Kicking off the night were Texan thrashers Warbeast. I, personally had never heard of them before, but with their old-school thrash sound and ear shattering vocals, you can see why Phil Anselmo chose to give them a chance and signed them up to his label, Housecore records.
Following Warbeast, the mighty Orange Goblin took to the stage and blew the crowd away by opening with Red Tide Rising. I had listened to that song a million times on my headphones, but I never expected it to be so powerful live; the hairs on my arms literally stood up on end due to the pure energy coming from the band.
They played many other favourites like Acid Trial, The Fog and The Filthy and the Few.
Lead singer, Ben Ward, interacted with the crowd throughout the whole set and encouraged everyone to join in and kept giving everyone a ”thumbs-up” after they had joined in with the chorus.
All in all they played an amazing gig, sound a lot heavier live and seem like nice down to earth guys; my husband and I even got a chance to have a photo taken with them.
Then, after a long wait, Phil Anselmo finally emerged on stage and the venue erupted.
At this point I must admit to being a bit star-struck, from watching so many Pantera videoclips to actually seeing that person up close, was a very cool experience.
Down played all the songs that the crowd wanted to hear, so there was a massive moshpit going on, as you can imagine!
Phil Anselmo also encouraged the crowd to join in with the well-known choruses, as Ben Ward did, but this was because he had almost lost his voice cheering for his favourite football team that day and he needed some vocal assistance.
Vocal strain aside, he delivered an energetic and charismatic show, as did the rest of the band; Pepper Keenan who was right in front of me kept throwing his head back and silently screaming, so I take it he was enjoying himself too!
Just before the end of the show, Phil started to dedicate a song to Dimebag Darrell, but got all choked up halfway through; and at that point the whole crowd started chanting ”Dimebag,Dimebag!”
This was a very emotional moment throughout the whole venue, but especially for me and my husband, as he is a huge Dimebag fan and would have loved to have seen Pantera before it all crumbled.
They finished off the concert with the song Bury Me In Smoke and all the members of the other bands came on stage and shared and exchanged instruments to finish off the song; and in typical Anselmo fashion, the last line of the night was: ”And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”
Scott Shelby of Warbeast
Martyn Millard of Orange Goblin
The ever charismatic Phil Anselmo