By Adam Bielawski
Phil Anselmo is the preacher man and the
gospel he preaches is hardcore heavy metal. Call em’ friends, fans, disciples
or just stoners, they are the truth that comes to listen to this bigger
then life charismatic stature on stage. A friend of mine that knows Phil
can only say, “What a character”, expressing Phil’s extreme belief in the
music he plays.
Dropping Pantera to what many in the hard core heavy metal community considered
a move that was ill taken, Phil formed the project Superjoint Ritual a
few years back. Going on almost 2 years of non-stop touring, Superjoint
Ritual is very driven by the music, the lifestyle, the experience and the
fan base that follow. For myself, each performance is the performance of
a lifetime as Phil Anselmo takes that stage and controls people/friends
who come to experience the nature of Superjoint Ritual “LIVE”. Even
if you are not a fan, Phil has the power to make you listen. A powerful
deep voice that controls and attracts your attention, occasionally blurting
out a “f***” here or there, well let’s say very frequently but that’s what
rock is about, no compromise and Phil Anselmo has not compromised a damn
thing in rock. I have been fortunate to see Superjoint now 4 or 5 times
and maybe missing them once or twice as Phil and the boys rolled in through
Chicago over the past 2 years. House of Blues on April 27th was no
difference. In Phil’s own words, “Superjoint is a bad ass mother f***er.
Answer me now, you’re glad someone is bringing real heavy metal back on
stage”. Superjoint comprised of guitarists Jim Bower and Kevin Bond, drummer
Joseph Fazzio, bassist Hank Williams III, that is correct the country legend’s
descendent and none other then Phil Anselmo. If you are interested about
the beginnings of the band and how they came to be, Revolver Magazine ran
a story March/April 2002 issue that was excellent. Look them up.
April 27, 2004 at the House of Blues was a gathering of people who came
to have a good time. As the guys came out on stage, chants went up high,
“Superjoint, Superjoint, Superjoint,” as Phil Answelmo replied by pounding
his mike against the chest 3 quick times in reverence. This powerhouse
on stage commands what is his domain tonight, wearing the usual threads
formed of cut off mechanix shirt and shorts with Super J emblem. The chants
continued and Phil bears the mascot of the band name, putting his head
back, lights the cigarette that is the namesake of the band and takes a
few puffs illuminated by the stage lighting. The type of anti-social norm
that our society contests against from day to day and most can live it
tonight as it entices the crowd to continue chanting, “Superjoint, Superjoint,
Phil exclaims with the voice that is well
recognized, “Listen, Listen, Listen, this whole show is dedicated to Solient
Green’s where one of the members was murdered”.
Hank Williams III’s hair springs out of
the ponytail, I was really surprised to see his face as the guys jump into
the set. Phil himself sporting a long Mohawk as these followers of Superjoint
Ritual start the dance so many know as the mosh.
Between song sets in the beginning of the show, you hear some fans yelling
for Deicide, where Phil abruptly yells back, “Where the f*** do you see
Deicide out here!”,”Deicide is not coming, you ain’t going to see Deicide”,
as Phil mocks the guilty for screaming out their name, “They just did not
make it!” The voices are not silenced and humiliated by the thunder of
Throughout the sets, Phil dedicated his
set list, troops who are out in Iraq, “Personal Insult”, bringing to the
attention the Pro-American movement overseas and the disrespect they give
our troops for not taking what we provide, the liberation to freedom.
“Introvert” went out to old school thrash bands, “Agnostic Front” and “Carnivore”
as Phil hit high pitch, “Raise it up!” continuing, “Thank you very f***in
As Super J jump into “f*** Your Enemy”,
Irwin’s dreadlocks are all over the stage and every other word F this and
F that, reminding me of the cover song Metallica did “So f***in What”.
“The Destruction of a Person”, prepared the fans up in the circle before
the stage of what is to come, as the pace picked up 10 fold, every one
went full force in the dance before Phil. It did not stop there, during
songs like “Permanently”, the strobe lights caused splendid effects of
chaos on the stage with bodies flying as everyone surfed. I had to step
to the back of the House of Blues to take in everything completely. This
is where a show is great, when you can see everyone enjoying themselves
and letting all know that the aggression is not to be taken seriously in
music but enjoyed.
“Tonight is really f***in on, you blow
every city away”, during the middle of “Alcoholik” and everyone responded
with cheers back at Phil for bringing that detail to the show tonight.
Chicago has welcomed Superjoint Ritual numerous times since their infancy
only 2 years back.
Throughout each set, appreciation was showed as chants from the fans, “Superjoint,
Superjoint, Superjoint”, the band always responding 3 times quickly, either
Phil pounding his chest with the mike, Joseph Fazzio giving you a triple
attack of the bass drum. This is what it’s all about. The first album was
great, “Use Once and Destroy” and the new “A Lethal Dose of American Hatred”
which is without disappointment and all are here to make it known. Phil
and Superjoint took on a challenge to bring you pure hard core aggressive
and pissed off’d music that is just as in the 1980’s as today uncompromising
that people always want more and need to be challenged. Phil is the guy
to do it and bring it to the public eye because he already has the foundation
and the reputation to push this hard bite to all in the thrash community.
“Remember your reputation is at stake” as Phil exclaims to all that Chicago
is the forefront of metal.
“Until next time we see you, hope everyone
gets wasted, laid and eats some pussy”, words from the antichrist of today’s
rock and roll. The last we seen this night as he drops his mike and walks
off as the rest of the guys followed.
This coming Ozzfest 2004 will feature Superjoint
Ritual, where they belong, in the forefront of the world of metal, in front
of the summers metal traveling circus of worship on the “MAIN STAGE”. You
can not hide from Superjoint Ritual and Phil Anselmo, he will find you,
he will come to your town again and again like the stalker till you experience
Superjoint Ritual's music and listen to samples.
the official site for Superjoint Ritual.
Photos by Adam Bielawski
Adam Bielawski is a feature writer and photographer for the antiMUSIC
Network, you can view more of his photo work at AdamBielawski.com.