Tuesday, September 24, 2019

That Time Pantera Overthrew Communism

A generation of angst came to a head in Moscow, Russia on a cool September evening in 1991. Ruffian musicians from the southern United States, banging around for the last decade, building their own angst, took the stage to open a Monsters of Rock show in the Soviet Union. By the end of their set, one of the most powerful governments in the world would have the last dagger shoved through its heart.

As Darrell Abbott cranked up the opening riff from Cowboys from Hell, it was obvious that those Russian youths in the crowd had more than just anger for the communist soldiers pushing and shoving them. Phil Anselmo pauses to say, "We're taking over the entire country." One has to assume this was not lost on the crowd, which by the end of the set had swollen to 1.6 million... That's right: MILLION.

Throw in a few tanks, military helicopters, some obviously outnumbered troops, and what you'll have is pretty much revolutionary. By the time the other bands took the stage, the crowd had, in effect, overthrown the government and peace was largely achieved. Any resistance would have been futile. Within weeks, the Soviet Union was no more.

Here's a sample from the show:

A longer version with more of the show and commentary is here.