Copenhell - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Anthrax was back at Copenhell after two short years to rip the mosh up, old-school.
Actually, Copenhell had hoped to give us half of the Big 4 this year, but as Megadeth had to cancel in the last minute, the entire responsibility now lay on the shoulders of Anthrax. Remembering how great they were in 2012, I could see no reason why they should not be up for the task...

“Hey Copenhell, it’s great to be back!”
- Scott Ian (guitar)

Anthrax didn’t beat around the bush, they went straight for us with Caught In A Mosh as soon as they hit the stage, and the audience replied the best way they could, by starting up a mosh.
The band looked like they were in a good mood and especially Joey Belladonna was literally all over the place – the man could not be contained! One moment he was front and centre, the next he was leaping between podiums in front of the stage, and the next again he was out as far as he could reach on the side of the stage, just to get close to every single one of the many fans who were kicking up the dust on the ground.
Belladonna was also very talkative this day, but the combination of high enthusiasm and not the best sound of the festival made him hard to understand from time to time – luckily Ian stepped in a few times as well. Keeping more of his cool, he was definitely easier to follow, like the time he dedicated the AC/DC cover T.N.T. to his own favourite guitarist (we’re guessing Angus Young here, but he let it stay open). The AC/DC homage didn’t quite finish with this though as T.N.T. got a short snippet of Back In Black right at the end, and Anthrax’s will to do covers didn’t end either as their classic Got The Time and Antisocial were also included, and Madhouse started with a snippet of Judas Priest’s The Ripper.

While the steady stream of crowd-surfers was a solid testimony of how the Copenhell audience felt about Anthrax, it felt as though they weren’t completely able to keep up the steam that they had used in the beginning of the show to bulldoze over us – surely they were still rather active, and they had a few gimmicks which popped up along the way, what with Belladonna stealing one of the big video cameras from the crew and filming the audience, the Dio and Dimebag stage drops used during the Hymn 1 / In The End combo, or the cyberpunk goggles that Belladonna got from somewhere and used during I Am The Law.
The most interesting and crowd pleasing gimmick was saved for last though, and that was when former member Rob Caggiano (now in Volbeat) came on stage and played along with the band during Antisocial. Here the gig really kicked it up a notch again, and Anthrax managed to end it on almost as high an energy outlet as they had started it.
I admit, this wasn’t as ground-shatteringly awesome as their killer 2012 show, mostly due to the energy dip in the middle of the set, but overall Anthrax performed really well and there wasn’t anyone at Copenhell who wasn’t pleased with what had transpired. At least not as far as I could tell.
Heck, the band parted ways with a bag full of picks before leaving, and the entire festival stood up and sang happy birthday for Ian’s son Revel Young Ian, who entered his 3rd year this day.


Caught In A Mosh
Got The Time (Joe Jackson cover)
Hymn 1
In The End
Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
T.N.T. (AC/DC cover)
I Am The Law
Antisocial (Trust cover, feat. Rob Caggiano)

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