Decades of Metal Hit The Van Buren

Phoenix was in a buzz on Tuesday, July 26,2022.  The Van Buren was the first night of many stops of this long awaited tour! The night was muggy and hot due to monsoons earlier that week, but that didn’t stop the crowd for arriving to The Van Buren. Everyone was dying to see Anthrax and Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and Hatebreed.

The crowd slowly started to filter into the venue, some of the crowd went straight to the merch tables while the rest went to the stage area. As it got closer to the start time the standing area started to fill up. Then the lights dimmed and it was time, the show of the night was about to start. The first band to hit the stage was Hatebreed.

As soon as they hit the stage the crowd began to scream and yell, they opened up with their song “Proven”! As soon as they finished their first few songs, the singer took to the microphone and began to talk to the audience. He began to talk about what an honor it was to join Zakk Wylde and Anthrax on stage. Hatebreed is formed in 1994 by Jamey Jasta – Vocals, and, Chris Beattie – Bass. Frank Novinec – Guitar, Wayne Lozinak – Guitar, and Matt Byrne – Drums later joined the band, creating the current lineup.

This band really brought the right energy to the stage. They were able to really get the crowd pumped and ready for the rest of the night. They ended their set with their song “I Will Be Heard”.

The next band to take to the stage was Black Label Society, formed in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by none other than Zakk Wylde. The current line is formed by Zakk Wylde- lead guitar, lead vocals, piano, John DeServio – bass, backing vocals, Dario Lorina – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, and Jeff Fabb – drums.

The second there was even a hint of Wylde the crowd went nuts! He came onto the stage in a red plaid kilt and opened up their set with “Funeral Bell”. Their set was unmatched, the incredible guitar solos, the steady beats from the drums and the unmatched sounds from their bass, mesmerized the crowd. If you weren’t a fan of Black Label Society before, you are now.

They then dedicated their song “Set You Free” to Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul. Their last song of the night was a real treat, “Stillborn” included a dueling guitar battle between Wylde and Lorina. At one point they each lifted their guitars behind their heads and continued to play!

There was also an extra hidden treat for the metal fans who loved baseball. The Diamond Backs own former Pitcher Randy Johnson showed up to the show and joined the photographers in the photo pit. He took photos of Black Label Society as well as Anthrax.

Finally, it was time for Anthrax to take their place on stage. Their set up was immaculate! They had platforms where the band members co0uld climb up and stand above the crowd as they played. Anthrax was formed in 1981 by bassist Dan Lilker and guitarist Scott Ian. In 2013, the bands lineup changed and is currently their line up today; Joey Belladonna – lead vocals, Jon Donais – lead guitar, Scott Ian – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, Charlie Benante – drums and Frank Bello – bass, backing vocals. Anthrax opened up their set with “Among the Living”.

The crowd was ecstatic to see this band play, you could see it on their faces. As their set continued, Anthrax dedicated “In the End” to Ronnie James Dio, Dimebag Darrell, and Vinnie Paul. What truly made this set magical was they played “Only”, this was the first time they played this song since October 2011. Being able to watch all these legends in the metal world do what they do best all these years later made for a once in a lifetime experience.


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Black Label Society

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The Van Buren

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