Live Concert Review: Volbeat and Anthrax Rock WaMu

Live Concert Review: Volbeat and Anthrax Rock WaMu

On April 29th 2015, Danish metal rockers Volbeat gave an inspired 19 song effort to thousands of  Washingtonian’s that were packed into the WaMu theater in downtown Seattle.  This show was definitely one for the ages as the long time metal icon’s Anthrax were also on the card.  I do have to address the white elephant in the room, I was about 35 minutes late for the show start and missed opening act Crobot. It is my understanding that they were amazing and I can’t wait to catch them this summer.

Photo By Christian Hamilton

So for me, the first group to the stage was the mighty, mighty Anthrax.  Scott Ian and company, despite a plethora of lineup changes over the years,  have been pummeling crowds since the early 1980’s and they are showing no signs of slowing down now.

Anthrax formed in 1981, in New York by Scott Ian and Dan Lilker. The early years saw many lineup changes, including drummer Charlie Benante, who permanently joined the band in 1983. In 1984, Anthrax released their first studio album, Fistful of Metal, on Megaforce Records. Lineup changes continued as Lilker left the band shortly after the album’s release.

This round of changes also saw the addition of Joey Belladonna on vocals and Frank Bello on bass joining Benante, making up the three B’s of Anthrax. While lead guitar has changed often, the rest of the lineup has been relatively stable. Belladonna left for a number of years returning in 2010.

The metal titans, fronted by Joey Belladonna, waisted zero time bursting into a blistering bona fide headbangers ball live on stage immediately firing up the crowd with the hard hitting ‘Caught in a Mosh‘.  Joey Belladonna was running around the stage and interacting with the audience as though he is still in his twenties. Belladonna, who has to be pushing 60 years old, sounded better than ever and seemed to have an infinite supply of energy.

There is a reason why Anthrax has stayed around as long as they have. They know what their fans want and they give it to them each and every time they get on stage. The groups quintessential slayer of the six string, Scott Ian, exploded during ‘Indians‘ with an epic “War Dance” cry that brought the crowd into a frenzied moshing free for all to close out their set. The War Dance, which must have contained somewhere between 50 to 100 people, possibly more, was led by the enigmatic man in the banana suit. Ian wasn’t done there though, once the music stopped he addressed the crowd promising a new record this year and a return to Seattle in 2016.

For those who have never seen the group live you may not understand why they should be considered one of the best thrash metal bands of all time and that is ok. This set was for the rest of us, who are still recovering from the Anthrax induced bangover suffered on the 29th of April.

It took about 30 minutes of work behind the a huge tapestry which covered the stage front  for the sets to be changed over which honestly was a welcomed break from the mayhem. That lull was violently brought to an end as the tapestry was pulled down and the Danish rockers stormed into their incredible setlist with the heavy, guitar driven “Hallelujah Goat“. The Danish heavy-metal outfit fronted by Michael Poulsen bulldozed their way through a profound 20-song set which put an exclamation point on the night.

Photo By Christian Hamilton

The near-capacity crowd let out a mighty consolidated roar as Poulsen and crew drove straight into “A New Day” followed by “Dead but Rising“. The breaks between the songs were few and far in between as Danes took a clear command over the stage.  Speaking of commanding the stage, Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano, formally of Anthrax,  has taken this band to another level since coming on board in 2013. Caggiano played to the crowd throughout the night, always seeming to be front and center putting on full display his ridiculous skills on the six string. Those skills were never more prominent than during the fast paced “Sad Man’s Tongue“.

The thing about Volbeat as a whole is this, to see and hear them perform live you quickly realize that they sound just as good live in concert as they do on their records. Poulsen’s ear-splitting voice combined with Caggiano’s face-melting guitar demand that you bang you head. There is no getting around the Danes musical prowess, there is no escaping their range and ability… There is no denying Volbeat is a badass group of metal maniacs that bring an undeniable powerfulness in their performance each and every time they take to the stage.





Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.

Tags assigned to this article:
AnthraxLive Show ReviewVolbeat

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