ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT & DEATH ANGEL – Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, Pennsylvania: Concert Review – February 6th, 2012


A Concert Review & Metal Experience To Share! 

It’s not everyday when I can witness three legendary Metal bands share the same stage… anywhere. As Anthrax being one-quarter of the The Big 4, along with Testament and Death Angel being pioneers of Thrash Metal in their own right, The Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown, Pennsylvania, surely did play host to quite the Metal historic group on February 6th, 2012. Thrash Metal history 101 was in session on this night and after all my years of loyalty to these bands, I was still… the student.

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Once you begin naming off the musicians from these bands, any tried and true Metalhead from the University of Old School will agree when I use the following words to describe these three bands: genre defining, influential, groundbreaking and resilient. With Joey Vera (Armored Saint) filling-in for Frank Bello on bass and Gene Hoglan aka “The Atomic Clock” (Testament, Dark Angel, Death, Fear Factory, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad) doing his legendary part on drums for fellow legend Charlie Benante and the result was Anthrax being in the most ultra capable of Metal hands with the rhythm section. Hell yeah.

I was ecstatic to finally solidify plans to attend this concert, alongside fellow Metal buddies Danielle and Lee. They drove down from Bangor, Pennsylvania to pick up my Metal lovin’ butt and head straight to The Crock Rock. They both had purchased tickets to this Thrash event a couple of weeks prior, while my ticket was on hold after I phoned in my payment the day of the show. Off we went, with Danielle at the wheel, while all three of us shared our mutual excitement for the impending night of Thrash Metal glory that awaited us.

Left: Gene Hoglan (Legendary Drummer), Right: A Happy Stone! Hell, it isn’t everyday I run into Gene Hoglan on the street. Metal be thy name and hell yeah!

Gene Hoglan is a class act.

As we approached The Crock Rock, it was obvious this was not your average show happening on this night… the multi-numerous fans were lined up on the sidewalk and waiting civilly to enter the venue in the semi-cold, early evening air. Denim decorated with band patches. Leather. Concert tees. Bandanas. This was the fashion that adorned these fans as they stood there and I felt like Danielle, Lee and myself were going home where we belonged. Within moments the three dollar parking fee was paid and Danielle had backed into our “front row” parking space… right up against the tour buses for Testament and Death Angel. Metal be thy name.

While parked, Lee and I each had a ceremonial beer, while Danielle opted for a hard lemonade named after some dude called “Jack”. Time was of the Metal essence for we all wanted to catch Death Angel’s set. It didn’t take long for us to get into the line of Thrash devotees, all moving single-file, into one direction, a destination which echoed the blissful sound of live Death Angel Thrash. Once inside, the three of us didn’t even have to say it… for we felt it… we were home, where we belonged.

Left: Damien Sisson (bassist) of Death Angel, Right: You Guessed It.

Very friendly and much the conversationist, Death Angel bass wizard Damien cordially gave Danielle, Lee and I at least an hour of his time, well after the show ended. He admires the multi-musicianship of Prince and wouldn’t mind being the “Gene Hoglan of bass guitarists” someday. As we talked back and forth, the four of us shared more laughs than I could count!

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Damien picks up a booty of diverse Metal on vinyl while touring overseas and loves dropping that turntable needle down for that analog listening experience. Damien revealed there are four songs nearly done for the next Death Angel album, which he thinks will be released in either January of 2013 or sometime thereafter. Just a fun encounter we experienced with Damien.

Damien Sisson is another… class act.

Death Angel were incredible, seeing and hearing them in a club setting was damn perfect and they played like the Thrash Metal professionals they are famously known for. Mark Osegueda sounded unreal on vocals, a live performer that takes command of the stage and song. I love my Death Angel studio albums, only experiencing a live Death Angel set is nothing short of amazing. Hell, while I’m at it, the same can be said for Anthrax and Testament as well. As I stood there with my head beginning to bang harder and harder to the Thrash wall-of-sound, I’m smirking, realizing that Death Angel is just the beginning of this F’n night of F’n Thrash blitz!

The stage presence of Chuck Billy is something to behold. Chuck Billy is a warrior of both Metal and life. If there ever was a Metal legend that I look up to, it’s Chuck Billy. His battling and surviving the bitch known as cancer, along with leading Testament into a Thrash comeback of the century, while sounding more powerful than ever vocally, has me looking upon him with the utmost Metal respect.

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When Testament broke loose into More Than Meets The Eye, the intro vocal chant led from Chuck Billy speared into my Metal soul and delivered unto me that ultimate Metal moment… when exhilaration goes out of control within my senses and I’m feeling that Metal bliss. What an F’n band Testament is live. What an F’n band Testament is period. Holy shit they blew me away. Practice What You Preach. Into The Pit. ‘Nuff said. Damn right.

Anthrax came onto the stage and made an already Metal Thrashing Mad crowd even more Metal Thrashing Mad. Hell, the place went F’n nuts when Anthrax took the stage. F’n nuts. Please note, this was as packed a house as it gets at The Crock Rock, elbow-to-elbow and physical space at an F’n premium. I made my way to the side of the stage, with Metal buddy Lee clearing the way in legendary form. We both were in arm’s length of each member of Anthrax, as they went by us to dominate the stage. Whoa and Metal Mother of Mary.

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To say I was like a kid again, as Anthrax kicked out such songs as Fight ‘Em ‘Till You Can’t and Antisocial is a gross understatement. Metal as my witness, I never dreamt I would see Joey Belladonna front Anthrax again, let alone see Joey front Anthrax live at The Crock Rock. For Anthrax to even be doing a club tour is testimonial to their devotion to both their fans and the Metal they created. To share their legacy of Thrash, on an intimate live level like they are doing, makes me realize that Anthrax has truly kept it F’n real, after all these decades.

Metal Buddy Lee 

Metal Buddy Lee caught up with Joey Belladonna at the end of the night. I was on the other side of the block… damn. Anyways, Lee’s encounter with Joey was nothing short of positive and memorable. Joey signed both Danielle and Lee’s concert ticket stubs. Ready for this? Lee gave me his signed ticket stub. Whoa. That’s why Lee is… a Metal Buddy! Whoa again.

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Yes, Joey Belladonna was spot-on with his vocals and Anthrax kept their set moving at hyper-speed. Scott Ian and the boys were controlling the Metal mass at The Crock Rock and everyone in attendance became anointed by the gospel according to Anthrax. Lee and I made certain to keep ourselves moving, attempting many times to start a pit of our own far from the stage. We deliberately began knocking into a few unsuspecting fans, these same fans who seemed rather disturbed that we were actually having an F’n good time. Others looked upon us with old school approval. Lee and I didn’t give a rats ass either way.

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As a Metal sidenote, I did bump into Testament bassist Greg Christian after the show. He was tired and enjoying a cigarette in the night air before calling it a day. Greg and I shared our complimentary thoughts for Chuck Billy, I then thanked Greg for the memorable Metal night and headed on my way. Meeting up with Greg was an unexpected surprise and he is another Metal class act to add to my long list.

This was an epic night of Thrash Metal. Old School Thrash. Thrash up your ass. Metal Thrashing Mad. We were all at home on this night of vintage Thrash at The Crock Rock… it’s where we belonged.

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* For more band info, click on the links below:

ANTHRAX

DEATH ANGEL – Official Website

TESTAMENT LEGIONS.com

Gene Hoglan – Hoglan Industries.com

LONG LIVE ANTHRAX.

LONG LIVE TESTAMENT.

LONG LIVE DEATH ANGEL.

Stone.

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One Response to “ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT & DEATH ANGEL – Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, Pennsylvania: Concert Review – February 6th, 2012”

  1. Sounds like you had a fantastic time, wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing

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