PANTERA cancelled by German Rock Am Ring festival
German festival ROCK AM RING has decided to cancel PANTERA from the bill of the 2023 edition. The festival says to be taking this decision after careful deliberation with artists, fans and partners of the festival, after the criticism that followed when the band was announced.
The official statment in German goes:
No full disclosure of the reason is given, but the criticism is likely to be directed of the Nazi salute that frontman Phil Anselmo made at the Dimebag tribute event Dimebash in 2016. He later drew back saying it was a pun towards the white wine he had been drinking before the show. The action initially made him the center of attacks from his peers, with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian stating that Anselmo should make a contribution to the Simon Wiesenthal foundation and MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn vowed to never perform another PANTERA song live ever in his life.
In the aftemath of his actions, in early 2016 his band DOWN got a massive blow in the first year, with the band being cancelled from all festivals. A ban that was later lifted and Anselmo pursued to be booked with Down and his other bands, among which Phillip H Anselmo and The Illegals.
He said at the time, about his band Down being cancelled:
“I’m repulsed by my own actions, and the self-loathing I’m going through right now is justified by the hurt I’ve caused. “
He hinted that Down should have gone without him, as a statement towards his actions.
In 2015, Anselmo faced some criticism after it was discovered that Pantera was still selling merchandise bearing the Confederate flag. However, the singer quickly spoke out against the defunct band’s Lynyrd Skynyrd-inspired shirts. “It’d be like, ‘Would we be flying the Nazi flag?’” he said. “I don’t think so, because flags are looked at whether it be nationalism or symbols of something. Truthfully, it’s like … I wish fucking everyone would get along.”
PANTERA has a string of dates throught Europe, America and South Aerica scheduled so far. Reportedly, there are negotiations going on about making new music.
It was first reported in July that Anselmo and Brown will unite with Wylde and Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, will headline a number of major festivals across North America, South America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band’s founders, drummer Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who last year said Wylde wouldn’t tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It’s unclear what changed his mind.
PANTERA will play its first shows in over 20 years in December 2022, starting with a co-headlining slot at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven Metal Fest and Monterrey Metal Fest, followed by appearances at three Knotfest festivals in South America. There will also be a one-off show with JUDAS PRIEST in São Paulo, Brazil and a headlining concert in Santiago.
Remaining confirmed dates so far:
May 26 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Armeets Arena
May 27 – Bucharest, Romania – Metalhead Meeting Open Air Festival
May 30 – Budapest, Hungary – Barba Negra
May 31 – Vienna, Austria – Gasometer
Jun. 2-4 – Nürburgring, Germany – Rock Am Ring Jun. 2-4 – Nürnberg, Germany – Rock Im Park
Jun. 05 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena
Jun. 8-10 – Hyvinkää, Finland – Rockfest
Jun. 10 – Sölvesborg, Sweden – Sweden Rock Festival
Jun. 12 – Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena
Jun. 13 – Berlin, Germany – Verti Music Hall
Jun. 15 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhell
Jun. 15-18 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting
Jun. 21 – Hamburg, Germany – Edel Optics
Jun. 22-24 – Oslo, Norway – Tons Of Rock
Benante told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about how he plans to approach the PANTERA gig: “I can’t go do this as the drummer from ANTHRAX because it would be a different sound completely. So the way I’m gonna do that is if you close your eyes, it’s gonna sound like it’s Vinnie, basically. And that’s how it’s gonna be. The sound is gonna sound exactly like him.”
Wylde said that he had a similar mindset. “You approach it the same way as you do when I’m playing with Ozzy,” he said. “Obviously I’ve gotta learn (Randy) Rhoads‘s stuff and I’ve gotta learn Jake‘s (E. Lee) stuff, and when I was doing the (BLACK) SABBATH stuff, you learn it and do it as faithful as you can. Charlie‘s gotta learn all of Vinnie‘s parts. You approach it as if you’re in a cover band. When we do the ZAKK SABBATH stuff,” referring to his BLACK SABBATH cover band, “I don’t start changing lyrics midway through ‘War Pigs’. You learn the songs — so that’s what you do.”
A year ago, Anselmo said that he was up for reuniting with Brown for a special tour celebrating the music of PANTERA. The 54-year-old singer, who has spent the past few years playing a PANTERA-centric set with his solo band, THE ILLEGALS, discussed the possibility of re-teaming with his former PANTERA bandmate during an interview with Brazil’s Inside With Paulo Baron. Asked if he and Rex would be open to playing some shows in celebration of PANTERA‘s legacy, Anselmo said: “If Rex and I had a show to play, or we were ever gonna be on stage again together, I would welcome it with open arms. I love Rex. And he’d be the same way. We’re brothers forever. So playing on stage together, or doing some shows together, is not out of the question. It could happen.”
In April 2021, Rex told Eonmusic that he and Philip still get offers for a PANTERA tribute tour. “But if you don’t have the other guys in the band, it’s not going to sound the same,” he said. “If we were ever to do something like that, it would have to be spot-on, or I wouldn’t do it. It would be a tribute.”
Talk about a possible PANTERA “reunion” intensified when Anselmo regularly joined Wylde‘s BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to perform PANTERA‘s song “I’m Broken” during DOWN‘s 2014 stint on the “Revolver Golden Gods Tour”. That buzz only got stronger after Brown joined the jam on May 23, 2014 when the tour swung through Texas.
Up until his passing, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for Dimebag‘s death.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
PANTERA is managed by Scott McGhee of 1 Degree Music Entertainment. The band’s legal representative is Nick Ferrara And Associates. PANTERA is booked internationally by Rod MacSween at ITB. Artist Group International will book PANTERA‘s North American dates, with Dennis Arfa and Peter Pappalardo as the responsible agents.
Pantera is one of the most successful and influential bands in heavy metal history, combining elements of hardcore and thrash to create a menacing sound that many acts have tried to replicate. Created by late brothers Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott on drums and “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott on guitar, Pantera broke through following the release of their fifth album, 1990’s Cowboys from Hell, with new singer Phil Anselmo and the 1992 follow-up Vulgar Display of Power, with the simplicity of tracks like “Walk” gaining the band mainstream popularity.