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A Concert Review

January 28, 2000

House of Blues

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The night didn't start well. Didn't start well at all. I hop in the dude-mobile, get about 5 minutes out, and then remember that I totally forgot to bring some mail that had to get in the box that night. I knew I should get to the House of Blues early so I could get a good spot, but sadly I had to turn around, pick up my mail, get to the mailbox, and then, again, be on my merry way to see Anthrax. My schedule blown a tad, my hope was to find a quick parking spot, preferably on the street so I wouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg in a garage, but traffic slowed me down and, yea, my parking dilemma just got worse and worse as the only spots that opened up were those that I had passed. I knew I was screwed between traffic and no parking, so I just said "Screw it," grabbed the ticket and winded my way up the parking garage, and was just pissed that I forgot my mail in the first place.

So, I'm late and by now the place is packed. Anthrax has a dedicated following, maybe not a huge, dedicated following, but a following nonetheless that was able to sell out the show. In any case they were a following that had gotten there way early, enough for me to have to squeeze in there like a sardine. Pushing my way through the crowd, an "Excuse me" here and an "Excuse me" there, and I finally found a not so sardine-ey spot where my next wish was to be taller. So, I closed my eyes, said aloud "I wish I was taller. I wish I was taller. I wish I was taller," clicked my heals three times, and got my ass kicked for looking like such a dork, you know, clicking my heals and all like that at an Anthrax show. Alright, I didn't really get my ass kicked, but being relegated to the back, I really wish I was taller. But enough of that, Terrance and Phillip's "Uncle Fucker" blasted through the speakers, I found that a great way to open the curtains at an Anthrax show, and John Bush and the boys showed that metal isn't dead, rap-metal began long ago, and that Scott Ian is a hot mother fucker.

Alright, here comes the disclaimer - Up until this show I didn't really know any Anthrax songs. I'm not going to lie on this one, or try to make something up, but I knew of Anthrax but just didn't remember hearing anything from them. But after seeing them live all I could really come up with at the end of the show is "These guys fucking rock!" I'm standing there, bobbing my head with everyone else, and wishing at times that my mom hadn't been so diligent on keeping clean music in my head, that WMMS in Cleveland had played more heavy metal, and that our high school song wasn't by Prince.

The night was mostly a greatest hits night with John Bush handling all of the vocals since Joey Belladonna bailed on the tour (he was supposed to have joined - he even helped with the new CD, but in the end couldn't agree on the some contract aspects of the tour) and this seemed to be fine with the fans. I say this because every song was a sing-a-long. The crowd knew their parts, Bush belted out his parts, and the rest of the boys in the band nearly made my ears bleed (I forgot my earplugs - just another thing which would have made my night miserable had Anthrax not been so kick-ass great).

Songs like "I Am The Law," "Antisocial," and "Inside Out," sounded as fresh as if they could be on radio today, but Anthrax is still playing the "old-man" game - people hear Anthrax and think of the 80's. They don't deny this fact, and John Bush even pays respect to this giving props (how's that for a hip statement, huh?) to the original Anthrax line-up playing rap-metal long before the likes of KORN and Limp Bizkit. They played some old songs like "Metal Thrashing Mad", which Bush pre-empted asking who might have heard it in '84 to which the entire crowd yelled, which I found kinda funny since some of the youngins in the crowd, well, as scary as I hate to say this, well, they wouldn't have been born yet. Wrapped up in the moment, I guess. But in any case, born or not, everyone knew the words, and that is one of the keys to seeing Anthrax live - everyone knows the words.

Seeing Anthrax was one of those shows that renewed my faith in metal. Here was a band, through the good and the band, through band changes and band stability, that could rock the shit out of a crowd, some there from their clean-cut day jobs, some there with hair that any girl would love, some there who weren't alive when Anthrax first hit the music scene, and some there, at least one there, who didn't remember any Anthrax songs, but by the end of their hour and twenty minute set loved the guitar breakdown on, I think the song was called "Caught in the Mosh" and ending with "Bring the Noise."

It was great to hear a sing-a-long night. It was great to hear a band almost make my ears bleed. It was great to be stuck in a crowd like a sardine. And it was great to see Anthrax. Sometimes I forget what metal is like, and sometimes a band reminds me. I'm glad Anthrax reminded me.

And, oh yea, you may wonder about that comment from earlier about Scott Ian. Well, as the folks at the House of Blues were rushing the youngin's out of the venue so, I guess, they wouldn't get in trouble with their liquor license type stuff, I was walking by a group of people. One girl blares to her friend "Scott Ian is a hot mother fucker!" I just wanted Scott to know.


That's it for this one! I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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