After immense success with last summer’s North American co-headline tour, Anthrax and Black Label Society decided to come back for a second attack. But this time, they had Exodus in tow. With two of the most iconic Thrash Metal bands of all time and one of the most legendary guitarists, it was a surefire way to come home with whiplash.
Anthrax – Black Label Society – Exodus
Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT – 3 February 2023
Words and Photography: Shannon Wilk
Halfway through their trek across America, these three bands made their stop at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Metalheads claimed their place in the casino, walking around with combat boots, leather jackets, band tees and chains awaiting the opening of the doors.
As the 6 o’clock hour rolled around, the anticipation grew and grew until Exodus took the stage with an iron fist. Their set opened with a newer song, The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves) from their 2021 release Persona Non Grata. Then it was time for every metalhead’s rite of passage, A Lesson In Violence.
Fists were in the air as the mosh pit began to form in the sold-out arena. Onstage the five members of Exodus were giving their blood, sweat and tears while clearly having the time of their life.
Despite only having 45 minutes to show what they’ve got, Exodus packed in four tunes from their legendary Bonded By Blood album, their most notable song, The Toxic Waltz, as well as several more recent releases. Their fast-paced riffage and double bass paired with the vocals of Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza is a recipe for success.
Black Label Society
Just before 8 PM, the curtain fell, and Black Label Society were chugging along into Funeral Bell. The legend himself, Zakk Wylde, owned the stage with hair flying, riffs pounding, and boots stomping. The doom crew took it back to their first album Sonic Brew with The Beginning… At Last.
All the way from 1998 to 2021, these four Destroy & Conquer countless tunes from their entire discography. Bassist John DeServio bangs on his Schecter 5-string bass as guitarist Dario Lorina runs around the stage, keeping the riffage going.
The power really lies with Zakk Wylde, and the enthuiastic crowd hinges on his every move. Behind the kit, Jeff Fabb rocks out with a big grin on his face.
“God bless everybody, cheers,” remarks Wylde as he takes his seat behind the piano and begins the sorrow-filled ballad, In This River. “It’s time to fire it up… INCOMING!” he says, as beach balls fly out into the audience and the band kicks into Fire It Up.
Wylde stands on his piano and begins a behind-the-head shred duel with his guitarist Dario Lorina. Black Label Society closed their set with a power-packed performance of Suicide Messiah and Stillborn.
Back in 2019, Anthrax were playing Mohegan Sun’s few hundred-capacity venue the Wolf Den and a mere four years later they are not only headlining the 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena but selling it out. Talk about immense growth.
After a 10-minute video of celebrities sharing their love for Anthrax, the band took the stage as the crowd roared. The set kicked off with two songs from their most critically acclaimed album, Among The Living. With four out of five members from the band’s rise to fame remaining in the band, more than ever, the group is moving full-speed ahead.
It was hard not to get Caught In A Mosh, with several mosh pits breaking out throughout the arena’s packed GA section. Guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Frank Bello keep the groove jumping around the stage while frontman Joey Belladonna runs around like a madman captivating the audience.
Drummer Charlie Benante plays a mean double bass and guitarist Jon Donais windmill headbangs – Metal Thrashing Mad. The feeling of hearing the entire crowd screaming the choruses to songs like Antisocial and I Am The Law is indescribable – just so connective and magical.
Scott Ian and Frank Bello share vocal duties for Bring The Noise, originally recorded by Public Enemy. Anthrax closed out the set with Indians. After 40 years of madness and mayhem, Anthrax stands stronger and more energetic than ever.
Remaining Tour Dates
2/7 Corbin, KY, Corbin Arena
2/8 St. Louis, MO, The Factory at The District
2/10 San Antonio, TX, Tech Port Center + Arena
2/11 Houston, TX, Bayou Theater
2/13 Omaha, NE, The Admiral Theater
2/14 Oklahoma City, OK, The Criterion
2/15 Albuquerque, NM, Revel Entertainment Center
2/17 Riverside, CA, Riverside Municipal Auditorium
2/18 Oakland, CA, Fox Theater
2/19 The Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA