REVIEW BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
It’s not every day there is a sold-out concert on a Monday. And that was what happened when, on Monday, February 13, Anthrax, Black Label Society, and Exodus rolled into the Admiral Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a memorable night of heavy music.
Bay Area thrash metal band, Exodus, kicked down the door to the Admiral to start things up. These guys, who have been around for over forty years, brought energy into the venue that most acts younger than them couldn’t even fathom. Lead vocalist Steve Souza was screaming bloody murder in the best way. Guitarist Gary Holt was just going up and down the fretboard on the guitars he played. Founding member and drummer Tom Hunting was bashing the drum kit to the extreme. It felt like an old-school thrash metal show from the 80s, all killer, no filler.
Black Label Society, led by lead singer and guitarist Zakk Wylde, was the first part of this co-headliner. The Omaha Chapter of the Black Label Society (the fans of the band) always come out in full force, and this was no exception. The music and lyrics always resonate, and Zakk Wylde continues to be a welcoming presence on-stage. The riffage was electric, and the solos were face-melting inducing. One of the most impressive moments from their set was when Zakk and guitarist Dario Lorina were dual-guitar soloing, but they were playing their respective instrument behind their backs, harmonizing and playing some classical licks. Black Label Society continues to be an act with incredible musicians that makes me still wonder how they keep this up night after night.
Lastly, but definitely not least, New York metal legends, Anthrax was the ending to the co-headline. Before they took the stage, a video was played of people of note talking about the band with figures like Lady Gaga, Keanu Reeves, Robert Trujillo of Metallica, Rob Zombie, and Norman Reedus, amongst others. It was amazing to see so many people whose work I’ve admired that considers Anthrax have impacted their life. Celebrating forty years of playing thrash metal, they kicked into “Among the Living” and the mosh pit erupted. I still can’t believe this band is still playing in top form. When guitarist Scott Ian does his signature 360° running in place while riffing, it is all over. Lead singer Joey Belladonna still hits those high notes. Drummer Charlie Benanate pounds the skins as he did in the early days. I look forward to their upcoming album while they go back to the studio for the year. I couldn’t ask for a better sold-out show.
Black Label Society