June 10, 2015 Volbeat & Anthrax close out tour in epic fashion NYC 6-2-15 w/ Crobot
It was not too long ago when Thrash Metal pioneers Anthrax, and Heavy Rockabillies Volbeat shared a mainstage together at Knotfest last Fall in October, 2014 at The San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA. Shortly after, it was announced that the aforementioned bands would join forces once more for a scheduled twenty-three date North American tour in the Spring of 2015. Considering the ties between the two bands, having Rob Caggiano depart from Anthrax in 2013 and join Volbeat shortly after, this was a tour of anticipation and curiosity among fans. Kicking off the tour on April 24th, the final night would fittingly be hosted by New York City as the bands came to the historic Hammerstein Ballroom Tuesday June 2nd for a sold out show. It was brisk, gloomy, and rainy, but that did not stop diehard fans from hustling down the Midtown sidewalks with a fistful of Metal.
Beginning the evening was Groove Rockers from Pottsville, PA, Crobot. Formed in 2011 by Brandon Yeagley (lead vocals/harmonica) and Chris Bishop (guitar/vocal), joining them shortly after in late 2012 were brothers, Jake (bass) and Paul Figueroa (drums). It was their Soundgarden-esque vibe and unique Post-Grunge instrumentals that led them to sign with Wind-Up Records in 2013 after hard work touring and building their name. Known for being on the road and giving it their all, playing alongside bands such as The Sword, Clutch, and Chevelle, they are rising to the top on their own Groove Rock ladder. Supporting their 2014 debut studio album, Something Supernatural, it was time for them to warm up the amplifiers with some good ole’ Rock-n-Roll.
The house was already filling up from the get-go as they opened the night with “The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer.” Killing it with their notable stage presence, they engrossed all with “Skull of Geronimo” and “Night of the Sacrifice.” Yeagley took a moment of appreciation and thanked the early-bird crowd and continued to jam into the next track of “La Mano de Lucifer.” Their ’90s Post Grunge style married with classic ’70s Rock flare ripped into gear during their notable track of “Nowhere to Hide,” followed by the energetic “Necromancer,” where Yeagley rocked out the harmonica. Yeagley decided to play a new song after expressing how much he loved playing in New York City with “Welcome to Fat City,” which ended in an exquisite guitar solo by Bishop. Closing their set with “Chupacabra” and “Fly on the Wall” proved that they were there to give it their all. Deserving a headlining spot on the bill, Crobot will be back in New York again on July 15th, 2015 at Webster Hall, so do not miss them.
Next up to bring in the noise was New York City Thrash Metal pioneers Anthrax. Known to be one of the Big Four; which also includes Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica, the band was formed in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian. Quickly becoming one of the biggest Thrash Metal acts on the East Coast, their 1984 debut studio album, Fistful of Metal, broke them into the limelight around the world. Sustaining an ever-changing lineup over the years, aside from Ian who has been there from the very beginning, the band currently consists of longest running member Charlie Benante (drums), the return of Frank Bello (bass) since 2005, Joey Belladonna (vocals) joined back again in 2010, and newest member Jonathan Donais on guitar who came on board in 2013. Currently working on a new album to follow-up from their tenth studio album, Worship Music (2011), Anthrax was there to infect the packed house with their thrashing mastery.
As the intro of “Worship” filled the air, the band took the stage as fans screamed in delight. Opening with their classic and favorable track, “Caught in a Mosh,” from the 1987 album Among the Living, rung out the energy in Belladonna who ran across the stage and interacted with the crowd. The thrill continued with the Joe Jackson cover of “Got The Time” from their fifth studio album released back in 1990, Persistence of Time. Ian’s rhythm remained on point as he electrified the room while newest member Donais showed his capabilities, owning his axe in the classic “Madhouse” from 1985’s Spreading the Disease. Belladonna honed the mic with his exemplary scream, bringing the entire crowd to raise their fist and sing along with the infamous “I Am the Law.” The stamina magnified during their latest “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t,” which Bello and Donais had a headbang duel as they conquered the bass and axe. Next up was a song that is known as “Soror Irrumator” from the Catch of Thrones Vol.2 part of the Metal Masters pack, in celebration of the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones, however, Belladonna introduced it as a new track for their upcoming album entitled “Sister F&*%er.” Benante’s harsh thuds vibrated throughout the room, rendering all mesmerized.
After a short break during “Hymn 1” from 2011’s Worship Music, Anthrax shifted in a tribute of the Gods fashion with “In The End.” The Anthrax side curtains dropped, revealing large images of two legends, the late Ronnie James Dio was displayed on the left side of the house while the late Dimebag Darrell was showcased on the right. It was a remarkable and heartbreaking moment for all to see in a song that was written for these unfortunate losses. Following next, Belladonna lightened up the room, leading with the Trust cover of “Antisocial” and the audience cheered in Metal harmony. Closing their set with classic track “Indians” saw Ian grab the mic to demand all of his New Yorkers to mosh, headbang, and even welcomed their newcomer fans to the fun. Concluding with the heavy portion of the song for a “War Dance,” where there was crowd-surfing, adding to the climax of an amazing performance. As they wrapped up, Ian announced that they will be finishing their new album soon and leaving with, “We will be back next year!” Anthrax will be touring with Slayer and Kvelertak in Europe this Fall, hopefully they will be back soon. In the meantime, fans can check out their Chile in Hell live concert experience DVD/Blu-ray out now.
Known for their flawless lighting, energized performances, and fan-friend attitude, it was time for Volbeat to hit the stage. From Copenhagen, Denmark, this batch of Rockabillies were formed by founder Michael Poulsen (vocals/guitar) in 2001. The lineup has been consistent with Jon Larsen on drums and Anders Kjølholm on bass, however, the newest member, as mentioned, Caggiano joined up for the recording of their 2013 album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies. Unwilling to comprise musical influences to fit a mold of a typical Metal band, Volbeat proved it can be done, and be successful. So for those who have yet to truly understand this talented band, add Metallica with Johnny Cash, Social Distortion along with Elvis Presley, and that can give a clear image of Volbeat. Flourished immensely over the years, they have reached platinum status in The States and gold in countries such as Sweden, releasing five solid albums to date. Now the band made a much welcomed return to New York where they have graciously visited countless times in recent years.
It was their mysterious curtain that slowly rolled up as fans awaited in anticipation for Volbeat. Pristine musicianship and captivating energy erupted with the opening track of “Hallelujah Goat” from the 2008 album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood. Flowing into the rhythmic groove, they continued with their hits such as “A New Day” from Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, and the energetic, crowd-pleaser “Dead but Rising.” All members providing energy and passion equally, Caggiano wailed his axe during his frisky solo in “Lola Montez” and Poulsen’s spirited vocals emanated across the room during “Danny & Lucy (11 pm)” from their 2005 debut The Strength/The Sound/The Songs. It was obvious Volbeat was not holding back on the final performance of the tour and giving it their all, much to the delight of fans who sang along with each word of each tune.
Switching gears, Poulsen reminded all of one of his biggest influences in Rock-n-Roll, Johnny Cash, as they performed an excerpt of “Ring of Fire.” Listening to his fans singing along with him, Poulsen joked by expressing that they all sounded like Lemmy from Motörhead. After the fans caught their breath from laughter, Poulsen continued with “Sad Man’s Tongue” and admitted that he borrowed it from Johnny Cash. Moving right into the amplified sound of “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood,” the crowd sparked once again with Volbeat’s vibrating energy. To the surprise of all, making a trip in from New Jersey, was Jerry Only from the Horror Punk legendary The Misfits joining the band on stage as they jammed through “Angelfuck.” Thereafter, Poulsen continued to wow Hammerstein Ballroom while he crowd surfed into the audience to hand a seven-year-old child a T-shirt during “The Garden’s Tale,” where shortly after, Poulsen jokingly stated to the kid’s father that he owes him ten bucks. Continuing to flow through the music effortlessly, headbanging cuts “Heaven Nor Hell” and “Warrior’s Call” erupted before “Doc Holiday,” where Caggiano moved in with another vigorous guitar solo.
The room went quiet when Poulsen looked into the sea of people, expressing how much he wanted to see everyone in the room crowd-surf and then went right into “The Mirror and the Ripper.” One fan took his statement to heart and climbed up the balcony to jump into the crowd for his Metal surfing capabilities. Slowing down, ever so slightly, “The Hangman’s Body Count” evaporated into a guitar duel between Poulsen and Caggiano. Before leaving the stage, Poulsen made dreams come true, asking all of the children who were in the audience to walk onto the stage during “16 Dollars.” During this performance, Kjølholm and Caggiano were playing directly in front of them as they all head-banged along. Halfway through, in a playful manner, Poulsen halted it in order to give a kid a Rocker haircut on stage. A magical moment for the youth of Rock, everyone, including the kids who were reluctant to leave their spot, walked off of the stage.
Fans immediately cried out, “Volbeat!” along with “one more song!” and shortly after, their wish was granted as Volbeat returned. Joined by special guests from Anthrax, Ian and Benante, to perform “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza” it was a scene filled with friends as Ian and Caggiano played back to back. The encore progressed with “The Lonesome Rider” where Larsen took his sticks and conquered. Poulsen grabbed the microphone and told the crowd they were going to hear something new, and he would play half of it that night and the rest of it the following year when they return to the states. This title is unknown and everyone will find out the full song after the release of their sixth studio album, release date still to be determined. Finally concluding with “Still Counting,” fans cheered louder than ever, showing how much they appreciated the journey of Rock fun.
Concluding the tour in New York was a remarkable experience for die-hard Volbeat and veteran Anthrax fans. This sold out show enlightened all how talented and spirited Volbeat is live. Playing alongside a historic band such as Anthrax, where there material has remained strong throughout their thirty plus career, it was a show well-worth the money spent for all.