GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

2017-04-20 - Las Vegas Weekly

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C O V E R S T O RY WEEKLY | 04.20.17 Guitarist and song- writer Scott Ian is the one member of Anthrax who has been with the iconic thrash band for its entire 30-plus-year career, and with his bald head and wiry goatee, he's also one of the most recognizable gures in metal. His band has been experiencing renewed success with recent al- bums Worship Music (2011) and For All Kings (2016), following the return of singer Joey Belladonna, and Ian himself is a heavy metal renaissance man: an author (working on his second memoir), a spoken- word performer, a radio and TV host and an occasional Vegas DJ. Do you have any particular strategy for playing a festival like Las Rageous versus your own show? I approach every show exactly the same way: I get onstage and I do my thing, do my best to entertain the people that are coming to see us. When you play a festival like this, do you get a chance to hang out with other bands or check out other performances? It all comes down to schedule. If we're later on the bill, that a ords us the opportunity to hang around and see some other bands. Summer- time for us, certainly when we're in Europe, is kind of like summer camp, because you're playing festivals every weekend. You get to catch up with friends and bands that you pretty much only see once a year. Do you think the audience for metal is strong right now? Absolutely. I can only base it on how much touring we've done in the last seven years. It's more than we did in the '80s. So yeah, I think the audience is really strong. Are you reaching new fans, or mostly playing to an existing base? It's new people. You don't see a lot of 50-year-olds out there, let's put it that way. If we're play- ing to 3,000 people, maybe there's 50 or 100 people that have been around a long time, but most of the crowd are anywhere from 18 to 30. Do you meet fans who just discovered you guys on your most recent albums? Yes. These days it seems like a lot of peo- ple got into us on Worship Music and then started getting the back catalog, and then got For All Kings when it came out. After Worship Music and after we did the Big Four [concerts with Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer], there was de nitely a big in- ux of new people who got exposed to us. How do you balance classic songs with new material when you plan out your sets? We always play new songs. As much as we know what people want to hear, the new songs, that's the most exciting stu for us to play, because it's the stu we've played the least. Not to say that playing "Caught in a Mosh" isn't exciting. I don't think there's been an Anthrax show since 1987 that we haven't played that song. Do you have plans for more DJ gigs in Vegas? If the Hard Rock [Hotel] hits me up and my schedule is open, it's something that's really enjoyable for me to do. It's something I do at home anyway, with my friends. I play music, and we drink. So I get to do it at the Hard Rock with lots of people standing around banging their heads and yelling and singing along to metal songs. PICKS TO CLICK Five can't-miss bands at Las Rageous MASTODON (Saturday, 9:20 p.m.) Atlanta's progressive metal stalwarts are heralded for their ability to seam- lessly fuse elements from a wide-range of genres, from sludge metal to stoner rock. Just listen to second single "Andromeda" from the band's forthcoming album, Emperor of Sand, which takes listeners on a journey through thrashy guitar chugs and Middle Eastern-in- spired soundscapes. Don't be surprised if you witness a majestic, crescendo-heavy passage followed by a slow- burning sludge metal riff. In fact, you should expect it. –Ian Caramanzana KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (Friday, 8:30 p.m.) Reuniting with original singer Jesse Leach in 2012 breathed new life into Killswitch Engage, and the band's 2016 album, Incarnate, is its best work with Leach—a concise, pow- erful and catchy collection that reaffi rms KSE's position as one of the great American metal bands. Live, the band performs songs from both its Leach and Howard Jones eras, and Leach tackles the band's entire catalog with intensity and melodic precision, aided by guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz's manic energy, goofy stage presence and blistering leads. –Josh Bell COHEED AND CAMBRIA (Friday, 9:20 p.m.) Claudio Sanchez is a master of malleable melodies and sweep- ing guitar arpeggios, and his skills translate to the often upbeat, metallic musings of Coheed and Cambria. The progressive-rock quartet from Nyack, New York, is much more than radio hits "Welcome Home" and "The Suffering." Keep an ear open for songs from and beyond the seven-album, comic book-inspired epic, The Armory Wars. –IC EAGLES OF DEATH METAL (Saturday, 8:30 p.m.) The hard- rock (no, not death-metal) band led by Jesse Hughes (and featuring Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, but usually just on recordings) narrowly survived 2015's terrorist attacks in Paris, and the band is attempting to put that tragedy behind it after releasing a documentary about the experience, Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis. Expect to hear the upbeat groove and tongue-in-cheek "Wannabe in L.A." and the duo's buzzy take on Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer." –IC AVENGED SEVENFOLD (Saturday, 11 p.m.) The spirit of outsize arena rock lives on in Avenged Sevenfold, a band that started as an underground metalcore act before expanding its sound to encompass classic rock, power metal, glam and even prog rock, as evidenced by 2016 concept album The Stage. Live, the band embraces spectacle, using elaborate set design, pyro effects and video screens to bring its songs to life. It's an endearingly old-school approach to thoroughly modern metal. –JB LAS RAGEOUS April 21-22, doors at 4 p.m., $129-$499/ weekend, $79/day. Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, 800-745-3000. TALKING THRASH Catching up with Scott Ian of Anthrax B Y J O S H B E L L The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center opened in 2014, but the outdoor music space has truly come into its own as a home for diverse sounds this year. The space's upcoming schedule includes punk (Punk Rock Bowling, headlined by Iggy Pop, Bad Religion and Cock Sparrer); hip-hop (the Art of Rap, featuring Ice-T, KRS-One and more); dance music (the DJ- focused Dirtybird BBQ); and even dips into the '80s (Retro Futura, teaming up Howard Jones, The English Beat and others) and '90s (I Love the '90s, led by TLC and Color Me Badd). Kicking o all the warm-weather action will be a two- day new metal festival called Las Rageous, which will ri its way all over the hard-rock spectrum on April 21 and 22. Mastodon photo by Jimmy Hubbard

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