“Pantera” Plan First Shows In Over 21 Years With Zakk Wylde & Charlie Benante Replacing The Late Dimebag Darrell & Vinnie Paul
The metal community is still reeling from the news that Pantera plans to regroup for a 2023 reunion tour, playing their first shows in 21 years. Billboard now confirms that guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will join vocalist Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown on a headlining trek across a number of festivals in North America and Europe, plus their own concerts.
The estates of the band’s deceased brothers — Vincent “Vinnie Paul” Abbott and “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott — have reportedly given the go-ahead for this arrangement, and so has Brown, though Billboard points out that Brown said last year Wylde would not tour with a reunited Pantera. Things obviously have changed for Wylde, who was close with Darrell and is lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and the founder of Black Label Society.
Darrell, of course, was murdered in 2004 while performing in with his band Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio. Vinnie Paul died in 2018 from complications relating to heart disease. Benante, who also plays in crossover thrash metal group Stormtroopers Of Death, has drummed for Anthrax since 1983.
Updated lineup aside, this feels like a tense time for Anselmo to take the stage, given his history of giving Nazi salutes and shouting “white power,” as he did at a Dimebash event in 2016. Initially, he claimed to be joking because he was drinking white wine backstage. He later apologized on Housecore Records’ YouTube channel, saying, “…Anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that; I don’t want to be part of any group. I’m an individual, and I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said because you should have taken offense to what I said.”
He later told Rolling Stone: What I did, I own it outright.”