I waited a long five years for Anthrax to release a new studio album, and "We've Come for You All
" was worth the wait! My husband and I bought a copy as soon as it hit the shelves, and we thrashed, thoroughly satisfied, all the way home. We particularly like their hit "Safe Home
". It combines their playful metal sound with moving lyrics sung soulfully by John Bush. It reminds me of "Inside Out
" their hit from their last studio album "The Threat is Real". Safe Home was voted number one by Chicago's 94.7 The Zone's
"The Zone Top 20" by listeners. The Zone has taken Rock 103.5's place as being Chicago's best metal station.
The press have welcomed the arrival W.C.F.Y.A. to the heavy metal arena. "Anthrax have come back in a big way..." states Circus Magazine. Revolver Magazine calls it "...a furiously dynamic and infectious slab of thrash/hard rock...one killer comeback." Drum! Magazine tells us of W.C.F.Y.A. "you want metal the way it was meant to be played? You got it." Anthrax added a new band member to the mix this time with the slick guitar work of Lead Guitarist Rob Caggiano. Rob's arrival raises Anthrax back to a five-man band, as reflected in their new logo, a pentagram with one of its points morphed into an "A". W.C.F.Y.A. also features guest performances by The Who's Roger Daltrey, Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, and E Town Concrete's Anthony Martini.
When we got home my husband noticed that the W.C.F.Y.A CD included a photo album and a video clip, so we popped it into the computer. The photo album is kick-ass, but the video clip was coolest to us, because we happened to be in the audience of the show that they taped! We hadn't anticipated that. It is a small portion of their 1998 outdoor performance at Rock 103.5's Rockstock in Chicago, when they were promoting "The Threat is Real". Seeing the 8-balls on Charlie's drums and the huge Rockstock ape graphic on the backdrop brought back great memories of my husband, our headbanging buddy and I getting crazy in the crowd. So when we heard Anthrax was coming to Chicago we knew the three of us had to be there. Who knows, maybe they would film us for the NEXT album!
Anthrax Films Chicago Performance
Anthrax performed at the Metro in downtown Chicago on Friday, December 5, 2003. I, my husband and our friend attended together as we did at Rockstock. The Metro is a small venue with great acoustics, a coat check, and cocktail waitresses that bring drinks right down into the thrashing crowd. We secured a viewing area as close to the stage as we could and started looking around for cameras, and sure enough they were there. Maybe this would become a clip on their next album!
Freak, headbanging DJ of 94.7 The Zone, introduced the band. The audience threw fists in the air and chanted "Anthrax, Anthrax, Anthrax" for several minutes. Then the theme from the Blues Brothers started blaring through the speakers, surprising the fans. I figured it was to honor as well as poke fun at us Chicagoans, though I've since heard Anthrax played it at a Long Island show, too. Silence returned, followed again by upraised fists and more chanting. Talk about suspense!
I'm sure Anthrax expected an enthusiastic crowd that night, as they know how many loyal fans they have in Chicago. But they were still visibly surprised by the deafening applause that met them as they climbed onstage. Feeding on the crowd's excitement, the boys began an energetic rendition of a Slayer song, pleasing the fans of the "Big Four" - Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica and Megadeath. They included many old mosh pit favorites in their line-up like "Caught in the Mosh", "Tickin' in my Head", "Antisocial" and "Indians", as well as a sampling from their rap phase with "I'm the Man". And of course they performed the passionate hits from their last two albums - "Inside Out" and "Safe Home". [We've Come for You All]
Anthrax performed with the same youthful, energetic spirit that they are known and loved for. Guitarist/Vocalist Scott Ian was generous in handing out his leaps and mid-air acrobatics - it's hard to believe he just turned 40. Bassist/Vocalist Frank Bello danced all over the stage with his huge smile, coaxing the audience to get crazy. Drummer/Guitarist Charlie Benante was on fire with his fast, tight, speed metal drumming. Vocalist John Bush did a back flip of his own, and encouraged the audience to sing all the well known verses of Anthrax songs. Lead Guitarist Rob Caggiano offered up his masterful lead work with a confident smirk, sassy Mohawk and flying fingers.
Near the end of the show, John took time to express heartfelt thanks to Chicago fans for supporting them over the years and told us how honored they were to have such enthusiastic, loving fans here. Then he announced that they were indeed filming the concert, and that the footage would be included on their next album! Anthrax encored with "Bring the Noise" and honored Metallica fans by playing "Whiplash", the classic tribute to headbanging. On our way out of The Metro, we joined fans filing past a videographer for one last chance to be immortalized displaying our undying love for Anthrax.
Chicago Metro Performance Tops 'Em All
"I would like everyone to know that CHICAGO is THE PLACE. I have never felt such much LOVE at a show. In the history of the band, this show was "THE ONE"...you had to be there to experience it", Charlie Benante tells us of the Metro show in his internet column "Blast Beat" (anthrax.com/nfws.htm). Charlie continues "to those who were there, I would love to thank each and every single one of you. I have never gotten emotional at a performance, but I did at this one...when assholes try and bring me down with their negativity and hatred for my band, I can go back to the place I was on December 5th and it'll take me away from all that shit...you will all get to witness it when we put it out on DVD. I'm so glad we documented this night so you all can see what I mean, it was so METAL."
Mark Morton of Chipster Entertainment writes, "In every band's career they have that one show that stands out from the rest. Whether it be their breakthrough or their crowning glory, there is always one that stands the test of time. Be it Shea Stadium, Budokan, Madison Square Garden or Red Rocks, some performances transcend the realms of the live concert experience. For Anthrax, their show at a sold out Metro in Chicago on Friday, December 5th 2003 will forever stand as the show to define the band's legendary career. And we got it all on tape!"
Morton continues, "one band, eight cameras, and thousands of crazed fans all came together for what will prove to be one of the most lethal live albums and DVDs of all time. Ninety minutes of pure destruction covering the entire career of this influential band. From their raw debut "Fistful of Metal" through their critically acclaimed latest "We've Come For You All" it's all here. Songs like "Metal Thrashing Mad", "Caught In A Mosh", "Be All End All", "Only", and "Safe Home", among others were performed with all the power and passion that ANTHRAX has been known for throughout their 20 year career. Look for this incredible concert to be unleashed on DVD/CD sometime in 2004."
Future Busy for Anthrax
In addition to working on their new DVD/CD, Chipster Entertainment announced that Anthrax is heading to Los Angeles this month to film the video for "What Doesn't Die", the opening track of "We've Come For You All". A management spokesperson promises it to be "the most kick-ass, zombie-filled video of all time." Their video for "Safe Home" is currently being played by all the major networks and features an appearance by longtime Anthrax fan, actor Keanu Reeves.
Anthrax will soon be releasing a live compilation CD, "Metallum Maximus Aeturnus". Fans can still vote online at www.anthrax.com for which songs they would like to be put on the album. Anthrax will re-record their classic songs from 1984 to 1990 live in the studio as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebration.
I look forward to seeing what Anthrax will come up with in the next 20 years. One thing's for sure - they can count on continued support from us loyal fans in Chicago.
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RELATED LINKS: Anthrax Official Web Site Label Site: Sanctuary Records April 20, 2004 - CD/DVD Review - Music of Mass Destruction
December 5, 2003 Review - Anthrax Came For You Chicago
June 28, 2003 - Anthrax Announces Tour
June 6, 2003 - ANTHRAX Films Video for "Safe Home", Features Cameo by Keanu Reeves
May 16, 2003 Review - Motorhead / Anthrax at the House of Blues
March 5, 2003 - ANTHRAX Releases 'WE'VE COME FOR YOU ALL'