Anthrax, Exarsis // Gagarin 205, Athens, Greece // 28.07.13
Sunday night at Gagarin 205 and despite the hotness lots of people came over for one of the most important events of 2013: Anthrax headlining in Athens, Greece for the first time ever! The band that got the mosh pits from punk/hardcore gigs into the Thrash metal crowd repertoire as well as crowd surfing/stage diving and lest we forget the collaborations with legendary rappers Public Enemy on “Bring The Noise” that broke all boundaries between rap and metal. But let’s just take things from the start.
The supporting act was Exarsis, a band established in the underground Thrash scene as an incredible live and studio band (Their latest kick ass album “The Brutal State” is the proof). In comes the “Annihilation…Proceed!” intro and after that…chaos with “Mind Poisoning“! Even though the pit had a small amount of people the band gave 100% of their energy as always keeping up the set with tracks such as “Addicting Life Waste“, “Toxic Terror” (the band’s most well known song due to the awesome videoclip), “Surveillance Society“, “Dying Earth” and “Under Destruction” whipping the crowd into a frenzy (most of them proudly wearing Exarsis t-shirts). They didn’t forget to thank the contributors of the night for making that event possible and ended their set with a great cover on “United Forces” by S.O.D. (off their debut classic “Speak English Or Die“) and left the stage in a round of applause from everybody in the crowd especially the maniacs in the pit.
As we tried to pick up our pieces from Exarsis‘s thundering performance, there was a high level of expectations from a band that bears such as big name as Anthrax. They didn’t fail us at all: in come the classic “Among The Living” making the heads in the crowd look like they were in a pop corn machine and the first mosh pit opening chanting along with Joey Belladona. Next came the anthem of the mosh pit maniacs, it was time for us to be “Caught In A Mosh“, a lethal one that is! The normally packed Gagarin helped the moshers do it their way. And keep like that with “N.F.L.” whose chorus was first sang a cappella by the crowd giving goosebumps to the writer who screamed his lungs out. As for the crowd you know the drill, crazy mosh pits and stage dives even though the security guys tried to stop people from having crowd surfing fun and most times in a brutal way (some landed on their backs or skull, one of the cons of the night).
Anthrax came back to their latest album “Worship Music” with the song “In The End” written in memory of the mighty Ronald James Padovana (a.k.a. Ronnie James Dio) and everybody showed their respect to the man who brought some of the biggest Hard Rock and Heavy metal classics of all time to the people! Back to the first Anthrax album and the blistering opener “Deathrider“! “We ride with death toniiiiiight” that line pretty much sums up the biggest pit of the night including a flare gun in the middle that made the atmosphere even greater although it could be hazardous due to the lack of air condition. The guys from Anthrax couldn’t believe their own eyes and they loved it, but not the same could be said about the bottles thrown on stage as said by Scott Ian himself. Some liked the flare gun some others didn’t, but it was just a detail in this whole Thrash party that kept on with a ass kicking cover of “TNT” by the Hard Rock LEGENDS (in all caps!) AC/DC! Which rocker doesn’t love that riff?
Back to “The Devil You Know” off the “Worship Music” record sang loudly by everyone and the pit kept on and on. Things got out of control with the triplet “Indians” (built to destroy nuff said), “Medusa” (the very essence of Anthrax in one of the writer’s favorites), “Got The Time” (time for some dancing with that bass line) literally destroying the place. Another new song called “Fight Em Till You Can’t” was played and the crowd didn’t stop singing along but surely they asked for older material, and thus the band ended their show with “I Am The Law” (Judge Dredd would be smiling if he was there) “Madhouse” (dedicated to all of us) and the all-time amazing cover of “ANTI-SOCIAL! ANTI-SOCIAL!” ( do we need a further description for this amazing track?). One hell of a Thrash night with Anthrax proving themselves worthy of being one of the greatest Thrash bands ever! We bid them farewell and wish to see them again with the new record (as Scott said they’ll start writing after the tour is over) to destroy the venue! Congratulations to everyone who made that night possible!
Report: John Savvidis