A concert with a line-up including Slayer, Testament and Anthrax can’t be bad by definition — so no words of excitement, just facts.
Napalm Death’s vocalist is wild but unlikely that will make me listen to them. But his stage behaviour is… something.
Testament were super relaxed and played a good set that included universally loved “Over the Wall” and “Into The Pit”. Minus one point for skipping “Disciples of the Watch”. Turned out that Gene Hoglan is again behind the drums for Testament — I had to re-check that because my eyes aren’t sharp and I could’ve easily mistaken him for another guy.
It was a bad idea to include Anthrax as a warming up band. I kind of looked forward to the Testament’s part because I hadn’t seen them live but, frankly, Anthrax stole the show (comparing to their Bay Area colleagues) — my neck started aching after “Madhouse”. They started and finished the set with “Cowboys from Hell” and it was a great thing.
Completely skipped “Lamb of God”. First, I’m not a fan of them. Second — we had to be ready for the main part.
Slayer performed a long set and gave the audience everything we wanted to hear. There were songs from almost all albums and for me it’s hard to find a song I wish they’d played in addition. It was the first concert with fire effects I saw and I can only imagine how hot it was on the stage because even on the more than 10m distance we could feel the heat. But it looked truly demonic sometimes (“Hell Awaits” with fire all over the place — it was brutal). Araya didn’t talk much, just in the end said that they’re going to miss us. We’re going to miss them too (although we’re lucky bustards we saw the original Slayer line-up with Lombardo and alive Hanneman).
This was one of the best concerts I’ve seen in years. The sound in London Music Hall was waaay better than at the Exodus’ show, Anthrax played virtually all their songs I’d want to hear live (except for “I’m The Law” and “N.F.L”, shame on them) — just a couple of pieces from their two latest albums (not their best albums, certainly) and mostly oldie but goodie from “Among The Living”, “Spreading The Disease” and “State Of Euphoria”. I didn’t expect that I’d enjoy the show so much — yeah, Anthrax is probably in my top 10 favorites but A) they are kind of old; B) as I said, they wouldn’t have lost much if all their albums after “Persistence Of Time” didn’t exist. But seems that the atmosphere of a packed concert (the event was sold out) and music I’ve been listening to for many years (and therefore could yell words here and there) improved the experience dramatically.
Random notes: when we just arrived there had already been a huge line in front of LMH. I’d say that 90% of people weren’t wearing anything warmer than a hoodie and we’re really worried that there wouldn’t be a place to hang our jackets. Turned out that LMH did have a coat check but it costed $4, so no wonder many people decided to spend their money on something else instead.
Havok have released 4 albums and 3 of them are pretty good so I’d been looking forward to hear them live — and the band lived up to my expectations. They played without any mistakes and sound was good, I only wish they’d played more songs from their “Time’s Up” record. Their new bassist is a badass, although his appearance stands out a bit (and those illuminated dots on his bass, oh boy…)
I didn’t really get all the euphoria related to Killswitch Engage but apparently these guys are very popular — I’d estimate that half of the crowd came there just to listen to their songs (for me it sounded like they played 2 songs but repeated either 5 or 6 time). Holy Diver was awesome though, especially because Beladonna was singing the last verse.
Beladonna is a great live singer, I really was pleasantly surprised by this fact (and he’s very active on stage despite his age). The stage for the Anthrax’ part of the show was significantly re-done — a huge platform for the drum set with steps from either side, smoke machines, all that stuff.
Thanks to Anthrax who might’ve recorded more cover songs than their own I learned about the band Kansas. Wouldn’t say that they are especially impressive but this song is not bad (although I like the Anthrax’ version better)