My brother Brady and I arrived at the Anthrax gig excited. Original Anthrax line up = metal legends. Then we got nervous because, 1) we weren't on the guest list, and 2) cops were everywhere. John Toth, Big Easy manager and super good guy remedied problem one by comping us tix. Before going in, a girl waved a metal detector over me and patted me down. "Your legs are shaking," she said. I mumbled something about doing 500-pound leg presses earlier at the gym. "Whatever, fella," she quipped. We walked in. The venue was decorated like a haunted house.
John led us upstairs and bought us each a beer. "You know on the Discovery Channel when they show a bunch of lions gathering around some injured little zebra and then, 'Bam!', it's a feeding frenzy?" Brady asked, sipping his PBR. "We are that zebra." I thought the fear was going to swallow me whole. We went down to the floor. After locals Black Tooth Grin played an energetic set, some video footage of Anthrax played. I turned to Brady to say something when a dude five times my size jumped in my face. "Don't talk shit! Go to Exodus!" he barked, jamming a flier in my hands. My saving grace was that I didn't become momentarily incontinent. Then Anthrax took the stage. They unleashed a wall of powerchords and 16th note bass lines. The house turned into a kaleidoscope of airborne beer cups, banging heads and fists in the air. There was so much energy. The audience screamed lyrics--it seemed like Scotty Ian was playing back up to a thousand vocalists. I couldn't help but get into it. "We should check out the mosh pit," I declared. Brady surveyed it. "I think BSU's entire offensive line is in there ... times 20," he stated. Maybe another time. Anthrax's fervor was infectious. Their gusto spilled off the stage and fed the hungry fans to create one of the most blasting, cathartic shows Boise has ever seen. I haven't witnessed so much enthusiasm and raw energy since I saw Radiohead at the Shoreline. And the Radiohead fans outnumbered the Anthrax folks 30 to 1. Hmm, maybe I will check out the Exodus show.