This just popped in my head a little bit ago…maybe because Phil’s bringing this band back out on the road again, but only as Superjoint for “legal reasons”, whatever the fuck that means. In early 2003 I was finishing up my first year of college and was anxiously waiting for Phil Anselmo to stop with the multiple side projects and get with Pantera again. So one day before I finished for the semester I met this guy Hussein, who I’m still buddies with. I don’t remember how it came about but we got to talking about Pantera and he mentioned that Superjoint Ritual, Phil’s Black Flag-meets-Black Sabbath hardcore side project, was going to be playing L’Amour in Brooklyn in a week and opening up for them would be Sepultura. Whoa wait a sec. Superjoint Ritual? Phil Anselmo? Sepultura? Playing…in Brooklyn?? Playing …in THIS place??? I figured for sure Phil Anselmo was too big of a name for a place like L’Amour, I don’t give a fuck how many bands played there. Hell my first two gigs ever were at L’Amour and I vowed to never played there again because the faggot ass guineas running the place didn’t know how to talk to people. But I realized I had to go. It was Superjoint – it was fucking Phil Anselmo, who at that time still had it as a vocalist, and sadly it was as close to seeing Pantera as I’d ever get, partially because Phil wouldn’t shut the fuck up but that’s another story…kind of. May 20th, 2003. It was perfect, I wasn’t scheduled for work that day and all I had to do was hand a final paper to my English professor and I was a free man. While on campus I couldn’t help but go on a computer and check out Pantera’s website. It read “May 20th 2003: Phil says Pantera is over.” I click on it and there was a link to an audio clip were Phil explained his logic that he wanted to do another Down record, his label wanted another Pantera record and therefore his “obvious choice”, as he put it, was to stick with Superjoint Ritual. Don’t get me wrong, Use Once And Destroy was a fucking AMAZING CD, but that’s his ‘obvious choice”?? Why didn’t I realize he was far from sober the whole time? So I took car service all the way to 63rd St in Brooklyn, which I swear is like this magical hidden block that you can’t know about unless you know what to look for because I never knew of or saw the place until two years earlier. I got there real early anticipating a line but thee wasn’t. But I did see a Ryder moving truck with Sepultura’s gear in it and realized Igor Cavalera was hanging out in front of the building while the crew was unloading the band’s gear. These days I have no problem going up to musicians but this was the first time I ever saw someone like Igor in the flesh and I just fucking froze. I didn’t know what to say, do, nothing. It got worse when Andreas Kisser came out. I did try to talk to the road crew, offering to help them unload. They were cool but they nicely declined. Fuck! I was there for a few hours before I decided maybe I should get on line. Problem? I didn’t have tickets; but that all changed when I ran into an old friend whose band, Dieverse, was one of the local bands opening up the show. So one of his fat goth chick friends sold me a ticket while (I think) subtly offering to blow me – not happening sweetheart! I was one of the first on line when Superjoint’s bus came around and the band walked out. Considering all things Phil looked pretty normal as he high fived me. I walked in there and was surprised to see that since I last played there in October 2001 they had built a brand new stage in the back, which meant there now were two stages. I thought this was pretty genius since L’Amour was notorious for overloading the bills with local bands up the ass. I would know – my old band suffered for it twice. So while seeing the first main band, this really shitty hardcore band called Full Blown Chaos – wow they sucked so bad! – I found myself talking to some older woman who was standing next to me. She was a real cool chick and I found myself asking her were she lived and when she said the village (Greenwich Village for those of you dopes unfamiliar with lower Manhattan) I for whatever reason said “I figured so”. She asked me nicely how I figured that and I couldn’t think of a good answer even though I totally didn’t mean it as an insult. I must’ve meant the fact that she came off as such a free spirit but didn’t know how to say it like such at the time, and being just days away from turning 19 what the fuck did I know anyway? “I’m getting another beer, I’ll be right back”, she said. Guess if she ever came back. Oops! Yeah, I was a dope. Lesson learned! So Sepultura came out next and they fucking SLAYED. Igor’s drum kit is something else but whatever. The man is one of the greatest metal drummers of all time, a pure machine. Andreas Kisser’s tone was heavy as fuck as they played stuff off classics like Roots and Chaos A.D. During “Roots Bloody Roots” the place came apart for a bit. There was no way they’d be able to steal Superjoint’s thunder – even with Paolo Pinto’s bass sounding like a 747 taking off. So Eddie Trunk came out to introduce Superjoint and I had just discovered him not too long before this night but he was every bit as fat as I imagined he would be just from listening to him as he showed off his vast, useless musical knowledge. The only thing he was missing as far as I was concerned as was a pair of nerdy Steve Urkel glasses and suspenders! The band came out and the place came apart for real this time. I wish I could find footage of the show but I can’t. There was this one guy with these nasty looking dreads standing in front of us who just had to keep his middle finger out in the air while yelling out “FUCK YOU ALL!!!” over and over again. The guy standing next to me was jokingly putting his lighter to the guy’s head – I wish he lit that asshole up! Some memorable parts of the show include a girl jumping on stage to grab Phil’s nuts and hand him a joint, in which Phil responded in kind: “Thanks for the joint – thanks for grabbin’ my balls!”, as security took the girl away. There was the part were some dude jumped of the stage head first and no one caught him. Yeah, cringe moment for me and the dudes I now was hanging with. Then Phil said the one thing some of us predicted he’d say. In a pure drama queen moment he put his left palm out to the crowd, closed his eyes and proclaimed “It feels…SO GOOD…to be only two inches in front of you. I’ve been on all the world’s biggest stages – I’VE BEEN ON ‘EM ALL! But this is where I belong…and this is where I’m stayin’.”, he said as he backed up toward Joe Fazzio’s drums for the next song. “Who called it?”, someone yelled out. Aside from that the band destroyed the place for real. Just one issue…how the fuck do I get car service to take me home?? I found a number for car service then I heard someone say “I know you from Psychology class”. Anna Lopez?? Thank Satan you’re here! And there was my ride home. The next concert I went to two months later was far bigger but this was Phil Anselmo and this was also to be the second to last time I’d ever go to the original L’Amour; the place closed down eight months later. If any of you reading this were at the show at all drop me a line and tell me about your view of the show. Let me know if I forgot to mention anything.