Slayer decided to “hang it up” and they chose the storied San Diego Sports Arena to kick off their farewell tour but the real reason I was here was to see Anthrax. My fondness for Anthrax started in high school when I was introduced to the Persistence of Time album. That fondness only grew once John Bush took over vocal duties on the Sound of White Noise album. After all this time and all these concerts under my belt Anthrax is a band that somehow managed to escape me.
Anthrax was just in San Diego on February 13th at the House of Blues but by the time I found out about the show tickets were sold out and going for $150 each. I decided to pass because I had already found out they would be coming back as one of the openers on the Slayer tour. Unfortunately when it came time to buy a ticket for this show I once again found out after it was sold out so was still looking at $150 for a ticket on the resale market. I heard there was a miniscule chance of the box office releasing additional tickets just hours before the show, so with nothing to lose I went straight from work down to the Sports Arena. No dice but as per usual there were a few guys milling around the parking lot trying to unload an overpriced ticket. This was right when the concert started at 5 pm and the first guy said he would sell one to me for $70. Not bad but I somehow made up my mind that $40 was what I was willing to pay and was willing to wait it out since Anthrax was not slated to start until 6:55. After another guy offered to sell me one for $120 I decided it was too early for bargains so walked over to nearby Buffalo Wild Wings for some wings and beer.
After scouring Stubhub and Craigslist to no avail I walked back over to the Sports Arena to start the same song and dance all over again. Now a guy was willing to let one go for $60 but I still had a little time. I offered $30 and reasoned with the guy that it could end up being $30 more than he might end up with otherwise. He walked away and came back five minutes later with his tail between his legs and let me have it for $30. I got in with just enough time to grab a beer and grab a spot since this was a General Admission concert.
Although the newest album to the credit of Anthrax was For All Kings they went with a heavy dose of songs from their classic album Among the Living for their shortened set. The backdrop to the stage was a nod to that album as was the shirt on Joey Belladonna’s back so I guess it all made sense. Joey was flying all over the stage still hitting the higher notes, Scott Ian was doing his stomp thing as he was crushing lightning fast guitar riffs and bassist Frank Bello was tripping me out because from a distance he was a dead ringer for Cliff Burton.
I saw two things during this performance that made me appreciate my fellow metalheads even more:
- There was a giant mosh pit in the middle of the floor the entire time but in the middle of said mosh pit there was an island of people that were stationary. Kind of an “island of mosh” where they stood still and everyone kept doing circles around them. There were no problems, as everyone just seemed to respect one another to the highest degree.
- Barely anyone had their phones out. This was not the crowd that wanted to try to make everyone else in the world jealous by posting where they are, this was the crowd that could give a shit about what you think. They were here to watch an awesome band play awesome music.
SETLIST: Caught in a Mosh, Madhouse, I Am the Law, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), Evil Twin, Antisocial, Indians
Oh yeah Slayer was here too…but I did not stick around for that. Don’t get me wrong I love me some Slayer but through a combination of being by myself, completely burned out from the week, the concert taking place on a “school night,” not wanting to sit through Lamb of God to get to Slayer and having seen Slayer many times I just couldn’t do it.