Two days after the Heavy Metal dream concert of my lifetime and I'm still recovering! After nearly 30 years, the Big 4 of thrash metal (Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax) finally come together as one for the first time on U.S. soil! In 1984 when I graduated from high school while listening to all these new unheard of bands if you told me in 2011 I'd see all four bands in front of 50,000+ people I would've said you're on crack! Ha! I saw it and still don't believe it! Die-hard fans from around the world came to witness this historic show. After shooting Anthrax & Megadeth for my work (yes I even got paid to be at this dream show) with Jackson/Fender guitars I enjoyed the rest of the night backstage and out front watching Slayer & Metallica. Here's some highlight notes from each band:
Anthrax: Caught in a Mosh/Got the Time/Madhouse/Among the Living/Antisocial/Indians/Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t/A.I.R./Metal Thrashing Mad/I Am the Law
Hands down the show of the day! The energy, the songs, reunited with singer Joey Belladonna, Anthrax is truly back! New album coming out soon and they played "Fight Em Til You Can't" off of it. I did video of it from like 25ft above on stage. They were like a machine and ending with "I Am the Law" was spine tingling watching 50k fists flying yelling "Iiiiii Ammm The Lawwwww" at the end!
Megadeth: Trust/In My Darkest Hour/Hangar 18/Wake Up Dead/Poison Was the Cure/She Wolf/Sweating Bullets/Head Crusher/A Tout Le Monde/Symphony of Destruction/Peace Sells/Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
My second favorite set of the night. True song masterpieces of guitar skills and rhythms that definitely were the technical players of the night between the 4 bands. My hair stood up on the crowds yelling of "Sweating Bullets" and the last two songs of "Peace Sells" and "Holy Wars" was MIND-BLOWING! What can ya say about Dave Mustaine, just an amazing player and so much better with David Ellefson back in the bass duties! Mustaine debuted his new CRAZY Signature Model Double Neck Dean guitar also! See photos!
Slayer: Word Painted Blood/Hate Worldwide/War Ensemble/Postmortem/Raining Blood/Dead Skin Mask/Silent Scream/America/Circle of Beliefs/Seasons in the Abyss/Snuff/South of Heaven/Angel of Death
Did a nuclear bomb just hit? Slayer took it to another level or more like the crowd did! The crowd turned into a sky-like view of the recent multiple hurricane outbreaks in the Southern South states. Not one big moshing dust pit but several!! Exodus' Gary Holt sat in for Jeff Hanneman on guitar. Jeff contracted a rare flesh-eating disease believed to have been caused by a spider bite on his his right arm in October of 2010. Months in the hospital recovering we didn't expect to see him at the show and then the crowd went bonkers on the set-ending encore of "South of Heaven" & "Angel of Death" when Jeff came out on stage (right long sleeve arm cut off exposing his healing wounds see photo from my fellow concert photography buddy Raymond Ahner) to perform with the band ending the set. I lost count to all the bodies I saw taken to the backstage area for the medics..it was that crazy! My laugh of the night had to be seeing the Mr. Metal Kerry King flying by me with his guitar on a golf-cart to the stage! How metal is that!? HA HA! See photos!
Metallica: Creeping Death/For Whom the Bell Tolls/Fuel/Ride the Lightning/Fade to Black/Cyanide/All Nightmare Long/Sad But True/Welcome Home (Sanitarium)/Orion/One/Master of Puppets/Blackened/Nothing Else Matters/Enter Sandman/Encore: Am I Evil? w/members of Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth/Hit the Lights/Seek and Destroy
Massive 2 1/2hr set that showed who's the boss in Thrash Metal. Song and surprise of the night for me was the 8 1/2min Cliff-Burton bass featuring the rarely played song "Orion." Robert Trujillo does an amazing job but I wish Cliff was still around, as a fan from the beginning I felt the band has never been the same musically since his death in the tragic Sweden bus crash. The encore of Diamond Head's classic Am I Evil? w/members of Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth all on stage at the same time was pretty magical. Metallica rule the world still!
The big question remains, will this be a future tour in the USA? My answer is yes but when is anyone's guess. As Metallica's old 80s moniker stated, this truly was a day of Metal Up Your Ass! HA!