ANTHRAX / METAL CHURCH
Monday, June 8th, 1987, Pulsations (Glen Mills, PA) by Tony
[Originally published: Issue #3, circa 1987]
[LOOKING BACK: When I was 7, my cousin Johnny brought his KISS Destroyer album to my house. Between their comic-book like appearance, the ‘toy’ that came inside each album, and the realization that my parents and older siblings hated every note coming from the phonograph (look it up, young boy), I fell in love with metal. Though I later grew out of this horrible phase, I still had some traces of metalhead in me around this time. And I can’t lie, Anthrax had some really fun and intense music around this time, and I had a great time at this show, though it IS embarrassing to see what a mark I still am for cheap stage theatrics. — Tony]
(This review is dedicated to the people who got pushed around by the bouncers and the lone stage-diver who got thrown out)
This was the first of Pulsation’s “Metal Mondays” and it was a resounding success. The place was filled past capacity with over 1,500 eager kids who were glad to see more metal shows happening near Philly.
METAL CHURCH cpened their set to the screams of the crowd. I don’t think they really got things going until about the fourth or fifth song, though you couldn’t tell by the deafening crowd resoonse. The only thing I didn’t understand is why some people threw stuff (like glow-in-the-dark plastic sticks and cups filled with ice) that often nailed band members in the head. After doing a couple of good songs off their first LP, METAL CHURCH then did a song which they did especially for a MTV video. They introduced the song with comments on now MTV SUCKS, but that their song and vioeo are “heavy”. They then proceeded to do a Cinderella-Bon Jovi type number. Sorry dude, you may claim that you’re not trying to cash in, but I could see the $ signs in your eyes throughout that song. Overall, METAL CHURCH were pretty decent – I guess I’m being rather rough on them because I was anxiously awaiting ANTHRAX.
Roughly 20 minutes after CHURCH packed up, the lights went down and the Blues Brothers theme blared from the speakers. The announcer introduced “the heaviest band in the world …….. ANTHRAX!!!”
ANTHRAX stormed the stage with “Among The Living” and “Caught In A Mosh” and I don’t think there was a single person in the whole place who wasn’t singing along. They kept the intensity up as they did tunes off their previous two LPs. They were really into it. During “Indians”, frontman and singer extraordinaire Joey Belladonna donned an Indian feather headdress and proceeded to do the War Dance. It was unbelievable!!!
The best was yet to come, as ANTHRAX returned for their encore. They did a whole slew of tunes, but the best was their hilarious rap (off the “I Am The Law” EP) which would blow that “other” rap group away. As ANTHRAX went to the final bars of “Gung-Ho”, Scott Ian brought out the humongous NOT sign and began to mosh it up as the crowd chanted “NOT! NOT! NOT!”. This was the best single band performance of 1987 so far.
Hopefully, more shows will happen here. Pulsations is an intelligently-built complex, with a very large floor and every seat providing a fairly decent view of the stage. The only problem was the bouncers who seemed all too eager to drop someone on their head. Also, there were a few knuckleheads in line who groaned “Oh no” anytime somebody with short hair was nearby. The funniest thing, though, was when I was waiting in line to get in, and a kid with longish hair and sporting boots walked by, and the guy behind ae said “Uh oh. There goes another one of those skinheads.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?