Pantera Regroups for First Live Show in Over 20 Years

Pantera took the stage for the first time in over 20 years Friday night (December 2nd) at the Heaven and Hell Metal Fest in Mexico City, MX.

Many had thought this reunion would never happen after the band broke up in 2003 followed by the senseless on-stage murder of its iconic guitarist Dimebag Darrell in 2004 during a show with his new band Damageplan. Then in 2018, Darrell's brother, drummer Vinnie Paul unexpectedly died of heart disease in Las Vegas. Fans gave up on ever seeing the Cowboys from Hell live again.

But recently, surviving Pantera members, singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown, joined forces with longtime Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante to reform the legendary hard rock band, and boy did they impress all who were there.

When a member of Kiss says you did well, you did well.

"I couldn’t have been more blown away by what I witnessed in Mexico City tonight," Metal Edge's Paul Gargano wrote. "Knowing all four of the guys for longer than I can remember, I had no doubt that they’d do the legacy of Pantera justice. But they went far beyond a tribute, truly bringing the music of Pantera back to life in a way I never thought would be possible after the tragic losses of both Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul."

The quartet rocked through 15 tunes with heavy heapings from its two most groundbreaking albums (five from 1992's Vulgar Display of Power and five from 1994's Far Beyond Driven).

"Planet Caravan" tribute

The band also covered Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," a tune Sabbath only played once live, but Pantera has now performed 116 times after recording it on Far Beyond Driven. But when they presented it to the grateful crowd at the Metal Fest, clips of the fallen brothers illuminated the giant screens as a tribute.

"This is for Vince and Dime, man," Anselmo said. "Dimebag and Vince, may the legacy live long."

Pantera will be opening for Metallica in a dozen different football stadiums in North America starting next summer. Grab your tickets here.

Pantera setlist
Metallica M72 tour should be something special.

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Last updated: 23 Feb 2024, 10:42 Etc/UTC