When the first people offering you congratulations are Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of American rock giants KISS then you know you’ve made your mark on the rock and metal scene. Celebrating 40 years at the top of the heavy metal game, New York thrashers Anthrax put on a two and a quarter-hour livestream spectacle to mark this incredible achievement.

Only after 22 songs and over an hour and a half do you take a breather and get the chance to take in what has just happened. As you scan down the setlist, it reveals a ridiculous amount of classic tracks, some modern gems, and a couple of fan-favourite covers. Of the first seven cuts performed by the thrash legends, only one is what you would deem as “modern Anthrax.” The rest consist of classic cut after classic cut. Performed on a minimal stage set-up, this might be a livestream, but the energy and excitement pouring from the band feels no different to that of an actual Anthrax gig with one excited fan crying for a “lounge mosh pit” in the chat. A top-quality livestream, everything about this celebration is a joy to be part of. Judge Dredd collages flash over the screen during a ferocious rendition of “I Am The Law” while images of Ronnie James Dio, Dimebag Darrell, and Vinnie Paul flash up at the beginning of an emotional “In The End.”

Photo of Anthrax performing at their 40th Anniversary Livestream

On the negative side, there is no inclusion or acknowledgement of the John Bush-era of the band but, while some bangers from that period in time would definitely make for a welcome inclusion, faultless renditions of classics like “Medusa,” “Indians,” and “AIR” will have even hardcore John Bush devotees moshing in their rooms. Along with the aforementioned “AIR,” the celebration comes to a close with a special guest appearance on the hip-hop/thrash crossover hit “Bring The Noise,” before crashing to a finale with a breakneck rendition of “Among The Living.”

Throughout this metal celebration, there is no chat from the band who prefer to let their setlist do the talking for them. The talking is left to an A-Z of their famous fans as everyone from Henry Rollins, Rob Zombie, and Corey Taylor to DMC, Keanu Reeves and Vernon Reid not only offer up their congratulations but show exactly the kind of wide-ranging appeal that these New York thrashers have had on the heavy music scene for 40 metal thrashing mad years.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the webcast, it’s still available via Anthrax’s official website.

Celebrating 40 Years Set List:

1. Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t
2. Madhouse
3. Caught In A Mosh
4. Metal Thrashing Mad
5. Got The Time
6. I Am The Law
7. Keep It In The Family
8. Lone Justice
9. The Devil You Know
10. Be All End All
11. Now Its Dark
12. Antisocial
13. In The End Ronnie Dio/Dimebag/Vinnie Paul
14. Medusa
15. Evil Twin
16. Indians
17. Skeletons In The Closet
18. Aftershock
19. Blood Eagle Wings
20. Bring The Noise (Public Enemy)
21. AIR
22. Among The Living

Artwork for Anthrax’s 40th Anniversary Livestream Event

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.