jakub | February 21, 2023

Anthrax celebrates 40 years at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California with Black Label Society and Exodus on February 18, 2023



Saturday, February 18, 2023 brought me back to the Fox Theater in Oakland California. It also brought me back to 1987 and being 19 years old again. That was the last time I had seen Anthrax live. Fortunately, they are all the same members as it was all those years ago. They are celebrating they 40th anniversary this tour and this was the next to the last stop. Supporting this tour were Black Label Society and the Bay Area’s own, Exodus.

When Exodus hits a Bay Area stage, you know it! These hometown favorites had the crowd going from the first note.  Before they hit the stage, Queen‘s “We Will Rock You” blasted out over the speakers from the PA system. When Exodus took the stage, they broke right into “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Moral Improves)”. I have covered quite a few shows, including punk and hardcore shows. I have never had to dodge so many crowd surfers as with this show. It seemed like a never-ending flow of them. Shredding their way through the set, it’s no wonder they have become a Bay Area icon. Zetro’s vocals were spot on, and the rest of the band played with an enthusiasm that would start a tour, not end it. Perhaps it was because of playing to the home town crowd? Maybe these guys are just that intense. 


Exodus are:

Tom Hunting – drums, lead vocals

Gary Holt – guitars, backing vocals

Steve “Zetro” Souza – lead vocals

Jack Gibson – bass, backing vocals

Lee Altus – guitars



Set list:

1). We Will Rock You (Queen song)(recorded intro)

2). The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)

3). A Lesson In Violence

4) Blood In, Blood Out

5). Blacklist

6). Piranha

7). Prescribing Horror

8). Bonded By Blood

9). The Toxic Waltz

10). Strike of the Beast

11). We Are the Champions (Queen song)(recorded outro)


When Back Label Society hits the stage, they hit the stage with a mission.  Zakk Wylde instantly takes control of the stage as they break into “Funeral Bell.” The whole set is run like a well oiled machine only stopping to acknowledge the Oakland Chapter Berzerkers in attendance. The only hiccup was a piano issue at the beginning of “In This River”. This song is dedicated to, mostly Dimebag Darrol and Vinnie Paul Abbott, but to all the people we have lost over the years. Always a favorite part for me is the duel behind the back guitar solos with Zakk and Dario towards the end of the set.


Black Label Society are:

Zakk Wylde – lead and rhythm guitar, lead vocals, piano, rhythm guitar, bass

John DeServio – bass, backing vocals

Dario Lorina – rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals

Jeff Fabb – drums



Set list:

1). Whole Lotta Love / War Pigs (recorded intro)

2). Funeral Bell

3). The Beginning…At Last

4). Destroy & Conquer

5). Destructive Overdrive

6). Heart Of Darkness

7). A Love Unreal

8). You Make Me Want To Live

9). In This River (dedicated to Dimebag Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott)

10). Trampled Down Below

11). Set You Free

12). Fire It Up

13). Suicide Messiah

14). Stillborn


Anthrax opened up with something I had never seen before. A short documentary of musicians touting the praises of the band’s 40-year history. Hitting the stage with “Among The Living” both the band and the crowd exploded. At the start of “I Am The Law”, they introduced Oakland’s own Robb Flynn of Machine Head as a guest guitarist. Throughout the night, Joey would hold the mic out to the crowd and let us sing the chorus. The audience participation is always one of the best parts of live music. “Bring The Noise” was one of the crowd favorites for sure despite it only being a short version. The show wrapped up with “Indians” and left everyone wanting a few more. Alas, it was over and it was time for us to go. 

 Seeing Anthrax again after all these years was so amazing. Their exuberance on stage brought me back and made me feel young again.


Anthrax are:

Scott Ian – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead guitar, lead vocals

Charlie Benante – drums

Frank Bello – bass, backing vocals

Joey Belladonna – lead vocals

Jon Donais – lead guitar



Set list:

1). Among The Living

2). Caught in a Mosh

3). Madhouse

4). Thrashing Metal Mad

5). Keep It in The Family

6). Antisocial (Trust cover)

7). I Am The Law (with Robb Flynn of Machine Head)

8). Hymn 1

9). In The End

10). Only

11). Got The Time (Joe Jackson cover)

12). Bring The Noise (Public Enemy cover)(first verse only)

13). Indians





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