Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo celebrates his 49th birthday today, June 30. Before fronting one of the most successful bands in history, forming Down or Superjoint Ritual, or stirring up controversy, Anselmo was just another talented teenager, screaming his heart out at local metal shows in his native New Orleans, Louisiana. That all changed in 1986, when Pantera discovered – and promptly recruited – Anselmo, then 19, as their lead singer. It was a wise move: resultant classics such as 1988's Power Metal, 1990's Cowboys From Hell and 1992's Vulgar Display of Power derive much of their staying power from his explosive performances. Following Pantera's 2001 dissolution, Anselmo shifted his creative focus to his longtime sludge side projects Superjoint Ritual and Down, released a solo album and formed the black metal supergroup Scour alongside members of Pig Destroyer, Cattle Decapitation and others.
To celebrate Anselmo's birthday, we're revisiting one of Pantera's most legendary performances: their set at Moscow's Monsters of Rock, the first outdoor rock festival ever held in the former Soviet Union. On September 28, 1991, the Texans took the stage before half a million fans for a set as hellish as it was historic. One of Pantera's finest moments was their furious take on "Cowboys From Hell," the alpha and omega of their wicked chemistry, so awesome as to warrant its place in Guitar Hero and Rock Band games alike. Watch below.