Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
On the 9th February Anthrax started their current European tour, ( that included eight UK dates) titled ‘Among the Kings’ and on the 10th they played to a sold-out crowd at the O2 Forum Kentish Town London. They were down to play two sets, one of greatest hits and the other to play their ‘Among the Living’ album (which is now thirty years old..) in full and in track listing order.
Support for the evening was from “The Raven Age”.
The Raven Age: This English melodic metal band was formed in 2009 and I remember seeing their first show at ‘The Underworld’ where Michael Burrough (vocals) kept apologizing to the crowd ‘as it was their first live show’….Well, there was no need to apologize then and certainly not now. This band has just gone from strength to strength in such a short time, with them being the main support act for the mighty Iron Maiden for their ‘Books of Souls’ world tour last year, with them just being signed to BMG and also just having released their first full album ‘Darkness Will Rise”.
They played a set of seven songs, of which, six were taken from the new album. I am not sure many of the audience were familiar with the band or the songs from the new album and whilst, I think, they did enjoy the band’s performance they could not fully join in with the songs. Great vocals from Michael (as always) backed up by the rest of the band and especially with some ‘kick ass’ drumming from Jai Patel they gave a great start to the evening.
Anthrax: American heavyweights Anthrax formed in the 80’s were known for being one of the ‘big four’ thrash metal bands of the day. They have reportedly sold a very impressive 10 million records worldwide, so it really wasn’t too much of a surprise to hear that the event in London was a sold out one….
The current tour is partly in support of their eleventh studio album ‘For All Kings’, which was released last year and also to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of their third album ‘Among the Living’, thus the set was broken into two halves with the first half being a mix of their hits and the second half of them playing the ‘Among the Living’ album.
They started the night off with ‘A.I.R.’ from their second album ‘Spreading the Disease’ and followed this with ‘Madhouse’ also from the same album, they then played a track off of their latest album ( ‘Evil Twin’ ). They also played ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ and finished their first set (of eight songs) with ‘Breathing Lightning’ from the latest album.
Their second set was the album ‘Among the Living’ being played in full and in the correct running order as per the album, and whilst you did know what the next song was to be, this really didn’t matter as you knew that every song on this album is really a classic and I think that this album out of all their albums is the one that sums up Anthrax for me.
The first set I thought was OK, but it wasn’t until the second set where the band seemed to come alive a bit more, with Scott Ian (guitar) running around the stage more and also performing a few jumps, that did seem to be lacking a bit from their first set. I didn’t see any mosh pits but the audience members did seem to really enjoy both sets and responded with fist-raising chanting for every song and with virtually non-stop crowd surfing all night.
They finished the night off with an encore of ‘Antisocial’ from their 1988 album ‘State of Euphoria’ and this rounded off yet another great night of live music.
3: Evil Twin
5: Blood Eagle Wings
6: Fight ‘Em ‘Til you Can’t
7: Be All, End All
8: Breathing Lightning
Set 2: (Among the Living)
9: Among The Living
10: Caught in a Mosh
11: I am The Law
12: Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
13: A Skeleton in the Closet
15: One World
16: A.D.I / Horror of it All
17: Imitation of Life
18: Antisocial (Trust cover)