You know his name full well from his many Metal accomplishments with Pantera, Superjoing Ritual and Down but now it was time for Philip H. Anselmo to bring his brand new solo project to the Metal masses of the world with his band “The Illegals”. Tonight’s show was one that the fans had been looking forward to for awhile and it was originally supposed to be up at the Best Buy Theater but was now being held at the more intimate space of The Gramercy Theatre. Considering the difference in overall size this would be a sold out event and find fans packed to the doors. I braved these concrete walls with caution and bring you the full report and photographs on the main PiercingMetal website. Just click the logo link below to be brought to that story. Then keep on scrolling here in the Blog to enjoy some side images that are only presented in this location.
Artist: Phil Anselmo & The Illegals
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Warbeast, Author & Punisher
Label: Housecore Records
Written By: Ken Pierce (copyright 2013) for PiercingMetal.com
Having warmed myself up with an early evening set of some cool Power Pop by the band Kaleido who had played downtown just a little while before I made my way over to the Gramercy Theatre, I felt that I was now fully raring to go and had gotten myself properly prepared for the mayhem that would likely ensue for all those in attendance at the debut appearance in this metropolis of Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals who would be bringing their “Technicians Of Distortion” tour to the assembled masses. The show, which also featured Warbeast and Author & Punisher on the bill was originally supposed to be held at the larger Best Buy Theater but for some reason that event was cancelled and then re-setup at The Gramercy Theatre. I cite it like that since the fans that already had tickets for the original event would need to get refunds for that show and purchase them again for this show since they were arranged under different entertainment providers. As I arrived to the theatre the line to get in was super long and the fans seemed to be going through a lengthier than usual “check for weapons” and such process and for the second time in the same amount of weeks I saw that wallets with chains were considered questionable items and needed to be checked in with security. Perhaps I need to reevaluate sporting my Harley Davidson wallet that I have worn for longer than I care to mention at some of these shows. Once given the okay it was inside I braved with firm resolve.
Author & Punisher: I walked in when A&P where already getting into their set and it was my first time catching what they were all about. Of course saying “they” would be incorrect when I learned that it was on solitary dude named Tristan Shone who had invented a few “sound machines” and these were what would be played this evening. It was very heavy on the Industrial side which was almost amusing to me since they were actually machines and all. Now while I was finding the set intriguing, I did also feel that what was being done was lost on many of the Metal denizens in the venue. The ones that did appreciate and enjoy its difference were able to take something positive away from it, and sadly those who did not very simply…..did not. This was a very different way to start this “Technicians Of Distortion” tour that was for sure. Now onto Warbeast who many of us here in the crowd had a little more familiarity with and could get a better gauge on without much digging.
Warbeast: I am thinking that tonight would amount to about the third or fourth time that I had seen Warbeast in action and they are rather good at their craft and currently one of Anselmo’s own favored acts on his Housecore Records label. He personally believes in this band so much that he decided to release a split EP on his label entitled “War Of The Gargantuas”. You younger fans might not know the reference but the EP was named after what was probably one of the best Japanese Kaiju movies that had ever been released. I suggest that you do a little searching for this one after you have enjoyed “Pacific Rim” so let me know what you think after you do that. Now for those who have not yet seen Warbeast perform, they are pretty much a straight forward Heavy Metal band with great doses of Thrash to their sound. Fans of Rigor Mortis are already up on the band since their singer Bruce Corbit performs with them and he is pretty much an animated character when Warbeast is delivering their goods. The band’s latest work is entitled “Destroy” and six of the nine songs performed during their set hailed from this release. It makes sense since it’s the first full work in a few years and needs to be properly promoted. Throughout the set Bruce incited the crowd to good measure and this was only a sampling of how wild they would become once Phil and the guys took to the stage and with every song their guitarist Scott Shelby showed off his guns while dishing out the doses of Thrash riffage. I enjoyed their set and was happy to see the guys down at their merchandise table right after their set to meet any fans that wished to see them and shake their hand. I think if you enjoy the traditional sound that Warbeast delivers you should check them out and I do expect them to be on numerous bills of this kind as time marches forward. Now it was time to firm up our Metal resolve because Phil Anselmo was going to bring this place down with the help of his Illegals.
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals: The Gramercy Theatre was packed to its capacity by the time Warbeast was in the middle of their set and now that Phil and the band were ready to take to the stage you could almost feel the anticipation in the air. Now while I realize that this is a clever phrase in many reviewers writing I swear to you that there was something intense about the atmosphere around us. Now I had never ever managed to see Pantera in concert when Phil was at his most volatile in the Groove Metal sense but I had caught him with Down at long last during 2012 and while that stuff is awesome, you can agree that it would be intense to see him raging like before once again. It was only recently that Phil released a brand new solo album with The Illegals entitled “Walk Through Exits Only” and this album is a sure fire throttling from beginning to end. Since the album is on the short side the fans were expecting some additional stuff from his The Marquee says it all. Are you Metal enough to accept the challenges inside this evening?
The stage was set for Phil’s arrival. Feel nervous? That’s expected 🙂 As you can see there was not a lot to the stage itself. That would leave Phil plenty of room to preach his Metal Gospel to the assembled masses.
Checking out the tuning on the guitar before showtime….
Let’s go down to the merchandise area (which was wisely stationed downstairs at this particular show). I hit the Warbeast table first.
Now for the Author & Punisher stuff….
And now onto the merchandise that Phil’s table had. Shirts, stickers and of course recent CD’s….
I briefly spoke with a fan who was regaining her strength downstairs and told her I would include her image in the blog. Tada!
Then the Warbeast guitarist Scott joined Bruce at the table. Snagged them both.
These were some brave fans because the moment the music started the bodies were flying everywhere.
As I said there is a lot more to the story about the show and of course a whole full on gallery section for each of the performers so just click the logo at the top of this narrative to be transported over there. I hope you enjoy the tale of course. See you next time.