Anthrax: Still Among The Living

There is a no stage diving rule at the Key Club, but that didn't matter to group of over 600 fans in attendance on Sunday, May 22. To mark the 20th anniversary of legendary New York thrash metal band Anthrax's seminal album, "Among the Living," the original lineup of Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Dan Spitz have reunited. This is the first time this line-up shared the stage in over 13 years.
The lines outside the Key Club stretched down for at least five blocks as fans knew this would be a show not to miss. It was a show that sold out beyond capacity, with fans old and young, representing more than three generations of heavy music.
"It's one of those things, where we're all very happy with what we've been doing so far. I'm honored that I'm getting another shot. It's great to be back on stage playing these songs," said lead singer Joey Belladonna.
Before the band took the stage, the crowd waited in anticipation. Two big screen monitors showed the VH1 series "Behind the Music" featuring none other than the band of the night, Anthrax.
As the episode came to an end, rabid fans began chanting, "ANTHRAX ANTHRAX ANTHRAX!!," until the band finally appeared. Playing for nearly two hours, including a 15-minute encore, the band had the crowd literally eating out of the palm of their hands. No guitarist moves like Scot Ian on stage, his instrument possessing his soul, making it look like more than just music, but an extension of his soul.
Lead singer Joey Belladonna took small breaks in between songs, to thank the crowd, and sow his love and support for the fans, and his band mates. "It's been a long f****n time, but we're back!" exclaimed Belladonna.
The band played songs spanning from their two-decade career, and over 10 studio albums. Highlights of the night included the classic songs, "Medusa," "Nightrider," "Madhouse,"and the crowd favorite, "Indians."
Anthrax have sold more than 10 million records worldwide, been nominated for three Grammy Awards, crossed the globe on more than 50 tours spanning 32 countries on five continents, released 10 studio albums.
It was amazing to finally see a show in L.A. where fans in the pit got into the music. From the beginning of the first note to the end of the encore, the circle pit never died down once.
For a band like Anthrax, the intensity level of the live show is unreal. There are few bands that can even come close. This is a band that has influenced everyone from Slipknot and System of a Down, to Foo Fighters, and everyone in between.
"The cover of "Fistful of Metal" says it all. I bought that album when it came out in 84, without hearing even so much as a note. They haven't disappointed me since," said Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters in a press release announcing the band's reunion shows several months ago.
Aside from their contributions to the history of heavy metal, Anthrax don't quite get the credit and respect they deserve.
Their ground breaking 1991 collaboration with rap group Public Enemy on the song "Bring The Noise" toppled social barriers between styles that few thought would ever co-exist.
By the end of the decade Anthrax should have been credited with breaking ground on a whole new genre in the world of heavy metal and hip hop. Bands like Korn, Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park owe thier musical style to Anthrax.