Anthrax-Megadeth-Slayer, LC Pavilion, 10/10/10

You may recall back on June 22, the world watched with envy while Sofia, Bulgaria was treated to a visit from the Sonisphere Festival, a tour that was generating a huge buzz for featuring the first time ever that the Big Four – Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax & Slayer – shared the same stage. In fact, although the Bulgarian show was technically the fourth to feature all four of the Gods of Thrash, it was being simulcast to over 800 theaters here in the States, and featured the first time all 4 bands played a single SONG together (“Am I Evil” originally by Diamondhead). This particular performance has now been immortalized on Youtube and a DVD release (which immediately went to my Amazon.com wishlist).

Now, a few months later three fourths of that epic line-up are touring the good ole’ US together, sans Metallica who apparently have better things to do than let their American fans see The Big Four live. I could rant here, but won’t.

Anthrax kind of assumed the “opening band” position for this tour, with about half the set time of Slayer & Megadeth. Still, with the reappearance of Joey Belladonna on vocals, there was nothing lacking about the performance. Loved hearing mainstays “Indians”, “Caught in a Mosh”, “Antisocial” and “I am the Law” but also enjoyed “Metal Thrashing Mad” and “A.I.R.” – all played exactly as you remember them. Check out one of my favorite sites – Setlist.fm, for the complete set list with links to each song (in case you forget how it sounds).

Next was the mighty Megadeth, complete with veteran bassist Dave Ellefson back in the fold AND playing the entire “Rust in Peace” album live. NICE! Dave Mustaine and the boys kicked ass through all of Rust in Peace, plus added in some other classics like “Symphony of Destruction”, “Head Crusher” and a world premiere performance of “How The Story Ends”. Entire set is also at Setlist.fm. While Mustaine’s voice sounded a bit ragged, the band was tight & flawlessly blasted through their show. Killer!

Last, Slayer descended on the crowd like Hell itself opening up, playing a relentlessly pummeling set that included the entire ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ album plus my fav’s ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Raining Blood’, ‘South of Heaven’, ‘World Painted Blood’ and the ultimate closing song – ‘Angel of Death’. Full set list is HERE. With a stage show full of smokey lights and inverted crosses, Tom Araya & co. look as ominous as ever (albeit a tad grayer). Their age has taken nothing from their sound, as Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman & Dave Lombardo took no prisoners with a blistering performance.

To be perfectly blunt folks, this was probably one of my Top 5 all-time concert experiences and I HIGHLY recommend you catch this amazing tour if you can. Or buy it on DVD when the inevitable release happens later. Like the iconic date of the show, and as corny as it sounds, the show truly was a ’10’, then a ’10’ & a ’10’. Possibly an 11 on that last one.

If you missed it, check out this Youtube vid (before it gets pulled) showing Slayer from the Baltimore show 4 days before mine. You’ll get the idea!

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