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DVD Review: Anthrax Alive 2 – The DVD

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Earlier this year Anthrax reformed the classic lineup which was at the forefront of thrash metal for most of the 1980’s. This lineup has not existed since since 1992, when singer Joey Belladonna was asked to leave the band, due to their wanting to go in a different direction. Three years later, lead guitarist Danny Spitz departed. John Bush (formerly of Armored Saint) joined up as their vocalist for the next thirteen years, creating some great new Anthrax music. But, that era will never replace the Belladonna era in my heart as the Anthrax I love most. So, back to 2005, It is the 20th anniversary of the release of their seminal album Spreading the Disease and seemed like the perfect time to get together and see what would happen. This DVD, and subsequent tour are some of the results of that fateful moment.

This concert was recorded on June 3, 2005 at the Starland in Sayreville, NJ and is completely comprised of material from the first era of Anthrax. The band took to the stage, announcing that they were filming for the DVD, and started into “Among the Living.” They sounded very good, as if they had never parted ways so long ago.

Frank Bello was stomping back and forth across the stage, acting the madman. Scott Ian was jumping and stomping, while Danny Spitz played the straight man to his antics. Charlie Benante, steady as ever behind the drum kit, continuing to show his prowess, proving that he is one of the best in the business. Meanwhile, Joey Belladonna is like a kid in a candy store. He looked so happy to be back with his old crew, and still having a great voice. It may not be as strong as it was 15 years ago, but it is still great.

Each of their albums is represented here, from Spreading the Disease through Persistence of Time. We even get their crossover hit, “I’m the Man.” Old school thrashers “Deathrider” and “Medusa” mixed in with mainstays “Caught in a Mosh” and “Indians.” Their Joe Jackson cover, “Time,” is not to be left out.

It may not be the best performance they have ever had, but the energy and love was evident. It was easy to see that they were having a blast playing these songs again in their original arrangements. Some of them had been adapted to be performed live with John Bush, but it just wasn’t the same.

The show came to a close with their ode to Judge Dredd, “I am the Law.” They left the crowd spent, yet thirsting for more. Just they way they should, always leave them wanting more.

This DVD has something very cool hidden amongst the special features. Something that isn’t mentioned on the back of the case, but should be. There is a 50 minute documentary on the band and their reunion. It opens with video footage as they all arrive and see each other again for the first time since their long absence. It is a great scene, no animosity, no hard feelings, it was like a family reunion. The best being the comment about Joey’s hair, which seems virtually unchanged over all these years.

The documentary gets into why Joey was asked to leave, and the new direction they were heading in. We learn that Danny Spitz spent most of his absence in Switzerland becoming a master watchmaker, after losing his desire to play guitar. That’s right, Danny makes watches! Frank had left for awhile and had toured with Helmet. Each had their reasons for going the direction did, but through it all, Anthrax soldiered on.

There us information about each of the albums they did with the classic lineup. Crazy tour stories, including Danny getting knocked on the head with the clock arm during the Persistence of Time tour. All in all, it is a great little added bonus, that is rather extensive and making this disk all the more worth your time. Any Anthrax fan should add this to their collection.

Recommended.

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  • Cheranguista

    I love Anthrax and this DVD. Iam from the Joey era, i mean Bush is a great singer, but lets face it there are differrent bands with each singer I am a Joey s fans for more than 15 years and I dont really like the band too much with John. In this DVD you can feel the energy right in your stomach of the show, I went to this reunion tour here in Puerto Rico and was so great like the DVD, buy it is worth it……

  • Green Man

    I saw Anthrax on Oct. 2nd, 2005 @ the Mark of the QC. This was an awesome show! Joey summed it up best when he said, “go home and tell your friends what they missed” I did just that! And now if you go and buy Anthrax Alive 2 you will see what I told all my friends! DO NOT BELIEVE THE B.S. ABOUT BELLADONNA NOT BEING AS STRONG VOCALLY AS IN THE PAST!!! Belladonna is a great singer and he sounds just as good and if not BETTER than he did in 1985! All true Anthrax fans will NOT be disappointed in any way.
    Watch the beat…..

  • Henry

    I agree with Green Man with regards to Belladonna being the awesome vocalist, that I remember from The mid 80’s.I am 34 now and took my 14 year old to the OCTOBER 2ND show with Priest.This was one of the best shows I have ever gone to.My son seemed to enjoy the show more than I did.I look forward to getting this DVD and sharing it w/my kid.Too bad Anthrax is a dying breed,butThe music they have made will stay with me for the rest of my life.

  • Narkoburger

    I saw them playing at this years Sweden Rock Festival , and it’s one of the greatest shows i’ve ever seen. I could feel the tears pushed on when they opened with Lone Justice. They even had an unannounced signing later on , where almost none had shown up. We ended up gettin all the old albums signed and lots of cool pictures. Anyways – can’t wait to get my hands on this dvd.