Written by on June 23, 2011 in June 23, 2011, Live Reviews - Comments Off on THE BIG 4 IN INDIO

Photo courtesy of Chris Cuomo.

Big 4After a huge demand from Metal fans, The Big 4 of Thrash made their way to the West Coast.  With only 1 date, many traveled from all over to witness this unique event.  Over 80,000 descended upon the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California for a celebration of  old school Metal.

First up were Anthrax.  With singer Joey Belladonna back in the band and a new album underway, they got the crowd going and ready for the big event.  Opening with “Caught In A Mosh,” the Metal faithful gave their approval with a thunderous roar.  Great classics such as “Madhouse,” “Among The Living,” “Indians,” “A.I.R,” “Metal Thrashing Mad,” and “I Am The Law,” were all performed to perfection and set the energy stage for the rest of the evening.

Next up were Megadeth and I was a bit surprised by their openers “Trust” and “In My Darkest Hour.”   The latter being a great song for sure.  But both choices seemed a bit mellow to start with.  “Hanger 18” and “Wake Up Dead” were more like it.  That’s how I like my and ferocious!  No surprise then that “Poison Was The Cure” and “She-Wolf” didn’t do it for me.  Neither did “A Tout Le Monde.”  But “Head Crusher” and of course “Holy Wars” did.  Megadeth are a great band.  I was just expecting more hard hitting classics as opposed to radio friendly fodder for this show.

The mighty Slayer were next and this was the highlight for me.  I have never seen a bad Slayer show and today they were in fine form as usual.  Opening up with “World Painted Blood” and into “Hate Worldwide,”  it’s easy to see why Slayer have been a staying force to be reckoned with.  The pits got going with “War Ensemble,” “Postmortem,” “Raining Blood,” “Black Magic,” “Silent Scream,” and “The Antichrist.”  Guitarist Jeff Hanneman came out for the encore of “South Of Heaven” and “Angel Of Death.”  Hanneman has been incapacitated due to arm surgery caused by a vicious spider bite.  But at least we got him for 2 songs.  Great set and performance from the mighty Slayer!

Headliners Metallica pretty much stuck to the same set list with “Creeping Death,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” “Ride The Lightning,” “Fade To Black,” “Master Of Puppets,” “Blackened,” etc.  My personal fave was hearing “Orion” played in its entirety, a fitting tribute to Cliff Burton.  All of The Big 4 came out for a rendition of “Am I Evil.”  “Seek And Destroy” rounded out the event.

All in all it was a great day for Metal!  If this tour was done back in the ‘80s, I think the energy and vibe would have been over the top.  Everyone seemed pretty mellow for the most part.  Which was odd considering this was a celebration of Thrash.  But, The Big 4 will be bring the show to the East Coast soon.  Perhaps they will be much more enthusiastic and mental for the Metal.