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Anthrax is cooler than you think, they just played at The Arizona State Fair!

For those metalheads that live in Arizona, specifically the city of Phoenix, they were lucky enough to see two Big Four bands at the Arizona State Fair in recent memory while enjoying corn dogs and roller coasters to boot. Three years ago, it was Slayer, and this year said band was Anthrax. Scheduled among other popular and commercial Arizona State Fair concert series acts such as Pitbull, The Flaming Lips, and 38 Special, they were not to be outdone. Anthrax proved that even a heavy metal band can pull in a crowd at a family friendly event such as a state fair.

As soon as “The Number of the Beast” cracked the PA system minutes before the start of the concert, you would have sworn that Iron Maiden had hit the stage. The roar from the crowd was deafening and I looked around to see if Eddie was rumbling through the crowd. But once the Blues Brothers version of Otis Redding’s "I Can't Turn You Loose” followed, everyone knew what was about to happen next. Ripping into a ferocious rendition of “Among the Living,” Joey, Scotty, Frankie, Charlie and former Shadows Fall guitarist, Jonathan Donais, cruised through a greatest hits inspired set-list that locked in the audience for the entire show.

At one point, Joey Belladonna remarked that they didn’t know what to expect when they signed on to play the Arizona State Fair. Well, what they got was a very enthusiastic and adoring crowd that soaked in every note and every beat of every song. I saw some homemade Anthrax banners and plenty of their shirts being worn among the living…err…I mean the crowd. Joey even made sure that those working in the photo pit had fun, borrowing cameras to take photos and rolling live video of those in attendance.

Anthrax concluded their set with an encore of “Indians” finishing with Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell” as an outro which in turn blew the roof off the place. As the amped up crowd left the coliseum and dispersed throughout the fairgrounds to possibly take on the Remix ride and/or wolf down a bacon wrapped turkey leg, I couldn’t help but think if it’s in the realm of possibility that Metallica would perform at the Arizona State Fair someday? Megadeth would probably be more likely and for the record, Dave Mustaine looks like some of the animals at the petting zoo nowadays.

Greekbastard's avatar

Metal isn't just a type of music, it's a lifestyle for Nikos Mixas. In addition to playing guitar for the Phoenix's own Twingiant, he's a contributing writer for PureGrainAudio.com and The Sludgelord. And when he's taking a break from it all and on vacation, you can almost be certain he's banging his head at a metal festival somewhere interesting.

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