… and you can witness one of only seven global appearances at a theater near you today — June 22, 2010*
*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you can’t make it, or if your local theater is already sold out, there will be an encore presentation in select theaters on Thursday, June 24.
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the ominous presence and staying power of thrash metal. Simply put, it’s the Carcharodon carcharias — the great white shark — of the heavy metal world: a remorseless, intimidating, brutally savage yet strangely graceful and beautiful creature that is both totally fearless and relentlessly unstoppable. Thrash’s evolutionary perfection was born of four U.S. bands in the mid-1980s: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. And while the undeniable influence of these four have spawned countless other bands – some of them truly amazing – none will ever equal let alone top their impact, influence and longevity. Hence the well deserved “Big Four” label bestowed on these founding fathers of thrash.
Strange as it may sound, and despite the fact that these four U.S. thrashers are all friends (for the most part!), they’ve never performed together — until now. Finally, after years of wishful thinking by the metal-loving masses and countless online rumors spreading virulently (like, say, anthrax), the dark dreams of many fans have finally been answered. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax recently announced seven dates together for their multi-band Sonisphere tour of Europe. The only trouble is that said shows are in pretty weird and wonderful locations (unless you live in said places, of course). June concert dates and the seven lucky cities are:
6.16 Warsaw, Poland
6.18 Zurich, Switzerland
6.19 Prague, Czech Republic
6.22 Sofia, Bulgaria
6.24 Athens, Greece
6.26 Bucharest, Romania
6.27 Istanbul, Turkey
It’s also reliably rumored that these will probably be the only seven dates. Not cool if you live in England, Brazil, Australia or Scottsdale, Ariz., but fear not — in recognition of the worldwide clamor to witness metal history in the making, the June 22 concert (that’s today) in Sofia, Bulgaria, will be broadcast to more than 800 cinemas worldwide. Watch the video ad below:
Now that we’ve whetted your appetite, want to know if it’s being shown in a theater near you? It’s simple —visit www.thebigfourlive.com for listings. My only advice? Do what myself and the Jackson crew here in Scottsdale already did — book tickets now! Show time is 7:30 p.m. in your respective time zone, so you won’t have to fake a sudden illness to skip work, unless you work nights, of course …
As the photo atop this piece illustrates, we’re proud to announce that two Jackson artists who have recently “returned home,” are involved in this memorable metal event — Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and Megadeth bassist David Ellefson. What makes the appearance of both these bands even more special is this — David has only recently returned to the band he helped start and Anthrax has literally just reunited with Joey Belladonna, the vocalist who fronted the group during the all-important era being celebrated.
Here’s what Scott and David told us only yesterday, after our exclusive photo shoot with both of them in Eastern Europe:
“Playing these shows with the Big Four has been incredible,” Ian said. “It’s really like coming home again. Having Joey back in the band feels perfect and it’s how it’s supposed to be. Joey Belladonna is the @#$%ing man. And being back with Jackson ripping on my new signature model Soloists really brings me full circle. The ease-of-play and the monster tone is what I expect and receive every time I strap my Jacksons on.”
So what are you waiting for, fellow headbangers? Visit www.thebigfourlive.com now, hunt down a theater near you and book tickets! But don’t “fret” too much if your local cineplex is already sold out — anticipating the incredible demand, an encore screening will be presented on Thursday, June 24, but only in select theaters. Or if you’re a cheapskate, you can doubtless watch shaky cell phone footage on YouTube, accompanied by the sound of crunching popcorn. Your call …
– Mindless text by Nick Bowcott; photos by Andy Buchanan
P.S. Despite massive interference by Bulgarian customs, be on the lookout for Scott possibly playing a never-before-seen Jackson. Wedge, if you’re reading this, you freaking rule, amigo!