This past Saturday (September 25), METAL ALLEGIANCE reassembled and hit the stage for the first time in nearly two years on Long Island, New York — where METAL ALLEGIANCE began back in 2014 — at Stereo Garden in Patchogue, New York (their first show since before COVID-19). The night featured music from METAL ALLEGIANCE's self-titled album, "Fallen Heroes" EP and "Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty", as well as a special set of covers picked just for this show.
In METAL ALLEGIANCE fashion, an all-star lineup performed in Patchogue, including core members Mike Portnoy (ex-DREAM THEATER), Mark Menghi and Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT) as well as Phil Demmel (VIO-LENCE, ex-MACHINE HEAD), Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) and John Bush (ARMORED SAINT, ex-ANTHRAX).
METAL ALLEGIANCE's setlist was as follows:
01. Can't Kill The Devil
02. Leper Messiah (METALLICA cover)
03. Fast As A Shark (ACCEPT cover)
04. The Accuser
05. Bound By Silence
06. What Doesn't Die (ANTHRAX cover)
07. Power Drunk Majesty (Part I)
08. Power Drunk Majesty (Part II)
09. Dying Song
10. Iron Fist (MOTÖRHEAD cover)
11. Mandatory Suicide (SLAYER cover)
12. Symptom Of The Universe (BLACK SABBATH cover)
13. Murders In The Rue Morgue (IRON MAIDEN cover)
14. Lights Out (UFO cover)
15. Room For One More (ANTHRAX cover)
16. Only (ANTHRAX cover)
17. Pledge Of Allegiance
18. Tear It Loose (TWISTED SISTER cover) (with Mark Mendoza)
19. Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)
20. Cold Gin (KISS cover)
This past July, Bush told Pierre Gutierrez about the possibility of embarking on a special tour during which he would perform material from his time as the singer of ANTHRAX: "Some ideas are being explored right now regarding doing it in some capacity. So we're just trying to figure out the right scenario to make it happen. But it's becoming a very good possibility."
Bush also once again said he wanted former ANTHRAX guitarist Paul Crook to be involved in the hypothetical ANTHRAX tour featuring material from his era of the band. "I love Paul," he said. "And we have been talking about some things. Once again, it's just whether or not all the situations kind of merge together and make it work. You've gotta kind of deal with all that logistics and stuff."
John continued: "For me, it would be a little bit [difficult to put together], only because I'm just really lazy. All I wanna do is kind of do the singing, and I don't wanna do all the nuts-and-bolts things about putting the band together and getting rehearsals and doing some of the business. That's the daunting part. If I could just go on stage and, like, 'Okay.' I have to learn those songs again too, if I do it. But there's all that stuff that is just a little bit different than just going out and singing. So, we'll see."
In September 2020, Bush told Canada's The Metal Voice that he first talked to his booking agent about the ANTHRAX tour idea "several years ago." He said: "We talked about it, and I think he sniffed around for some feelers to see what people would think. And I don't think we got the response that we really wanted to. It wasn't like we were looking for millions of dollars or anything, but we wanted to make it worthwhile to do it, and do the proper shows. It's not like something I wanna go out and do six months of touring with. It'd be fun to do some sporadic shows. I'd have to put a band together to do it. I'm probably a little lazy about that, quite honestly. But that's what would be involved in doing it. And I don't think we were pleased enough with the response that we tried to push it ahead and make it happen."
Bush went on to say that he was "caught by surprise" by ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian's comment that was not opposed to taking part in a special concert featuring most of the singers that have fronted the band over the course of its nearly four-decade existence. "I was, like, 'Wow. Okay.' And I thought that's a great idea. That would be really cool," Bush said. "I think that would be an amazing thing for the fanbase. But what I keep saying is that Joey Belladonna is the singer of ANTHRAX, and Joey should be the singer of ANTHRAX, as far as I'm concerned. And if this happens, it needs to have his approval, really, quite honestly. Because I wouldn't want him to feel like, 'Well, this is not my idea, and I don't wanna do this,' because he is the singer who'd be sharing the stage [with the rest of us], quite honestly. So I think it would be something that Joey would have to give endorsement to, for that to happen, if that's an idea. And again, I think it would be a fun thing to do a couple of handful of shows, sporadic stuff."
ANTHRAX has had a number of vocalists — including Bush, Belladonna, Neil Turbin and Dan Nelson — over the last 39 years, with Ian and drummer Charlie Benante remaining the sole bandmembers who have appeared on every one of the group's studio albums.
Turbin sang on ANTHRAX's debut LP, 1984's "Fistful Of Metal", before getting booted and being replaced by Belladonna. Belladonna performed on four ANTHRAX albums, including the fan favorite "Among The Living" (1987) before he himself was fired over creative and stylistic differences. Bush fronted ANTHRAX between 1992 and 2005 but was sidelined when the band reunited with Belladonna for a 20th-anniversary tour. When that collapsed, and relationships disintegrated with next frontman Nelson, Bush returned for a time before Belladonna took the job back in 2010.