Anthrax, Black Label Society and Hatebreed offered up several hours of complete chaotic destruction from the second Hatebreed came on stage on a sweltering hot day in the Sacramento sun. While I’ve personally seen every one of these bands several times, these are truly bands that you cannot miss live if you have the chance to see them.
Hatebreed is and has always been one of the tightest live hardcore bands I’ve ever seen, and this was no exception as Jamey Jasta ran out on stage with a completely new look (bearded with long hair) but the same voice and energy! Truly one of the great frontmen of the genre and one of those bands that really brings it live every time and much more aggressive live than on album.
Then as the crowd started to fill in with patched up leather vests and jean jackets, they quickly switched the stage over and the almighty BLS members took their respective spots on stage and ripped right into Funeral Bell, which opened up the middle of the crowd and we were away!
From there they ripped into a blistering set that included tons of fan favorites including Overlord, In This River (dedicated to Dimebag and Vinnie Paul), Fire It Up, Stillborn and more. And to fit everything in their allotted time, I don’t recall Zakk even speaking once the entire set and literally ripped through every song quickly including an amazing dueling solo between both guitarists Zakk Wylde and Dario Lorina who compliment each other amazingly well.
The amount of times I’ve seen BLS or Zakk solo I cannot count, along with the different lineups over the last twenty-five years, and I must say that this lineup has felt the most solid and entertaining all around. I love watching John DeServio on bass who always seems to have a smile on his face along with Jeff Fabb on drums smiling ear to ear as well, this lineup truly compliment each other in every way.
After BLS’s killer set (even though I still prefer them headlining because I like to hear older stuff), it was a very short setup between bands and Anthrax popped on with an absolutely insane set from start to finish opening with Among the Living, Caught in a Mosh and Madhouse just to begin with. This certainly got the crowd involved right off the bat with a truly inspired set from most notably frontman Joey Belladonna, and lead guitarist Jon Donais (formerly and kind of currently of Shadows Fall).
The entire band has always been super tight and a blast to watch, and some forty years later nothing has changed with tons of on stage antics from Frank Bello on bass, and Scott Ian always being a bit of a fan favorite and on drums Charlie Benante holds it down ferociously.
As they went through a mostly classic set, we were also treated to a John Bush era track Only that fit very nicely towards the end of the set and helped to remind some in the crowd that yes, they did in fact make killer albums in between Belladonna’s two stints with the band. For me personally it was nice that they acknowledged that era of the band because oddly, it was the Bush era that got me into Anthrax to begin with (go ahead and judge me, it’s judge worthy.)
By the end of the hot evening, the wind had kicked in and helped it be manageable for the crowd that stuck around all the way through the finale of Indians and sent Anthrax off with a bang in the form of a giant circle pit. All In All, a great, energetic show from start to finish!