When the so-called "Big Four of 1980s thrash metal METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX play Yankee Stadium on September 14, the concert will be a celebratory and emotional experience for the five New York born-and-bred members of ANTHRAX, the only New York band on the bill. To begin with, ANTHRAX's hometown gig will be preceded by the September 13 release of "Worship Music", the band's first new album in eight years, and already called "the metal album of the year" by numerous music critics.
Drummer Charlie Benante, bassist Frank Bello, and guitarist Rob Caggiano are all from the Bronx, guitarist Scott Ian was born in Queens, and vocalist Joey Belladonna is an Oswego native.
Bello is a self-proclaimed, diehard Yankees fan who attended games at the original stadium while growing up. Ian, also a lifelong Yankees fan who frequented Yankees games as a kid, was at the stadium in '77 when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in Game 6 of the World Series against the L.A. Dodgers. Ian recently told Rolling Stone, "We're a New York band, I'm a crazy Yankees fan, and we're playing Yankee Stadium, those three things add up to a perfect storm of insanity."
Benante's father, who was scouted by the majors, would regale a four-year-old Charlie with all the stats and facts about the Yankee players while the two played catch in the backyard. "My dad was a huge Yankees fan," Charlie recalls. "I remember he always had the TV or radio on, listening to every Yankees game he could. He died when I was five, so he never knew about my success as a musician, but I know he would have been so proud of me playing Yankee Stadium. I know that in some way, he'll be there, giving me the power I'll need to knock it out of the park."