and the group’s first release since 2003. 

Bello and guitarist Scott Ian

Bello and guitarist Scott Ian

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Since 2013 Anthrax has been Ian, Benante, Bello, Belladonna, and Jon Donais (Shadows Fall). This line up has released one studio album, For All Kings, and three live albums. After being a long-time ESP endorer, Bello now plays Charvel basses and has a signature model. 40 years and the band still runs around like they always do. Anthrax kicked off their set with “Among the Living,” followed by “Caught in a Mosh.” Like any good metal show there was a lot of moshing and crowd surfers. To close out the show Anthrax played part of their collaboration with Public Enemy “Bring the Noise,” before closing with “Indians.” Public Enemy’s Chuck D joined Anthrax for “Bring the Noise” in L.A. at the Hollywood Palladium.

Tour group shot

Tour group shot

Black Label Society Setlist:

1. Funeral Bell

2. Destroy & Conquer

3. Overlord

4. Heart of Darkness

5. A Love Unreal

6. You Made Me Want to Live

7. In This River

8. Trampled Down Below

9. Set You Free- Dedicated to Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul

10. Fire It Up

11. Suicide Messiah

12. Stillborn

Anthrax Setlist:

1. Among the Living

2. Caught in a Mosh

3. Madhouse

4. Metal Thrashing Mad

5. Breathing Lightning

6. Keep It in the Family

7. Antisocial- Trust

8. I Am the Law

9. In the End- dedicated to Ronnie James Dio

10. Only- first time since Oct 24, 2011

11. Bring the Noise- partial

12. Indians