Watch Pantera cover Black Sabbath, deliver ‘Vulgar Display’ hits at first show in 21 years

The groove-metal pioneers are officially back

Pantera headlined the Hell & Heaven festival in Mexico yesterday (December 2), marking their first live performance in more than 21 years.

The groove-metal pioneers’ comeback was announced in July, when surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) signed a deal to reunite the band for a tour. Joining them on guitars and drums, respectively, would be Zakk Wylde (best known as the frontman of Black Label Society and longtime bandmate of Ozzy Osbourne) and Charlie Benante (of Anthrax).

With their entrance soundtracked by the David Lynch and Alan R. Splet song ‘In Heaven’, the band kicked their set off with two fan-favourites from their 1992 album, ‘Vulgar Display Of Power’ – ‘A New Level’ and ‘Mouth For War’ – before slamming through more than a dozen other selection cuts from their catalogue, as well as a cover of Black Sabbath’s 1970 song ‘Planet Caravan’.

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Six of the 16 songs in Pantera’s set were pulled from ‘Vulgar Display Of Power’, while five came from 1994’s ‘Far Beyond Driven’ album. ‘Cowboys From Hell’ (1990) was represented with two songs – ‘Domination’ and the title course – while ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’ (1996) and ‘Reinventing The Steel’ (2000) each had one song showcased: ‘Drag The Waters’ and ‘Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit’, respectively.

Have a look at some crowd-shot footage of the gig below, then see the full setlist (via setlist.fm):

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Pantera played:

1. ‘A New Level’
2. ‘Mouth For War’
3. ‘Strength Beyond Strength’
4. ‘Becoming’ (w/ snippet of ‘Throes Of Rejection’)
5. ‘I’m Broken’ (w/ snippet of ‘By Demons Be Driven’)
6. ‘Use My Third Arm’
7. ‘Drag The Waters’
8. ‘This Love’
9. ‘Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit’
10. ‘Fucking Hostile’
11. ‘Planet Caravan’ (Black Sabbath cover)
12. ‘5 Minutes Alone’
13. ‘Walk’
14. ‘Cowboys From Hell’
15. ‘Domination’
16. ‘Hollow’

Pantera’s next live performance will come next Friday (December 9) when they perform at Knotfest in Colombia. From there, they’ll co-headline Knotfest Chile on Sunday December 11, and Knotfest Brasil exactly a week after that (December 18). Then, next May, the band will embark on a nine-date headlining tour of Europe.

The reunion comes just shy of two decades after Pantera first broke up in 2003. For its current iteration, Wylde fills the role of late guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was shot dead during a 2004 performance with his band Damageplan. Benante, meanwhile, fills the role left by the late Vinnie Paul – Dimebag Darrell’s brother – who died from medical complications in 2018.

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