On September 14th, the Big 4 of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax will take over Yankee Stadium for a day of metal mayhem. At least, that’s what Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is hoping. “I think back to my heyday of going to concerts as a kid in New York from the years of like ’79 to ’83, and I remember going to see Judas Priest on either Screaming For Vengeance or one of those sold-out Madison Square Garden shows,” Ian tells Rolling Stone. “There was an energy level at shows like that that was just out of control. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I remember being in the Garden for Judas Priest in 1981 and actually feeling scared sometimes because it was just so intensely rowdy and nuts and people were just losing their mind.”
He believes New York can muster that vibe again. “I would love to feel that energy again at this Yankee Stadium show, like the old-school New York energy that I used to feel at gigs back then,” he says.
The show – the second Big 4 concert in the U.S., after April’s in Indio, California – has special meaning for Anthrax, as they’re the only New York band on the bill. “I’m a lifelong Yankee fan and it’s the biggest stage I can think of actually playing,” says Ian. “So you put the fact that we’re a New York band, I’m a crazy Yankee fan, and we’re playing Yankee Stadium, those three things to me just add up to a perfect storm of insanity.”
But for drummer Charlie Benante, the show will mean something very different – his dad was scouted to play professional baseball, but his grandfather told him he couldn’t do it. “My dad died when I was five so he never really got to see how far I’ve come in my career,” he says. “I just know if he knew that I’d be playing Yankee Stadium he would be fucking going nuts to find that his son did this and achieved this goal. Here I am playing Yankee Stadium and I know in some way he’ll probably be there with me.”
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