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Anthrax Worcester Palladium Friday April 19, 2013

The New England Hardcore and Metal Festival impresses me more each year.  Fifteen years worth of coordinating chaos.  How they do it so well is beyond me.  The line up never fails to impress and on day one the headliners Anthrax brought with them a crowd so mixed it was as fascinating as the show itself.

Anthrax has been around since the early 80s, and it shows.  Older, slower and wiser their legendary status allows them the luxury of turning it on and turning it off.  Setting a proper pace.  New metal and hardcore acts blast through the set and fly out the door.  Anthrax decided to kick your ass in metered doses.  That may have been intentional to protect their own energy levels.  Don't get me wrong, they weren't a gob of old fucks on stage. Not at all, but wise enough to give the people what they want.

I personally was excited to see them for the first time. I was more familiar with Scott Ins beard than any songs but I did check out their previous nights set list from Philidelphia's Theater of  The Living Arts and was intrigued to see they did so many covers.  I was psyched for that possibility.

What the band may have lacked in theatrics (there were none) was outshone by the sheer musicianship they gave to the sweaty crowd.  Without evident error the band rattled out their standard set list that included Caught in the Mosh", "Indians", and  'One World" .  I believe they were doing an album in entirety but as a new listener I honestly couldn't identify.  I could research it of course, but if you're a fan you already know.

What the point is on this one is this band was able to take a indifferent listener (myself) and actually change me to an Anthrax fan.  Not easy to do when I can be so cynical but I admire their diligence and the consistency.  there was none of the proverbial 'dick wagging' you so often see in hard rock. You really dont need an ego box or that sort of bravado when you have been the master of your genre for decades. These guys are simply professional ass kickers and i was completely impressed.  The Palladium stage is rather small which may explain the lack of fanfare so I would be interested to see them in a larger venue.  Unfortunately that's not happening anytime soon.  The band is off to South America and Europe and wont return to the West Coast until September, and by then who knows.

Great start to New England Hardcore and Metal Fest and a great indication that rockers really can age and maintain their cool.

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