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A couple of years ago I used to really like this band before they started making the same old tracks over and over again. Also I feel that my musical tastes have mellowed a bit now and I am not interested in listening to some sweaty bloke snarling into a microphone anymore. However, I think I went to see Pantera when they were at their peak in the UK on the F**king Hostile tour promoting their new album 'A Vulgar Display Of Power'. The concert was at the time completely awesome from the moment they stepped on stage. It was held in the now closed Town and Country club 2 in the heart of London, England. A cramped venue with no seating just one enormous mosh-pit in front of an unprotected and unsupervised stage area, with a crowded bar area to one side. The venue was perfect for a complete display of mayhem and thats exactly what ensued. The support act were attrocious, late and ignored by virtually everyone - think they were 'Gruntruck' or something like that but I wasn't really paying attention after the first two songs. Pantera were to follow them but didn't take the stage until an hour after Gruntruck(?) left it - probably early because no one was listening. This is where the problems began I feel. The crowd began to become restless and because of some of the support Pantera receive in this country trouble was inevitable. Glasses began to fly. Not real glasses but the toughened plastic kind - the ones that hurt like hell when they hit but do not actually smash. Pretty soon the air was literally full of projectiles as people retaliated against the mysterious thrower who had just hit them in the head with a glass. Security stood and watched for ages before deciding they ought to do something - throw themselves into the affray as well. The situation was ridiculous but it eventually calmed down and shortly afterwards Pantera took the stage. Mayhem unsued again but this time the kind expected when a thrash band hit the stage. This was probably the loudest gig I have ever been to. There was a massive surge to the front and bodies were flying everywhere as stage diving took on epic proportions. Opening up with 'Mouth For War' and playing through tracks such as 'Walk', 'Cowboys From Hell' and 'F**king Hostile' this concert was awesome. There are no frills about a Pantera concert, no flashy sets, pyrotechnics or anything like that, just hardcore drum and guitar coupled with rasping vocals. If this is your bag then check them out, otherwise avoid like the plague. I don't think I would go see them again - you only throw yourself into the lions den once - but it was strangely fun at the time.
I like Pantera a lot, and think that their music is excellent. After seeng them at Cardiffs Newport Centre my opinion of them went down considerably, but thats not because of the music or how they played (that was excellent). I just wanted to tell you all how disappointed I was with Phil Anselmo's attitude toward some of his fans. Depending on who you are going to see, in terms of metal bands, There are varying degrees of a mosh pit. Take Metallica. They get the crowd moving, but it doesn't tend to get that violent. With bands like Pantera and Slayer, you can tell that they could be quite violent. I've been at the front at a few gigs, and occassionaly have found it quite uncomfortable. Im under five feet tall, so am obviously very short. Now I also knew that the Pantera pit would be quite violent. Anyway, I was sitting up in the seats with one of my mates, and halfway through the gig, Phil Anselmo starts saying how everyone who was sitting in the seats was a pu**y, and the real fans are those at the front. He then made all the people at the front turn round and shout something at us lot in the seats. I thought this was such a horrible and insensitive thing to say to ALL the fans. We were in the seats and had spent exactly the same amount of money on the tickets as those who had gone down the front, so what was his problem, and how dare he say that we were less of a fan than those others. Also would he go up to a person who was in a wheelchair and say that to them? I don't think so. I said I was short, and I don't see the point in getting crushed to death or bruised and battered, And of course, not even be able to actually see them, which is what I paid my money for!! If people want to do that, fair enough,but I know from experience that mosh pits aren't for me, and chose to watch the band from where I could see them comfortably. It kind of put a dampner on the rest of the gig for me, because I was so angry and annoyed that he'd say such a thing. Its also made me not really want to see them again, because if he thinks those that sit down aren't good enough fans for him, why should I spend my money on it then? p.s I only gaveit 2 stars because of Phil!!