Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Philip H. Anselmo, live and alive

A friend, a wise man (or is that a wise guy) once said that parents shouldn't like all the same music as their kids. His theory: if you can have discussions and learnings and meaningful disagreements about musical differences, you always be able to have discussions and learnings and meaningful conversations with them about everything else that matters in life. (Thanks, Geoff, I hope you don't mind my borrowing that.)

My introduction to Pantera and Mr. Anselmo was not through my own musical journey, but by means of loud music escaping my then-teenage daughters' bedroom walls. This was their music, as was Metallica and NIN and a few others. That's how I learned to appreciate this generation of metal, while they had learned Sabbath and Budgie from me and mine. (They are adults now, and we all have very varied musical tastes... but rock and metal and progressive are still at the core.)

So, of course, I had to jump at the opportunity to see Phil Anselmo and his latest band, The Illegals, when they came to town last night.

Great, great show. 

Phil Anselmo has such a strong, but approachable, presence. He's funny and he's kind. He was teasing one of the security guys because he looked "too young to know all my music", and asking people in the "old-school anti-clockwise" mosh pit to pick up their brothers and sisters if they fall, because we're all here to have fun not get stomped. (I thought mosh pits were like plug holes and the direction of water and depended on longitude, not time... but now I know.)

He made me laugh. I wasn't expecting that.

With his recording company Housecore, Phil Anselmo is involved in projects non-stop; supporting and encouraging new musicians (but also telling them to do their own thing, not copy his). He's been through a lot of physical pain and probably does so every day (my photo pass has a picture of screws in vertebrae and metal holding a spine together, and that just had to hurt). No doubt the life of a touring musician is a challenge at times, but it didn't seem a problem last night, on stage at Sacramento's Ace of Spades, with an audience of young and older and my-age too, enjoying one of the greats of heavy metal.

Just one request... next time (and there will be a next time, right Phil???) can the show be on a Friday? So that this town and it's working people can give Anselmo the full-house, all-night-long, raucous Sacramento treatment he deserves? Or maybe... Aftershock 2014????? Now wouldn't that be cool. Maybe we should suggest it.

Great show. So glad I went. My daughters are jealous.

More photos from the show can be found in the gallery on http://alisontoon.com 

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