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Anthrax, God Forbid, Sworn Enemy, Manntis - January 7th, 2006 - New York, NY @ Nokia Theater Times Square

By: Scott Olivenbaum

There is nothing like a hometown show to reassure a band that what they are doing is right. The Anthrax reunion gig on January 7th proved this to a ‘t’. From New York hardcore’s Sworn Enemy showcasing new tracks to God Forbid showing that they are in peak road form to the thrashmasters themselves, Anthrax, playing with their original lineup, this concert boosted the energy of the bands while electrifying the audience.

Playing in one of their first performances together since 1992, Joey Belladonna, Frankie Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian and Danny Spitz took the stage together and played a wonderful set of oldies, justifying VH1 Classic’s sponsorship of the show. Scott Ian even pointed out that several of the songs were older than some of the girls hanging over the barricade.

The crowd was diverse; next to the jailbait were older leather-clad groupies and old school fans with authentic Anthrax tour shirts from the 80s. A 40-ish mulleted drunk even made an attempt to climb up to stage dive but he was a bit slower than the bouncer 20 years his junior who tackled him before he could get up.

Regardless of age, the fans were partying like it was 1989. Anthrax played their old hits and showed almost no rust. The band was having a good time playing together again and it showed. Renditions of ‘Caught In A Mosh’, ‘Antisocial’, ‘Indians’ and ‘N.F.L.’ were pretty spot-on and the worshipping crowd ignored the few slip-ups.

God Forbid set them up with a flawless set. The New Jersey natives were in peak form, still supporting their IV: Constitution Of Treason album. The dual guitars of the Coyle brothers welcomed the old school metalheads back into the fold who may have been ignoring metal since the 80s. The older fans had to watch their heads as legions of kids took to crowd surfing their way through the powerful set.

Sworn Enemy teed up God Forbid with a brutal set of hardcore that featured plenty of metal influences. It was not like the run-of-the-mill metalcore that has flooded labels of late; Sworn Enemy used metal guitars within the structure and viciousness of classic NYHC songs. Their set included a few tracks from the band’s new release The Beginning Of The End that one of the guitarists pointed out went over as well as, if not better than the band’s older songs.

Manntis, they of Battle For Ozzfest fame, had the rough job of being the opening band and acquitted themselves well. They were tight and had a good presence that could eventually take the reality-TV shadow off of them. [END]

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