CONCERT REVIEW: Pantera – Lamb of God – Flesh Hoarder Live at The Germania Insurance Amphitheater


 

No better way to celebrate Dimebag Darrell’s birthday than by jamming out to Pantera!!!! With a 3-hour drive, both ways, the anticipation has been building for weeks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew there was no way I was missing this tour.

 

The Germania Insurance Amphitheater in Austin, Texas, was transformed into a colossal cauldron of metal frenzy on Sunday night, August 20, 2023. Three powerhouse bands—Pantera, Lamb of God, and Flesh Hoarder—united to deliver an unforgettable evening of pure metal intensity, leaving the audience in awe and amazement. Despite the 105 temperature, fans showed up in the thousands, ready to throw down for an epic night.

The stage was set ablaze by the opening act, Flesh Hoarder. With their unapologetically heavy riffs and skull-crushing breakdowns, they roared to life with a ferocity that demanded attention. Their relentless energy served as the perfect introduction to the evening’s metal extravaganza, warming up the crowd for what was to come.

 

Lamb of God stormed the stage with their signature blend of groove metal, inciting a mosh pit that churned like a tempestuous sea. Randy Blythe’s commanding presence and guttural vocals drove the crowd into a frenzy, with classics like “Redneck” and “Laid to Rest” resonating through the night air. Their synchronicity as a band was evident, and the technical precision with which they executed each song was a testament to their mastery of the genre. I never get tired of watching these metal masters deliver each and every single time.

 

The anticipation in the air was palpable as the time for Pantera’s headlining performance drew near. The absence of Dimebag Darrell & brother Vinnie Paul, cast a bittersweet shadow over the proceedings. With images of Dimebag & Vinnie playing on the screens to Regular People, shouts of happiness erupted throughout the Amphitheater. As the curtain dropped, it was clear that Pantera’s legacy was as vibrant as ever.

Phil Anselmo’s primal screams and charismatic stage presence ignited the audience, who responded with an eruption of cheers and applause. Joined by surviving member bassist Rex Brown and longtime friends Zakk Wylde on guitar and Charlie Benante on drums, the band’s chemistry was electric, and their music was a relentless barrage of metal greatness. Classic anthems like “Walk,” “Cemetery Gates,” and “Cowboys from Hell” transported the crowd back in time, reminding everyone of the unparalleled impact Pantera had on the metal genre.

After their third song, Strength Beyond Strength, Philip guided the fans in singing Happy Birthday to Dimebag, which I’ll admit, I got a bit teary-eyed, as did many others. Followed immediately by a toast in unison to one of the greatest metal guitarists ever!

 

A particularly poignant moment was when the stage went dark as the band slowed down for a Black Sabbath cover of Plant Caravan as images of Dimebag and Vinnie played on the screens. It was a touching tribute that brought tears to the eyes of many in attendance.

 

Afterwards, the gears kicked up and laid waste to Germania. Regardless of what you may think of this tour, I for one am glad I made the 6 hour drive to pay tribute to one of the most influential metal bands of all time.

 

The combination of three powerhouse bands, each showcasing their unique styles within the metal genre, created a concert experience that will undoubtedly be etched into the memories of all who were present. The Germania Insurance Amphitheater served as the perfect backdrop for this sonic onslaught, with its open-air setting allowing the music to reverberate into the night sky.

As the final notes of Pantera’s encore faded away, and the last echoes of the crowd’s cheers lingered, it was evident that this night would go down in history as a testament to the enduring power of Pantera. The concert was more than just a performance; it was a celebration of a culture, a tribute to legends lost, and a reaffirmation of the unbreakable bond between friends, bands, and their devoted fans.

 

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RENE BOTELLO