Updated: Jul 18
A couple weeks back I was honored to speak with FRANK BELLO of ANTHRAX to talk all things Anthrax leading up to their 40-year live stream event which happened today, July 16.
JOEY BELLADONNA was in top form and from my experiences I have never seen him in anything less than that, but not saying it can't happen. Joey seems to have the same skill such as RONNIE JAMES DIO or GLENN HUGHES as his voice is just as strong as theirs in their maturity. His playfulness to the camera was there and his pleasure from singing is always evident with the smile on his face. JON DONAIS is a perfect fit with his thrash roots and being able to handle the leads from the past, improve upon some, and highlight some from is own era of Anthrax. SCOTT IAN remains one of the most precise rhythm players and Frank is an underrated bass player who also helps with the harmonies. The energy was there and the event also showcased some kind words from those who have been involved and fans of the band over the years including GENE SIMMONS, JASON MOMOA, SAMMY HAGAR, COREY TAYLOR, TOM MORELLO, SHAVO ODADJIAN, and the list would go on and on. Having your peers and friends compliment you on your career is a great feeling. The fans in the chat room were counting down the seconds until the event would eventually start. The sound was on point and felt true and the lighting was a minimal to focus more on the music.
One point, to me, of Anthrax has always been the precision of CHARLIE BENANTE. In my opinion, of The Big Four, he was the best drummer from that original 4 of drummers. His ability to control his sticks, move fluidly throughout the kit, to use his feet beyond the other 3 from that group of legends was always mind blowing to me. His ability to add flourishes on his china, blend simple fills or hit the point in the tempo when it comes to a song with many feel changes like the aforementioned Keep It In The Family, Charlie is one of my top inspirations.
When Frank and I spoke, I was curious how deep in the catalog they would be diving and I must say, they dove pretty deep. We can't forget the fact that some of the catalog from the JOHN BUSH era should have been played (i.e. Room For One More, Only), yet I will still say this was one of the best live streams I have seen in the past 18 months. There was a 22-song list (see below) that contained 3 covers that would appeal to all. I had a mental wish list for some personal favorites that I wanted to hear and they delivered on a couple of those such as A.I.R. and Keep It In The Family.
There is still some time left to view this event at www.anthraxlive.com and also pick up some cool merch should you choose.
For those curious about the set list......here you go
Time (just the intro)
Fight 'Em Til You Can't
Metal Thrashing Mad
Got The Time
I Am The Law
Keep It In The Family
The Devil You Know
Be All, End All
Now It's Dark
In The End
A Skeleton In The Closet
Blood Eagle Wings
Bring The Noise (with CHUCK D.)
Among The Living