The third band on the bill for Slayer’s final world tour is Anthrax. They are one of my favorite bands to shoot, especially Joey and Frank – they’re so active on stage that I (almost) always get cool shots of them.
Security was tight at this venue, and one thing they did was escort us to/from the photo pit. A little unusual, but I get it – they didn’t want anyone who didn’t have the right passes to get in. So, after we were escorted to the pit, Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” started playing. Being familiar with Anthrax’s shows, I knew that they would come out after the song was over.
As soon as “The Number of the Beast” was over, the lights dropped, and Anthrax came out to a venue that was getting more packed and louder by the minute.
Before the show, I had heard that Charlie was sitting out a few shows due to a medical issue, and Gene Hoglan from Testament would be filling in. However, this being a hometown show for him, Charlie came out and sat upon his throne and played the entire set!
Building on the energy that Behemoth brought to the stage, Anthrax got everyone moving with fan favorite, “Caught in a Mosh”. They slid right into my personal favorite, “Got the Time”, and continued into “I Am the Law”. Plenty of time for us to get great shots…
Remember up above where I said, “almost” where I was referring to getting cool shots of the band? Well…
Joey is known to run up to cameras, get right in front of our lens and tell us that we are #1. The previous two times I’ve shot the band, he didn’t do that to me. This time, he did! I had everything on my camera set right (continuous focus, single focus point, holding down the focus button) and it happened – the one thing that will make a grown photographer cry – autofocus was not paying attention, so every image I snapped while he was running up to me and in my lens was totally not in focus.
Now please excuse me while I shed a tear into my beer…
OK, back to the show!
After our three songs were over, I went back to my seat and watched the rest of the set. Anthrax always puts on one hell of a show, and today was no different. These guys may be in their 50’s, but they’re still running around on stage like teenagers – which is awesome. I love the energy they bring. Joey kept the crowd going and they finished up the set with more fan favorites – “Madhouse”, “Evil Twin”, “Antisocial”, and “Indians”.