at London Astoria, U.K., June 14, 2004

For the third time since the release of We’ve Come For You All, Anthrax again sold out the London Astoria’s 1600 capacity venue… and this is the fourth time in 18 months the Thrash-legends have visited London after a five-year hiatus following the flop of Volume 8.

This was the first London visit to include the band’s new bass player, Armored Saint’s very own Joey Vera… and correctly speaking, Anthrax in 2004 is as much Armored Saint (AS) as it is Anthrax. John Bush (Anthrax since 1992) is also the singer in Armored Saint and only Scott Ian and Charlie Benante remain from Anthrax’s classical lineup of the 80s. So that’s 2-2 then, mathematically speaking …

John Bush has everything Joey Belladonna didn’t have and never got. He is amazing in working the crowd, and he has a powerful voice as well. In my opinion, he is one of the best front men this genre has to offer today.

The set was put together to include some songs which haven’t been played for a while in the Anthrax-camp. After the usual opening trio of “What Doesn’t Die,” “Got The Time,” and “Caught In A Mosh,” the crowd was due for the delightful surprises such as “Random Acts Of Senseless Violence,” and “Keep It In The Family.”

The set contained nothing but crowd-pleasers, and “Safe Home” and “Any Place But Here” are great efforts from their latest album. In addition, killer versions of “Antisocial,” “NFL” and “Only” are always welcomed.

Anthrax recorded many tracks from the 80s, again with John Bush on vocals, this spring. Instead of giving the London audience the usual Fistful Of Metal classic “Metal Thrashing Mad,” they surprised the crowd in delivering a thunderous “Deathrider” instead.

As the clock moved to 10:15 p.m., it was time to wrap it up for the hardworking New Yorkers. The State Of Euphoria opener “Be All, End All” started off the encores, and they didn’t leave the stage before the crowd got what they wanted via a mighty “Madhouse” and the usual set closer “Bring The Noise.” For certain, yet another great show from this great band, and while we are waiting for something new from them, let’s just enjoy their unbelievable performance from Chicago on Music For Mass Destruction.


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