Anthrax Celebrates 40th with Black Label Society and Hatebreed

Joey Belladonna performing at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, with Anthrax. Photo by Josh Chaikin

884 days, that’s how long it’s been since we’ve been to The Midland Theater. And we couldn’t pick a better show thank ANTHRAX. On tour celebrating their 40th anniversary, they were ready to rock, and brought a killer lineup along for the ride, with HATEBREED, and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY.

Kicking things off were metalcore rockers from Connecticut, HATEBREED. Coming up on their 20th anniversary, they’re no slouches, and had a strong following already in the audience that night. With fan favorites like Destroy Everything, and I Will Be Heard included on the set, there was much head banging and moshing. Just as it should be. Touring with ANTHRAX ticked three of the “Big Four” bands off their list, having previously toured with MEGADETH, and SLAYER. Just leaving one…let’s make it happen!

Always a fan favorite, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY took to the stage next. Zakk Wylde, and his bands, are no stranger to us here, having covered BLS before, as well as ZAKK SABBATH, and various solo work. The guys hit hard. I still have no idea what the hell Zakk is saying when he sings, but seeing and hearing him play is the experience I want. With a set that lasted nearly 90 minutes, they were headliners in their own right, were the perfect band to help celebrate ANTHRAX‘s anniversary.

Closing out the night were trash metal legends, ANTHRAX. As noted, they were on the road celebrating their 40th Anniversary, and it was a thrill to celebrate with them. Everybody was in top form, and clearly thrilled to be there. Scott Ian’s goatee, noticeably shorter than it has been, was still prominent, and he played hard. Joey Belladonna’s vocals were in top form, and was performing with as much energy as he had decades earlier.

Any of the bands on the tour are well worth seeing on their own, but with all three together, there really isn’t any excuse for any fans of metal not to drop in, and see this tour.

Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin

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