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.
Marilyn Manson was touring for Eat Me, Drink Me that had just been released less than 3 months before this show. I went with Donna, a girl I had been seeing since the beginning of the year with a white contact in one of my eyes leftover from my previous year’s vampire Halloween costume. I remember this show being General Admission (my favorite) because we sat in a seat for Slayer and went down to the floor for Marilyn Manson. Tim Skold had moved from bass to take over lead guitar duties for this tour. It was not the same as seeing Twiggy and John5 but was an upgrade from the last time I had seen Marilyn Manson in L.A.
This was apparently a time period where Marilyn Manson was especially taken with Lewis Carroll. He reportedly began to make a movie called Phantasmagoria: The Visons of Lewis Carroll where he was to play Mr. Carroll around this time but scrapped it due to the emotional drain it was having on his psyche. The Alice In Wonderland influence on the album/show was evident throughout this show, especially when they played “Are You the Rabbit?” (my favorite song on the new album) and brought a giant chair out onstage. Unrelated but this may have also been the first time I saw the “knife microphone.”
SETLIST: If I Was Your Vampire, Disposable Teens, mOBSCENE, Are You the Rabbit?, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)/Lunchbox, Just a Car Crash Away, Heart-Shaped Glasses, Rock Is Dead, The Dope Show, Putting Holes in Happiness, The Fight Song, The Reflecting God, Antichrist Superstar, The Beautiful People
The Tattoo the Earth tour was a tour that featured several bands and prominent tattoo artists. It also took the place of the normal KUFO Rockfest for the year 2000. I was interested in Downset because my friends and I had got into their self-titled album years earlier. Their set was alright. I would’ve been into Sepultura but Max Cavalera had already left the band by this point. Mudvayne was there but not yet on my radar. Coal Chamber was scary to watch simply because the band members look scary. Slayer was Slayer. Even though I’m not a huge Sevendust fan they impressed me because the two guitar players were doing some insane things going back and forth feeding off each other. This was the second time I saw Slipknot but I was still not really a fan of their music. I remember one moment when Corey Taylor wanted everyone to crouch down and jump up right when the song hit it’s peak. That was pretty weird because I have never seen so many people do as they were told at a rock show. The truth is that I really could of gave a shit about the other bands-I was there to see STP again for the first time in 6 years. This show marked STP’s return to Portland for the first time since they had reunited. They had just released their comeback album, No. 4, the previous fall. I attended the show with Joe, Ross, and Lucinda. Joe and Ross had both driven in from out of town to stay with Lucinda and I and had a little quarrel later this night at our house. As far as STP’s performance, it was pretty flawless. Scott Weiland was upset with one of the DJ’s at KUFO because in an interview earlier that day he had been asked questions about his family. One highlight was putting Lucinda on my shoulders so she could see (she’s about 5 foot 2). She was the only one at this point towering over the crowd and therefore Scott Weiland was looking right at her for a good portion of time while he was singing. Another highlight was when they played “Crackerman.” The place just erupted. The final thing I remember was them pumping police siren sounds through the sound system when they left the stage, which was funny because they seemed to be mocking all of Weiland’s recent problems with the police.
Main Stage: Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Primus, Godsmack, System of a Down
Second Stage: Fear Factory, Static-X, Slipknot, Puya, Drain STH, hed (pe), Apartment 26, Flashpoint
This was the first Ozzfest that had come in my proximity. Ozzfest had been going since 1996 and kind of filled the summer void that Lollapalooza had left. I was pretty excited about this show because every band on the main stage was a band I wanted to see even though I had already seen some of the bands before. A girl in one of my classes named Tawni turned me onto System of a Down. I was lucky enough to sit next to her in my math class and we had similar musical musings. My cousin Earl really liked them too and gave me their first album on CD for my 21st birthday. They were the first band on the main stage. Claude strikes again though. Bless his soul but the guy’s just not all there sometimes and this time he didn’t quite comprehend the importance of leaving at a specified time. Long story short we arrived just in time to see the last 3 songs of System of a Down’s set. By we I mean Earl and me only because we ran all the way down to the floor from the moment we arrived inside the Pearly Gates. I believe Ross was also with us? The next band up was Godsmack. They were on it. They played pretty much their whole first album. Primus was next and let me just say that Les Claypool is a badass. This is probably about the time in the show we started shifting from the first stage to the second stage all the way up on the hill. We saw Static X up there, who was on tour for their new album Wisconsin Death Trip! We also saw Slipknot. I wasn’t really into them at the time but did find it quite entertaining to see 9 guys dressed up in fucked up masks rocking their ass off and just flat out going crazy onstage. Back to the mainstage is Slayer. I love their fat ass guitar riffs but at the time just could not get with Tom Araya’s voice. Next up was Deftones. This was the third time I was lucky enough to see them and they were nothing short of amazing. Deftones are a hard act to follow but Rob Zombie somehow managed. It had only been three months since the last time I saw him but I think this performance was much better. Maybe it was just because I knew Korn wasn’t following him this time. The closing band was none other than Black Sabbath! I’m not talking about that shit with Dio, I’m talking about the real Black Sabbath with Ozzy. I was as excited about this as any other band of the day. Never in a million years did I think I would ever get the opportunity to see a band that was huge in the early 1970’s. I really got into Black Sabbath when I was about 16. It started with the album Paranoid and then I bought the whole catalog one album at a time. They did not disappoint me. Ozzy was still as crazy as he was made out to be, Tony Iommi was razor sharp on his riffs, and the rhythm section was holding down the groove. Little did I know that this would not be the last time I would see them.