Thrash Legends Anthrax Turn the Fillmore Charlotte Into a “Madhouse”
The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC – 31 January 2018
I couldn’t have hoped for a better way to kick off my 2018 concert coverage than with the KILLTHRAX tour. This was my first show of the year, the last one I covered was Cannibal Corpse back in December of 2017 but also it was a big moment for me, this marked my first time ever seeing both of the headlining acts take the stage. Growing up in a family that was completely against metal and being the completely antisocial person that I am, I never really attended metal shows until late 2014. I know…I missed a lot. So, when this show was announced, and it was in my backyard, I NEEDED to be there even if I had to buy a ticket and leave my camera at home.
The nearly sold-out crowd packed the Fillmore in Charlotte, N.C. for a night of nothing but high-energy hits from both Killswitch Engage and Anthrax. I arrived shortly after the opening act for the night left the stage and the setup for Killswitch had begun. I had just enough time to get into the photo pit, talk with the security guys and get my camera ready for the band to hit the stage. As the lights dimmed and the crowd went insane, the band walked out onto the stage, opening their very stacked setlist with “Rose of Sharyn”. This band has awesome stage energy that radiates into every corner of a venue, from their fun/ joking interactions with each other to their interactions with the audience, it’s in no way a shocker how this band has had the long career that they have. Spending about 90 minutes on stage, Killswitch gave their fans everything they could hope for before ending their show with the classic cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver”. During the performance of this song, members of Killswitch were joined by Anthrax frontman Joey Belladonna, giving the crowd a little something more special. Hearing Belladonna sing Dio was just an awesome experience.
After a short teardown and setup for the massive stage set up and lighting rig for the headliner of the night, it was finally time for Anthrax to take the stage. The band rushed out on the stage with incomparable energy delivering their opening track for their set, “Among the Living”. Anthrax really has their stage set up down to a science especially when it comes to their lighting set up, which is probably one of the best that I have seen to date, but when you have been in the industry as long as they have, you would expect it. These guys run around the stage like bands in their 20s, giving their fans the best possible show and with the strong hit-filled setlist behind them, they deliver on everything you could want from a show.
With the KILLTHRAX tour running through the beginning of March you have plenty of opportunities to make sure you attend this kickass show. The tour is scheduled to hit every major city in the US before it ends in Portland, Maine. No international tour dates have been announced thus far. You might want to seize your opportunity to check out one of the members of the Big 4 because with the announcement of the final tour for Slayer, only time will tell how many more tours Anthrax will have.
All photos © James Geiser