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Goodbye House of Blues… Hello ANTHRAX! If ever there was a fitting farewell to a place that hosted as many Metal Acts throughout its 21 year history that the HOB Sunset did, Anthrax provided it in spades.

The band took a break from putting the finishing touches to the follow-up to their critically acclaimed “Worship Music” album, and did what they could to Rock the Sold-out HOB to its foundations.
The anticipation built, the crowd chanted, and finally the house lights dimmed as the first chords of Sabbath’s, “Mob Rules” belted out over the PA signaling that the Thrash Masters presence was imminent…

This being the 30 year (THIRTY YEAR?!?!) anniversary of “Spreading the Disease”, Anthrax launched straight into “A.I.R”, “Lone Justice” and “Madhouse”, not giving the surging crowd one second to catch their breath. Charlie Benante (Is it even arguable that he’s one of the best Metal drummers on the planet?!) thundered through the early songs; bashing the life out of his kit. I haven’t seen an L.A. crowd show this much energy and excitement since my days as a young lad back at concert halls in Northern Ireland. The crowd was hungry for metal and Anthrax was serving!
Up next, “Caught in a Mosh”…and I was! The floor crowd pulsed back and forth like a wave, bodies and feet flying through the air. I’m not sure if any of the crowd surfing was voluntary or not, but there were smiles… lots of smiles!

If there’s a fountain of youth being passed around metal legends these days, Joey Belladonna has been drinking from it. He sounded amazing! Low notes, high notes, screams…he missed nothing!

After we were tickled with “March of the S.O.D.”, the backdrops over the amps were dropped down to reveal the sorely missed faces of “Dimebag” Darryl and Ronnie James Dio as “Hymn 1” led into the opening bells of “In The End”. Anthrax and their crowd, saluted the memories of these two, gone-too-soon, legends with the crunching guitars and emotional lyrics of this modern classic.

The only time the crowd slowed down at all was for the band’s contribution to the Game of Thrones soundtrack, “Soror Irrumator”. But the lull was brief. Next up we were hit with Monsters… Zombies and Gorgon to be precise… “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” and then a stomping (especially if you’re Scott Ian) version of “Medusa”!

The Joe Jackson cover, “Got The Time” was introduced by Frankie’s bass. Frankie was a man possessed! Stomping around, and pulling every note from that low strung bass. “GTT” led into a frenzied version of “A Skeleton in the Closet”.
That was followed by a treat for all the die-hard fans as the band played “Across the River” from their first album, “Metal Thrashing Mad” for the first time since 1989. For those not in the know, they received no hint as Scott told them, “If you don’t know it, Shazam it”.

Next up “Be All, End All” which was followed by a HOB sized WARDANCE as the main set ended with “Indians”.
The chants of “Anthrax” went up, but only briefly as the band were back in a flash with a five song encore!
First up, “Efilnikufesin (NFL)” which the crowd enjoyed screaming back at Joey. A heavy version of Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” electrified the crowd and was followed by Frankie and Scott trading off vocals on “I’m the Man”.
For those at the front left of the stage, you could see that a special treat was in store as Chuck D was waiting in the wings to offer his HOB farewell by joining the guys on the Public Enemy song “Bring the noise”. And they did! Chuck came out dancing and swinging his mic around like a baseball bat. Homerun!

Unfortunately even nights like this have to come to an end and the opening chords of the TRUST song, “Antisocial” signaled the end of the night..and an end to one of the great venues on the Sunset Strip.

As we started the night with RJD, we also ended with him… as the band bowed to their conquered audience, one last goodbye was offered to the HOB Sunset as, appropriately, “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” led everyone out of the building.
AnthraxThrashed the Sunset Strip!

William Greenberg
Twitter: @SimiWill

Anthrax Setlist House of Blues, West Hollywood, CA, USA 2015