You may be asking yourself, “what else is there to say about Philip Anselmo?“ From his start with Pantera, to their global takeover, to their too-early demise, he has always struck a chord of emotion with listeners and observers – either positive or negative. Those are things that have been hashed and rehashed over the years, so I am not going to delve into those.
What I would like to say is that the 2021 version of Philip Anselmo looks and sounds better that he has in years. He and his band, The Illegals, made a stop at Amplified Live on Saturday night on their Vulgar Display of Pantera tour that is making its way around the country. The reasoning behind the tour is that Anselmo wants to pay tribute to the late Abbott Brothers (Dallas’ own Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul) and to bring Pantera’s music to a generation that never had the chance to see the band live.
From the first chords of “A New Level” kicking off the show, the entire band encompassed the Pantera vibe as close as I have seen since seeing the original back in the late 90’s. There will never be another Pantera, but The Illegals were on-point musically and their energy level was electric. As the night progressed, they made their way through some expected songs like “Mouth For War,” “Becoming,” and “I’m Broken,” along with lesser known songs like “Sandblasted Face” and “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit.”
Philip made it a point to celebrate a return to DFW where it all began and welcomed friends from the past that have supported him throughout his career. Overall, it was an amazing evening of music and as someone who did not live in DFW during the bands rise and through their later success, it was great to see the connection with the area fans. Everything from the venue space, lighting, sound, and performance was top notch and left everyone in attendance with a fulfilled feeling of the hearing music that has meant so much to so many people.
– Robb Miller