ANTHRAX – Bergen – USF Verftet
The legendary US thrash-mongers Anthrax rolled into Bergen on a somewhat sunny and warm Tuesday night for the first time ever in their career. Their debut show in this beautiful city was slated to take place at USF Verftet, which was great as that is one of my favorite venues. By the time I arrived at USF, hundreds of fans and metal heads were waiting outside for the doors to open. Everything from pimple-faced teenagers to…well, people who were reaching menopause, to put it crudely. Apparently, there had been a delay of some sort. It was never explained what exactly was up, but while Anthrax were supposed to walk on stage at 8 PM they did not appear before 9:25 PM. You could sense that people were growing impatient, but all of that evaporated the minute the band launched into "You Gotta Believe". I had located the perfect spot close to the stage, which was neat. The drums were a bit loud while the vocals certainly could have been higher in the mix, but they were able to adjust that after a short while.
(Photo: Christian Misje)
Anthrax were extremely energetic and intense on stage. They definitely possess a certain charisma and work well as a whole, and they were constantly moving around, running, jumping, and just generally going wild. The biggest treat for me was to listen to Joey Belladonna sing while watching him whip the crowd into a frenzy. Not only does he have an impressive set of pipes, he knows exactly what the fans want and delivers it in spades. The band was tight and all fired up, and they did not waste a lot of time in between songs addressing the audience with dumb bullshit as others do just to pass the time. Well, Scott Ian did think that it was Monday night and not Tuesday, but as he said so himself, "It’s been a long fucking day" and smiled. Charlie Benante ruled with an iron fist behind the drum kit. A great drummer for sure.
(Photo: Christian Misje)
For me, the highlights of the evening were "Evil Twin", "Antisocial", the "March of the S.O.D." cover tune, and "Medusa". The latter is probably my favorite Anthrax tune of all time, so it was really cool to hear them play that one. The beautiful Ronnie James Dio/Dimebag Darrell tribute entitled "In the End" also ruled. The fans were lapping it all up and loving it. Towards the end, the whole thing erupted into a mosh pit and the fans went ape-shit. By 10:45 PM, it was all over, and I dare say that the majority of fans were most pleased with how the gig turned out. The band’s first ever show in Bergen was definitely a success. Who knows, maybe they will return next year?