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Anthrax turn 40 today! Yes, you read it right, one of the craziest metal bands in the world became of age of them legally meeting a requirement to become a president in almost any country in the world!
Unlike for any of the band’s previous anniversaries, Anthrax prepared something special for their loyal fans this time, treating their followers with a series of exclusive mini documentaries and culminating the celebration with a more than 2-hour-long livestream. So let’s take a look at what is going on in that livestream and hopefully answer the question wether you should hurry to watch it if you haven’t yet, since it is available until July 25th, for both those who are die-hard Anthrax fans and those who enjoy their music yet do not follow the band so devotedly. Here you go!
Behind the scenes
The event kicked off with an hour long Behind The Scenes film, taking its viewer on a journey not only through the process of making and shooting the concert video, but also giving a brief history lesson on Anthrax and the New York City rock scene of the 80s. You will definitely enjoy it if you have been following Anthrax’ anniversary documentaries, and I personally see it as a final conclusive episode eventually leading into an online mosh pit. What is also great about it is that you get to see the livestream stage without all the filters and extra production, and it’s always fun to see something like that.
So here is the deal. If you are an occasional thrash metal listener who simply wants to enjoy the music in his living room with a bottle of bear, than you most likely can skip this part and go straight to the show. Yet if you are a devoted Anthrax fan, you’re interested in the roots of thrash metal and a couple of bucks won’t make too much of a difference for you then definitely get it. I personally enjoyed it just as much as the concert itself. And the whole fact that if you’re asking yourself about it, then you already know the answer.
The main event opens with the Time intro, leading into the Worship Music’s Fight ´Em Till You Can’t. From the opening notes it becomes clear that the band is going all in, showing an insane level of passion, energy and vigour from the very start. And, running a bit ahead of myself here, have to say that Anthrax will keep the same level of energy throughout the entire setlist.
Speaking of the setlist, the band predictably prepared a journey through their 40-year-long career on this one, playing songs from 8 out of the 11 albums they’ve released to date. The main focus, has of course been on Anthrax legendary Among the Living, followed by another classic album Spreading the Disease. For the very first time in 24 years years the band has played Protest and Survive paying homage to UK’s Discharge. And of course included Bring the Noise, on which the band was joined by Chuck D on stage.
Instead of intermissions and fake talking to the crowd in between the songs, the band decided to include the many video greetings they’ve received from their colleagues, among whom were the legendary KISS, System of a Down, Lacuna Coil and many many others. I personally thought it was a great idea, since after a year and a half of staying at home all metalheads around the world are simply eager to get back into the clubs and on festivals to enjoy their favourite bands in real life. And talking to them through the screen of a laptop or a TV would only seem fake. And one thing I can absolutely assure you this concert did not feel like was exactly that. Despite it being recorded and happening kilometres away from you, it felt absolutely real, making you want to start a moshpit straight in your leaving room. Except that you couldn’t, cause your wife would have killed you for waking up the kids.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but one thing Gene Simons said about Anthrax is that you don’t want them to open for your band, because they would simply steal the show, and make the crowd go crazy even if those aren’t their fans. And seeing the energy these guys produce after 40 years of being on stage is simply mind-blowing. And despite it being an online event, the band was able to transmit that energy through the screen and into your living room.
If you follow the Metal Pilgrim show you know that I’m very much of a live show guy. I personally believe that rock and roll and heavy metal live in sweaty clubs and on festivals, and not really in a digital world. And after a year and a half of staying at home I still did not learn to appreciate online events as much as I should have most likely. Yet I absolutely loved this one.
Anthrax for me personally is one of those bands that always stay true to themselves, and are devoted to providing the best possible experience to their loyal fans, of whom during the 40 years of their career, they were able to build an entire army. And no, this live stream will not quench your thirst of seeing Anthrax in real life. Quite the opposite: it will actually make you want to see them in real life even more, making you wish that all of this madness is over as soon as possible, and we can all enjoy the real concerts all together. And if you have seen it already I’m very curious to find out what you personally thought of it, whether you agree with me or not. So please make sure to write down in the comment section down below what you personally thought of Anthrax 40th Anniversary Livestream, whether you like the setlist or not, and so on and so forth. And if you haven’t seen it yet, just get over it, go and watch it, and then do exactly the same thing.
So happy 40th Anniversary, Anthrax. And here is to 40 more. Keep rocking!