Photos by Chris Besaw
Review by Kelly Besaw
Veteran metal legends, Pantera, made a stop at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY Tuesday August 8. Child Bite and Lamb of God were the supports for the show.
Detroit based metal band, Child Bite, started off the evening of metal as fans huddled under the overhang to get a reprieve from the rain. Child Bite lead by Shawn Knight on vocals played a high energy intense metal set culminating with Knight jumping in the pit for a bit of crowd surfing during their last song. I had never heard of them but found them to be engaging and a perfect fit for the rest of the night’s lineup.
Up next was Lamb of God. With Randy Blythe at the helm, this band commands attention. Fans filled in the seats and even braved the lawn during the downpour to see these guys play. Randy is nonstop energy. He moves around the stage the entire time singing, growling, jumping, and swinging the mic. The guitar and bass work during “Walk with Me in Hell,” “Laid to Rest” and “Redneck” sets Lamb of God apart from other metal bands. I remember the first time I saw them back in the early 2000s, I was in awe of the intricacy and precision of their playing. A great support act for Pantera and certainly fitting since they were one of LoG’s major influences. Awesome set from an incredibly talented band.
Luckily for the fans on the lawn, by the time Pantera was ready to take the stage, the rain had subsided. The Cowboys From Hell with members old and new took the stage as fans of all ages were on their feet roaring with applause. The current tour includes legendary guitarist Zac Wylde (Black Label Society/ Ozzy Osbourne) who makes even the most challenging Pantera song riffs look like a walk in the park. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott would certainly approve.
Lead singer Phil Anselmo with his signature growling vocals and larger than life stage presence connected with the fans immediately as the band kicked off their set with “A New Level” followed by “Mouth for War.” As the audience chanted the lyrics, Anselmo replied, “All that sh*t goes out to Vinnie and Dimebag.” Much of the night was about paying homage to the deceased brothers and founders of the band. Rex Brown’s solid bass tracks laid the foundation during “I’m Broken” and Wylde hit the song home with some ripping solos. I know Wylde is getting a lot of attention, but I have to say that I thought the addition of Charlie Benate (Anthrax) on drums is also a perfect fit. They also paid tribute to their fallen brothers with a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.”
Everyone from front to back and side to side was singing along and pumping their fists to the well-known anthem “Walk.” It was a remarkable sight. Even more amazing was the surprise appearance by Joey Belladonna, the lead singer of Anthrax who sang along with Anselmo. The metal masters ended their set with fan favorite “Cowboys From Hell” before taking a brief reprieve and returning to the stage for one last song. Anselmo lead the way as they performed an epic version of “Yesterday Don’t Mean Sh*t” giving Wylde one last opportunity to showcase his guitar abilities.
It was a night of top-notch metal music. Pantera, with new recruits Wylde and Benate certainly earned the respect of Pantera fans old and new.