Nov 10, 2022
Truly a Time to Let Your Soul Fly Free
To say that Metal, especially Southern Metal, had a HUGE impact on my life would truly be an understatement. To be honest, I cannot recall a single time when Metal was not a staple in constant rotation within my music collection.
The one band, though, that I can attribute to me truly getting into super heavy music, though, would have to be Pantera, and I had the opportunity to not only see them once in my life, but twice. Those memories will never be forgotten and those ticket stubs will forever be treasured heirlooms as will my 1996 concert tee from the tour for "The Great Southern Trendkill".
Pantera always had that in-your-face / want to punch something sound. I can recall hearing "Becoming" for the first time in my brother's 1984 Honda Accord on his Alpine stereo at full blast while riding home from school one afternoon. The aggressive guitar that starts the track gives an instant punch to the cojones and what a musical journey that song is. It never lets up. Aggressive all the way through. Dimebag truly was a pioneer of his time and is so missed.
Shows were a way of life growing up and every show that came to town was a "must see". In 1996, my brother and his friends heard that Pantera was coming to town, and so, I instantly HAD to go, right? Add in the fact that they were to play with White Zombie, and duh, no brainer! We were there! We ended up scoring balcony seats, fail, but at least we were getting to go to the concert, so there's that.
On May 7, 1996, "The Great Southern Trendkill" was released and the cover was so sick that I knew before I even pressed play that I was in for an incredible experience. To this day, "Floods" is one of my favorite Pantera songs, hands down, because of Dimebag's amazing guitar solo, and I like to listen to that track on rainy days in my car at full volume.
Considered one of Pantera's most aggressive albums, "The Great Southern Trendkill" features some of the fastest tempos and down-tuned guitars in their entire anthology, and even though it was to be one of the last Pantera offerings for a long while after, it serves as a reminder of days past when Metal ruled and life was more simple.
The 1996 show with Pantera and White Zombie was killer, no lie, and was one of the BEST shows I have attended in my LIFE. White Zombie was incredible, Pantera was incredible, Eye Hate God...not so much, but the entire show was definitely one to remember.
Many years later, on a whim, I bought tickets to see Pantera again, but this time they were playing with Soufly. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I am a HUGE Max Cavalera fan, HUGE! I, literally, cannot go a day without listening to at least one Sepultura or Soulfly song. Max's voice gets me so pumped up!
Just a few of my fave Sepultura songs are "Refuse/Resist", "Roots", and "Ratamahatta". I even religiously wore my brothers Soulfly t-shirt in high school, often pissing him off when he would go looking for it and couldn't find it. It was almost always in my room in my dresser, ha! Oopsie! No clue how it got there. ::grins::
Anyway, so ended up getting to that second Pantera show late and arrived in the middle of Soulfly's set, bummer, but at least I got to go, and Pantera did not disappoint, once again.
Sadly, I did not get a t-shirt from that show, but I have the memories of who I went with and the experience. Those things can never be replaced.
Even though, Pantera is no longer around with the OG's, the memories of seeing their brilliance on stage will forever live in my mind, and maybe if I'm lucky, I'll stumble upon a YouTube video in the future of someone who recorded the shows I attended. Even though we didn't have camera phones back then, some people did sneak video cameras into those shows, and I'm sure someone out there has footage. They just have to.
Till next time, listen to good music, reflect on the memories, and let us teach the future generations what classifies as truly GOOD music.
Love and Light.
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