Anthrax + The Raven Age @ 02 Institute, 9th February, 2017

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Starting off tonight are The Raven Age who deliver a good solid, powerful vocal performance from frontman Michael Burrough. The band come out with high energy and kick into Uprising, followed by Promised Land, which has a familiar maiden sound to it.

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There are plenty of crowd interactions and some fun where I manage to capture the guitarists having fun and they come to photo bomb with tongue & finger extended. With The Raven Age set coming to a close they request the crowd to get their lighters out followed by a roar “Let me hear you Birmingham!!” then to close the set we have Angel In Disgrace, probably my favourite track of the set as it sounds fantastic.

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Anthrax were up next with their first headline tour for the past decade.  They play a split set, first part being the chosen hits and the second set being the Among The Living album in full. This is the first show of the European Among The Kings tour, right here, in Birmingham. The room is heaving more than before with an average age of mid 40’s and some other small  groups.

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Starting off with an Intro as the crowd clap along followed by roars, then cymbals and into heavy guitar riffs of A.I.R and Madhouse as chosen by you!, the fans.  All of whom are  singing along with heads and fists banging and pumping away.  Scott Ian looks fantastic.  He is looking as cool as hell and is very engaging and fun, I note  Joey Belladonna looking and sounding great too.   Closing the first set is Be All, End All with ecstatic applause from the crowd.

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After a short break we come back to another intro followed by a belting, heavy performance of Among the Living.   Caught in an mosh where the crowd are wild, we have a circle pit formed in the middle of the floor and the energy intensifies as I Am the Law is belted out.  The fans sing with much conviction “I Am the Law!!!” probably the best track to have watched from the safety of the balcony, although Indians was also a pleasure.  The crowd ramping up all throughout and singing along almost as much as Belladonna, it was definitely a wilder second set than to start but then the beer was flowing well by this point and it is one of many peoples favourite albums.  In between all of the tracks you could think it was the end, with the lights coming down to a darkened close.  Each song appeared to be the last, though with a 2 hour set it could end at any time.

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We see a two song encore, Im the Man and Antisocial both great tracks and finishing with a guitar squealing, drum thrashing close followed by loud cheers, Belladonna “We Love you Birmingham” “We’re All Kings, We Love you!!!, Good Bye!!” finished by singing “Long live Rock and Roll”.

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Many were saying its a trip down memory lane, Anthrax always deliver a solid show and tonight being no exception.  Their new album is back to their roots and is another solid collection of banging thrash metal that are not faltering with time. I was glad to be here to capture images and  will have memories to hold on to.

P.S Fans are being asked to pick the chosen songs for the first part of the set-list so have your say.

Set List

Set 1

  1. – A.I.R.
  2. – Madhouse
  3. – Evil Twin
  4. – Aftershock
  5. – Blood Eagle Wings
  6. – Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
  7. – Breathing Lightning
  8. – Be All, End All


Set 2: Among The Living

  1. – Opening Intro: I Can’t Turn You Loose (Blues Brothers song)
  2. – Among the Living
  3. – Caught in a Mosh
  4. – I Am the Law
  5. – Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
  6. – A Skeleton in the Closet
  7. – Indians
  8. – One World
  9. – A.D.I. / Horror of It All
  10. – Imitation of Life
  11. – Encore:
  12. – I’m the Man
  13. – Antisocial


Reviewer and Photographer – Chris Bowley

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