It was 1986 and heavy metal was king. Big hair, spandex, high heels and ripped shirts were the rule. I was leaning against my 1977 baby blue, Honda Civic hatch back when I heard Anthrax for the first time. It was a cool, crisp fall day, we were parked in Cherokee Park and skipping school. My friend David was along for the ride and had a new cassette tape. He popped in the tape and turned the volume up as loud as he could. The cassette, Spreading the Disease, was thrashing through the air. A small crowd gathered and we moshed. We wore our bruises like a badge of honor.
Metal was changing in front of my eyes. The big hair days were coming to an end, spandex was for posers and high heels were replaced with Dr. Martens. Anthrax, along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeath, changed the face and sound of metal forever. Gone were the days of lipstick boys and power ballads. In came speed metal with no sign of sympathy: angry, fast and charged. Thirty years later, Anthrax still carries the torch. The flame burns as fast as it was did on that fall day.
Blue jeans, black t-shirts, Dr. Martens and mosh pits still dominate the metal scene. And Sunday night at Louisville's Expo 5, Testament, Death Angel and Anthrax continued the tradition with the spirit of the foundation laid down in the 1980s. As these pictures from the concert show, this music is liquid, hot metal and in constant flux. Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel, with their mind crashing speed, continue to mold the future of metal.
Photos: Max Sharp