APRIL 26th 2017

Review by Ruben Mosqueda
Photos by Mike Lewis



Anthrax performed to a sold-out crowd at Portland's Roseland Theater on April 26th, 2017.  Anthrax is currently in the midst of a co-headlining tour with ‘melodic metal-core’ act Killswitch Engage. The double bill proved to be an excellent fit; add Code Orange and The Devil Wears Prada as direct support and you have a heavy, eclectic, energetic show.

Dubbed ‘Killthrax’ this tour it had Anthrax and Killswitch Engage alternating closing the show throughout the scheduled dates. Anthrax closed the sold-out show in Portland having ‘outgrown’ the Hawthorne Theater since last fall’s sold-out performance.

Frontman Jesse Leach has been back in Killswitch [Engage] for a few years; Leach has taken his rightful place as vocalist; which was held by Howard Jones from ‘02-’12. Killswitch doesn’t have new material out at this point in time; they are currently touring behind their 2015 effort ‘Incarnate.’ Leach and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz are ‘modern day showmen’ who know just how to work up the crowd. The audience ranged from old-school metalheads to the ‘core kids’ to heshers;  Killswitch went over with them all relatively well. Killswitch played ‘hits’ including; “My Last Serenade,” “End of Heartache,” and “In Due Time;” amongst fan favorites and deep cuts helped casual and new fans ‘warm-up’ to Killswitch. Their 17 song set came to a close with their cover of the Ronnie James Dio classic “Holy Diver” which the band covered in 2007. Former singer Howard Jones had a wider vocal range than Leach; the band brought out Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna to ‘help’ with vocal duties. The end result was somewhat mixed; partly because Leach has a limited vocal reach, the other because Killswitch played a tad too long.  60 minutes and or dozen tunes would have sufficed.

Anthrax have been chugging away like a well-oiled machine since reuniting with Joey Belladona [again] in 2010; resulting in the recording of ‘Worship Music’ and opening the ‘Big 4’ shows in North America and abroad. Fast forward to the fall of 2016 the band releases the following up ‘For All Kings’ and in true Anthrax form they hit the road which is where they remain. To refer to Anthrax as ‘road dogs’ wouldn’t be stretching the truth. While grinding things out year in year out would wear down the average band; Anthrax seems to thrive on it, even in the later years of their career.

Anthrax hit the stage shortly after 10 PM to a sweaty, enthusiastic capacity crowd. Anthrax opened with the classic “Among the Living;” which launched the spent crowd into a frenzy. Singer Joey Belladonna is slim, trim and in top shape. Belladonna still has his long black hair and most importantly he can still hit those high register notes. Guitarist Scott Ian does what he’s always done; he stomped around the stage perfectly complementing bassist Frank Bello’s animated and charismatic performance. Holding things together was Charlie Benante who IS the most underrated drummer in thrash metal. The latest addition to the band is Jonathan Donais [formerly of Shadows Fall] who has already been in the band for about 4 years now. Donais plays the classic stuff true to form; though it’s been 4 years he looks somewhat uncomfortable on stage at times with the energetic ‘classic’ line-up.   

Anthrax managed to squeeze in “Blood Eagle Wings,” “Evil Twin” and “Breathing Lightning” from ‘For All Kings’ and “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t” from ‘Worship Music.’ The set was balanced with the aforementioned new material and classics such as; “Caught in a Mosh,” “Madhouse,” “I Am The Law,” “Efilnikufesin [N.F.L.],” “March of The S.O.D.,”  “Antisocial,” and the encore “Indians.” Anthrax performed a 12 song set and absolutely decimated; not too much, not too little, but just potent enough. Well done Anthrax.