Napalm Death, Testament, Anthrax and Lamb of God proved that metal is alive and well. During a night off from the final Slayer world tour, with a crowd that filled 3 levels of the beautiful and historic Eagles Ballroom/The Rave in Milwaukee, WI, we were shocked on so many levels. Not to just see the floor full, but there was no space to move – with one exception – a huge circle pit. It had to be the best we’ve seen in years. In fact, the pit was so brutal that Rockwell was kicked in the head (in the photo pit) and got his legs taken out by a security guard that was knocked to the ground behind him (by flying bodies that were launched across the barrier and to the stage front).
For us, we had seen this tour with Slayer and Behemoth at The Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX back in June, just prior to Slayer hitting Europe. This time around, Behemoth was replaced by Napalm Death, and despite their long and illustrious thrash career, we had never seen Napalm Death perform live. They certainly set the tone for what became one of the top concerts we’ve covered as media, or attended as fans.
Testament was next, and as a fan since the late 80’s and knowing how big their fan base still is, it’s weird to me that they play so early in the evening every night on this tour (with or without Slayer headlining) – until you account for the other bands on the bill. They’re all legendary and relevant. Even though they do play early, fans have packed the house in time to catch their sets at the two shows we’ve seen them on, both in Dallas and Milwaukee.
Anthrax was the reason why we chose to cover this tour stop in Milwaukee. Yes – we’re fans (since the late 80’s). Yes – they’re legendary. Yes – they’re one of the “Big Four”. But the real reason we were in Milwaukee for this particular show was our scheduled interview with Scott Ian, founding member and “The Man” / driving force behind Anthrax. Check out our EXCLUSIVE on camera tour bus interview with Scott now available at Tattoo.com and airing on the ROCKwell Radio Morning Show on The Edge.
Ending the evening with Lamb of God was dreamy (you’re probably thinking Lamb of God and “dreamy” couldn’t be used in the same sentence!). For fans of hard, heavy and fast music, such as ourselves, it was a nearly perfect night. Nearly perfect only because Slayer did not play, but dreamy because the venue, the bands, and the fans coalesced for a beautifully brutal metal night.
To sum up the night – legendary, bone crushing, and what a metal show and metal crowd should be. Props to the Wisconsin fans for proving once again why Wisconsin is among the best places to see a show and play a show. What stuck out to me the most was the generations that this show bridged. Parents and kids in the same venue with their fist in the air and mosh pitting. And who says metal fans don’t surf? You know, we get all the stereotypes such as metal heads only wear black. Not true – I saw someone in red and black. We are not good to each other. Not true – I saw people pick up those that got the snot crushed out of them while moshing. We are not good parents. Again false. I chatted with a 9 year old and she told me it was her first show. Her and dad were spending quality family time rocking out. In short, I suggest you grab tickets when this tour, with or without Slayer, hits a stage near you.
Written by Melissa “Mischievous Mel” and Wes “Rockwell” Anderson