First Avenue is anticipating the return of Phil Anselmo. Fans of Pantera, Down, and simply Phil himself are crowded into the club dressed mainly in black and representing the heavy metal culture in an extreme fashion. There is roughly one woman to every twenty or thirty men, a joke that is obvious to many. It’s a smaller group of fans gathered at First Avenue and it is clear as to which fans are which. Those who enjoy everything Phil has to offer are at the front of the floor, many standing and singing with him, with others moshing violently behind them. In the back, near the bar on the floor, is another group, the fans watching and hoping for a Pantera song. The remainders of people are strewn throughout the club, watching everything from the show to other people.
The show is opened by two bands, the first being Author and Punisher, followed by Warbeast. Author and Punisher is an interesting one man band headed by Tristan Shone. The sound is a doom and industrial style, playing the kind of music in which nightmares are made of. All the instruments in the band are made by Tristan, who plays a range of terrifying images behind him throughout the set. Warbeast is considerably different in form and style, playing a set of thrash metal songs. Warbeast is signed to Phil’s label, so it was common to see him at the side of the stage, watching them.
Phil takes to the stage around eleven, thanking the fans for taking their time to come to see them. In his typical style, he manages to insert at least two minutes or more of speaking in between every song. He covers just about every topic imaginable, but for those who have seen Phil during any show, they are incredibly familiar with that.
The music played all night is loud, if it had to be summed up in only one word. Phil plays a variety of his songs, including the one Pantera track, “Primal Concrete Sledge”, which is received more than incredibly well by the Pantera fans, waiting all night for it. It’s a spectacle to watch, overall, as the fans on the floor are some of the most enthusiastic and hungry for more types one could ever see at a concert.