Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of renowned Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian would be like? I for one was curious, how might he spend his time, who might he catch up with for a beer? Well, One Man Riot was the perfect opportunity to get the answers to these questions as the spoken word tour moves across Australia.
I was immediately impressed with the choice of venue, The Goldfields Theatre which forms part of Jeff’s Shed was visually appealing and had comfy seats to wait in and alcoholic beverages at the ready for those who so desired. It was a great spot for people watching as the punters started arriving. The t-shirts were black and plentiful, with a mix of battle jackets thrown in for good measure, along with lots of ponytails and that was just the fellas! While the chicks were slightly outnumbered by the men we still came in good numbers, all eager to see what the man himself had to say.
As we filed into the auditorium to take out seats the metal tunes were cranked with the likes of Iron Maiden, Slayer and of course AC/DC playing for our aural pleasure. The stage was set with a projection screen of the most epic proportions, proudly displaying the tour poster, but I will ‘put a pin in that’ for now and revisit later (anyone who was at the show will appreciate that phrase, Scott used it multiple times over the course of the evening). The volume was turned up to eleven as Scott took to the stage, AC/DC blaring out, a little Australian flair to start the night’s proceedings. After a huge applause, Scott told us that it was his first time doing the show in a conference centre and he felt like he should be running a meeting! Comedic from his opening words the stories started, and they were extremely entertaining, to say the least.
Without giving away too much as I would hate to spoil the show for those yet to go, the stories were plentiful, amusing, and maybe sometimes just a little too colourful. Scott Ian is a confident, passionate speaker, his stories which you can find in his latest book Access All Areas, were spoken from the heart. His words pulled from the pages and brought to life for our listening pleasure. He kept the audience spellbound hanging on every word, waiting for punchlines which were always hilarious. His anecdotes covered many topics and many famous musicians, leaving the hoards green with envy at the company he would keep on a regular basis. To give you a brief insight, the topics touched on were beard envy (but don’t ever touch it, people, that is NOT cool), an intervention on Lemmy’s short shorts, alcohol poisoning, and of course his beloved buddy Dimebag. No orifice was left unscathed and words like ‘virgin whiskey lips’ and ‘tanned Welsh arse’ will forever take on a whole new meaning.
Now I will pull that pin out that I stuck in earlier, getting back to the mammoth screen, even Scott commented that he had never seen one as large, so there is a first for Melbourne, providing a steroid induced projection screen that even left Scott Ian speechless! Over the course of the evening, sensational animated drawings of Scott’s stories came to life, some quite graphic which had a few of us squirming in our seats but chuckling at the same time. They added another level to the show and gave us all a fantastic insight into how these tales unfolded.
We were hitting almost two hours into the show when the lights came up and the Q & A began, with some quite diverse questions, touching on Scott’s time in the reality TV show Supergroups, favourite Cliff Burton memory, will Anthrax ever play John Bush songs (no was the answer) and will there be a revival of S.O.D. Scott answered candidly and left us all feeling satisfied. With a drop of the lights, we were back to the life of Scott Ian and his favourite Dimebag story. Again, I will not give this away, but it was a very funny account of some hysterical pranks and how Scott came to be called Baldini by Dimebag. A term of endearment that he holds close to his heart to this day.
Working our way towards the three-hour mark, Scott took to the stool on stage and picked up the flying V that we had been eyeing off all night. We were treated to many versions of S.O.D.’s You’re Dead, even privy to the version he has written for his own passing. In the darkest of moments music can bring out the strangest of things, You’re Dead is certainly one of those. With thanks and waves goodbye we were left pondering the abundance of cool things we absorbed over the course of the evening. As I looked at the empty stage I noticed the two empty glasses that remained and can see now how Scott got the nickname Two Beer Scott. While Anthrax may sing One Man Stands tonight it certainly was a One Man Riot!
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
Gallery by Shane Henderson