Metal Icons, Anthrax, and Lamb of God, Dominate Kansas City

Still in the beginning months of the New Year, a metal packed show graced the stage of The Midland Theater in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. This is a year of “firsts” for me so I am proud to say both Anthrax and Lamb of God are now crossed off that list. Along with those two came the opening acts of Power Trip and Deafheaven (both firsts for me too).

The evening started out with a thrash meets 80’s grunge vibe band named Power Trip. When they took the stage, I was curious of all the positives I had heard over the previous few days about this band. A five piece from Dallas, Texas commanded a presence that few opening bands on a four band bill do. Playing a 7 song set including one in which vocalist, Riley Gale, expressed the crowd should yell back at him like a High School pep rally, named “Crossbreaker”, really engaged the audience and set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Next up: Deafheaven, a five piece hailing from San Francisco, California. After doing a few crowd scans midway through the set, I could tell this was not everyone’s cup of tea. Considering the other bands on the bill play a very well-known genre of Thrash/Heavy metal, Deafheaven brought the black in. The mixture of Black Metal paired with beautiful melodic atmospheric tones really grabbed the attention of the musically open minded in the crowd. Their set was very dark and mysterious yet oddly engaging. I can say, hands down, they made a new fan in me! Anyone interested in venturing into this side of metal should start with their song “Dream House” and go from there. In advance, you’re welcome.

Nearly 35 years of trashy goodness brought the next highly anticipated band to the stage of The Midland Theater. Anthrax being one of the “Big Four” and calling New York City its place of origin executed a high energy performance full of childhood nostalgia. Guitarist Scott Ian and vocalist Joey Belladonna offered one of the most crowd engaging performances I have ever witnessed and one that only a well-oiled machine such as Anthrax could nail. They performed an 8 song set, including some of their most famous songs “Caught in a Mosh” and “Indians”, as well as an emotional tribute to the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. Their performance engrossed the crowd and that energy carried over for the headliners of the evening, Lamb of God.

If hardcore punk and thrash metal had a baby, it would be Lamb of God. Originating from Richmond, Virginia and with over 20 years of music making under their belt, Lamb of God was a surefire crowd pleaser. Playing a 12 song headlining set accompanied by three encore songs, vocalist Randy Blythe and the boys completely slayed in Kansas City. Amongst their A+ set were songs such as “Walk with Me in Hell”, “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”, “Redneck”, and sung primarily by a wild metal infested crowed, “Laid to Rest” (some may remember from the video game Guitar Hero II). Set corresponding video screens, perfect lighting, smoke, killer sound, mosh pits, and crowd surfing made this a performance to remember. The energy and selfless gratitude this band brings to the stage, for its fans, is unmatched. I will eagerly await Lamb of God’s return to the Midwest.


Riley Gale – Vocals
Chris Whetzel – Bass
Blake Ibanez – Guitar (lead)
Nick Stewart – Guitar (rhythm)
Chris Ulsh – Drums


George Clarke – Vocals
Kerry McCory – Guitar
Shiv Mehra – Guitar
Stephen Clark – Bass
Daniel Tracy – Drums


Joey Belladonna – Vocal
Scott Ian – Guitar (rhythm)
Frank Bello – Bass
Charlie Benante – Drums
Jon Donais – Guitar (lead)

Lamb of God

Randy Blythe – Vocals
Mark Morton – Guitar
Will Adler – Guitar
John Campbell – Bass
Chris Adler – Drums

Photos by Josh Chaikin
Words by Racheal Johnson

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