On Monday, February 5th, the Texan metal titans Pantera came through the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. This was part of the 2nd US leg of their first tour since 2001, and fans young and old packed the house for truly a night to remember. Supporting the “Cowboys from Hell” on this tour was Lamb of God, who are titans in their own right packing out arenas and amphitheaters for over twenty years. Despite it being one of the loudest shows on the road, this was a night worth losing your hearing for.
Review by Sully Smith
Photos by Jake Coughlin
Kicking off at 8:00 on the dot was Richmond, Virginia-based legends Lamb of God. Backed by tapestries with the Leviathan cross and two vulture skeletons, the band immediately got mosh pits forming despite a relatively small general admission area near the front of the stage. This was a truly meaningful tour for the band as they issued a statement before the first leg, where they also provided support, that Pantera is the only band every member went together to see before they became a band. The sentiment was clearly conveyed to the audience as this five-piece was visibly having fun while performing on stage. Lead singer Randy Blythe has been known for decades for his stage jumps, and this tradition continued as the band kicked off the show with “Memento Mori” and “Walk With Me in Hell”. Addressing the crowd before “Ruin”, Blythe added that Tampa was the home of death metal, calling out icons of yesteryear and dedicating the song to the “old school heads” in attendance. At the end of the hour, the set culminated with a rambunctious rendition of “Redneck”, which was dedicated to fallen Pantera members “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and kicked off with the band encouraging fans to mosh saying “if you think you’re too old, it’s time to come out of retirement”. This was the perfect band to open for Pantera, setting the mood and allowing fans to see two iconic bands together with the master and the prodigy.
Finally, at 9:30 it was time for the moment metal fans have waited two decades for. With a video montage dedicated to Dimebag and Vinnie, the band came out to “A New Level” with a blast of noise heard across Tampa Bay. This show was clearly dedicated to the brothers as singer Phil Anselmo dedicated the night’s entertainment before “Mouth for War”. Replacing the Abbotts were legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde and iconic drummer Charlie Benante, both titans in their own right who were able to fill their roles to perfection. Realizing this was the first time for many in attendance to see the band, Anselmo addressed “all the generations of Pantera fans” before “Becoming” and told youngsters to “find the old heads if they want the words for songs”. While both young and old had bought tickets and traveled from all over the state for this concert, the excitement was palpable as the crowd screamed the words over the entire 90-minute set at a volume heard even over one of the loudest bands in the world. One of the rare moments of the show was when the band played “Floods” as a somber tribute to Dimebag and Vinnie, with a video montage playing on the screens and Anselmo reminding fans to “always keep the brothers in your mind and heart”.
While the night had many highlights, the coolest moment of the show was when the CFH brought out singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho along with Randy Blythe to join them on an immaculate rendition of “Walk”. Closing the main set with this, “Domination/Hollow”, and “Cowboys from Hell”, Anselmo opted to take his in-ear monitors out and let the crowd lead the way through songs that are true generational anthems. Finally, the band closed out with “Hostile”, saying “other than the last song, this was a lot of y’all’s exposure to us”. As the time machine halted at 11:00, fans didn’t want to leave but Anselmo made sure the crowd knew the band wasn’t going away this time.
Overall, the Pantera tour with Lamb of God was truly a night to remember for the thousands of Floridians in attendance. This tour is scheduled to continue throughout the spring, but Pantera will have festival shows as well as dates supporting Metallica through the summer so the masses awaiting their return will have plenty of opportunities to see them live. While Lamb of God gave fans “Something to Die For”, these two bands provided the chance of a lifetime on Monday night in Tampa.
Get your tickets to the Pantera “For Legacy” Tour: https://pantera.com/tour/