In addition to being one of the most iconic figures in thrash metal history, a charismatic TV show host, twice-published author and comic book writer, it turns out Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian isn’t too shabby of an orator either. Seriously—is there anything the dude can’t do?
Last night, Scott entertained Melbourne’s metal aficionados with a whopping three-hour exploration of the most unbelievable stories from his 40-year-long career. From recounting the time he was mistaken for System of A Down’s Shavo Odadjian through to anecdotes about growing up as a Jewish kid in New York—Scott took the audience on a winding adventure that had fans hanging off his every word. A master at weaving an intricate tale, Scott’s retellings were polished and structured without coming across as forced. Much like his description of drinking Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels with Lemmy in a London dive bar, the evening felt akin to sharing a beverage with the thrash legend rather than watching him in an onstage performance.
Throughout the night, Scott used custom comic book illustrations to further bring his stories to life. This is something that isn’t often seen in speaking shows but it added a whole new dimension to the performance, while standing as a testament to Scott’s passion for the medium.
A particularly poignant moment came when Scott pulled up an image of Dimebag, only to be met with complete silence from the crowd. It was a stark contrast from a previous photo of Lemmy, which incited a round of cheers and applause. Scott was confused about the quiet, unsure whether the crowd knew who the man in the photo was, before he worked out that the audience’s lack of response was out of sadness and respect for the tragic way Dimebag passed.
Despite the immensity of the man’s own career, the performance was less about Scott and more about the larger-than-life personalities he’s found himself surrounded with over the years. He offered up hilarious tidbits about being pranked by Dimebag Darrell and told some of his fondest memories with late Metallica bassist, Cliff Burton.
The evening provided a fascinating insight into the lives of many of the rock ‘n’ roll legends who defined the last several decades of music, and it’s clear from Scott’s passion and enthusiasm that he’s just as reverent and passionate about their work as we are.
Saturday, 29 September – SYDNEY, Metro Theatre
Monday, 1 October – BRISBANE, The Tivoli