with Megadeth and Anthrax
Bayfront Park Amphitheater • Miami, FL • October 3, 2010
If Miami’s beautiful riverside Bayfront Park Amphitheater is typically known as a cultural Mecca, then on this cool fall night it was transformed into a _sub_cultural Mecca, as three of the biggest names in thrash metal, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, joined forces to bring a less-than-joyful noise to the South Florida area. And whereas many bands who rose to rock prominence in the 1980s simply embarrass themselves trying to recapture their glory days, some twenty-five years later, time has seemingly stood still for three of the mighty Big Four.
Sponsored by Jägermeister, the triple-bill assault attracted approximately 6,000 diehard, hardcore rock fans (of all ages) and kicked off precisely at 7pm.
David Lee Roth once said, “If you can’t do it in a pair of jeans, under one white stage light, you can’t do it.” Putting this theory to the test, Anthrax took the stage and proceeded to decimate the early bird crowd despite having access to only half the stage and utilizing no special effects – AND they did it in broad daylight! Exuding twice as much energy and animated charisma as most competitors half their age, the (classic) Anthrax line-up of Joey Belladonna, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, and Charlie Benante along with semi-recent recruit, Rob Caggiano, burned through a thirty-five minute set featuring such signature MTV-era fan favorites as “Madhouse,” “Indians,” and “Antisocial.” Simply put, Anthrax looked great, performed great, sounded great, and truly delivered. In fact, the question could have been asked, why did the best band play first?
As any reasonably astute metal aficionado would have expected, Megadeth also performed masterfully. With founder/ frontman/ guitarist Dave Mustaine at the helm, Megadeth recreated, song-for-song, their 1990 platinum-selling classic Rust in Peace record which included such staples as “Hangar 18,” “Holy Wars,” and (of course) “Rust in Peace.” The sixty-minute set also featured such longtime standards as “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells.” Rarely looking up from his guitar, Mustaine maintained his infamous metal stance throughout the show and offered little in-between-song banter other than to inform rabid metal heads, “This one is about taking someone’s head, putting it in a vice and crushing it,” as he introduced “Headcrusher.”
Fast, tight, and (very) loud perhaps best sums up the performance of the evening’s headline act, Slayer. Utilizing little more than a huge wall of Marshall amps stacked in front of a simple black backdrop, Slayer’s stage show was rather minimal in comparison to that of Megadeth. However, the over-the-top use of smoke and seizure-inducing strobe lights was still powerful enough to either choke or blind (or both) their faithful flock. The only band of the night with its full original lineup still intact, Slayer’s non-stop onslaught featured cream of the crop classics, including “War Ensemble” and “South of Heaven.” Undeterred by the near-endless rows of bolted-down seats, resourceful Slayer fans on a mission to mosh resorted to creating a “dance floor” on the venue’s rear lawn area as Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Lombardo delivered an intense, mind-melting, break-neck set with the skill and precision expected from the acknowledged architects of thrash.