Joey Belladonna of Anthrax gets the crowd riled up at the House of Blues in Cleveland, OH 11/18/2011

Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel rolled into the House of Blues in Cleveland this past Friday night for the second to last stop on their fall tour. It was an amazing night of metal.

Death Angel, a band that I had loved as a kid but never got the chance to see live until tonight, opened up the show and were amazing. I got chills down my back and was transported back to my fourteen year old self as I finally got the chance to hear “Seemingly Endless Time” live.

Testament was a band I had liked, but was never really a huge fan of. I had always liked Alex Skolnick as a guitarist and had followed his non-Testament non-metal stuff. I didn’t know what I was missing out on by never having seen Testament live before. They were freaking awesome and heavy as all hell.

I did learn one very important lesson as they I started playing “Into The Pit,” off of 1988’s The New Order which incidentally is the only Testament album I had ever owned — I am too old to mosh. That song came on and I was instantly lured to the pit, like a Greek sailor in ancient mythology succumbing to the call of the sirens. Now as I write this twenty-four hours after the show, I still ache all over.

Last, but certainly not least Anthrax came on. Now I have seen Anthrax live on numerous occasions at numerous venues throughout Northeast Ohio — never have I seen them however with the Joey Belladonna fronted version of the band. Now I was a fan of the Joey version of the band, the version that many purists will call the ’real’ version of the band. It’s just that during the John Bush fronted years — Anthrax went from being one of my favorite bands, to my very favorite band.

That being said, they were fucking awesome last night. Not only did Joey Belladonna sing his balls off on their most recent album Worship Music, but he sounded amazing live and the band was tight as hell and the crowd was amazing. And it was finally great to hear the Joey-era songs live, actually being sung by Joey.

The set list was a great mix of classic-era material as well as tracks from the new album, my favorite being “In The End” written for Dimebag Darrell & Ronnie James Dio both metal legends that were lost between the times Anthrax had released a new record.