There have definitely been a lot more interesting concerts around Nebraska lately. The latest to hit the stage in Omaha was the Kill/Thrax tour on Saturday night. Four bands, led by Killswitch Engage and Anthrax came through town on a rare Saturday night concert. Which meant that we could actually sleep in instead of having to get up early and go to work the next morning. Which is awesome.
It was cold Saturday night. And raining most of the day. Simply miserable conditions, so we were not in a big hurry to get there. Besides, the other band we knew were playing was The Devil Wears Prada, a band I have made my disdain for on this blog very clear. Unfortunately when we arrived at the venue, another band that we had no idea would be playing was on stage. It was some group called Code Orange, who play a metallic hardcore style. That can be done well, just look at Nails among other bands. Unfortunately, I was not at all impressed with Code Orange, and my wife pretty much hated them. To each their own I suppose, hardcore has never really been my thing.
After that, Christian hardcore band The Devil Wears Prada started their set. I really dislike this band. But I was curious about their name, because of course most people are aware of the movie starring Glenn Close and Anne Hathaway, which does not exactly scream badass rock band. Apparently the band named themselves after the novel after misinterpreting one of the messages of the novel being an anti-materialistic stance (due to not actually reading the fucking thing). After realizing they were incorrect, they decided to keep the name and create a new definition of anti-materialism in the name of God. So apparently, they are idiots as well and did not bother to read the book that was the source of their name. Their set was predictably annoying. There was the occasional decent moment and singer Mike Hranica has a pretty good voice, but there is a reason I successfully avoided them when they opened for Slayer and King Diamond and tried to avoid them Saturday.
Next, Killswitch Engage played. I will admit to not paying much attention to them for over a decade. I honestly had no idea Jesse Leach was back with the band, and apparently that has been the case since 2012. I was a little surprised then that the band played so many songs that I recognized from The End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies, the only two albums from the band I owned. Leach sounded great singing them though, very similar to previous vocalist Howard Jones. KSE was very charismatic on stage and definitely got the crowd going, a large number of whom were apparently there just for that band (lots of people left after their set without staying for Anthrax). Overall I was pretty impressed with the band's set. The highlight was them closing things out with a cover of the Dio classic "Holy Diver" which even featured Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna coming out and providing lead vocals. That was definitely my wife's favorite moment as well.
Finally, Anthrax came out. Anthrax was the last of the Big 4 thrash metal bands that I had yet to see. I first discovered Anthrax during the John Bush years, and I still think that Sound of White Noise is an underrated album. But nothing really compares to their earlier stuff with Belladonna and they played a lot of the classics. They took the stage playing "Among the Living" and followed that up with "Caught in a Mosh", which got the crowd going. They played a couple of newer songs, including the infectious "Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't" which is my personal favorite track off of Worship Music, their reunion album with Belladonna. After that they ran through a number of other classics before closing out the set. Honestly, I was even more impressed with Anthrax than I was with Slayer in concert. I have developed a newfound appreciation for the band now. I am going to have to dig out my old Anthrax albums now. Even my wife enjoyed them more than she thought she would. I had second thoughts at one point about going to this one, but I am definitely glad we went.