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Released on July 29th, 1997, Pantera's Official Live: 101 Proof remains one of the best live albums in the heavy-music canon for several reasons. Recorded throughout the "Tourkill" trek they embarked on in support of 1996's The Great Southern Trendkill, the career-spanning setlist captured the band at perhaps their heaviest era, ripping through face-smashing songs like "Suicide Note Pt. 2," "Becoming" and "War Nerve," alongside older cuts like "A New Level," "Domination" and "Fucking Hostile" with an intensity that rivaled the brutalist death-metal groups of the time.
Pantera sound fucking amazing on this record and the energy of the crowd is palpable, but what really makes Official Live so endlessly entertaining is the eminently quotable banter from frontman Philip Anselmo. The vocalist was in great spirits throughout these recordings, shrieking and roaring at peak form when he was singing, and chattering in between songs with the chest-puffing, foul-mouthed, king-of-the-world bluster that spiritually defined Pantera's golden years as metal's take-no-shit titans.
From shitting on the mainstream suits who foolishly proclaimed metal a dying trend, to profusely thanking his fans with a barrage of F-bombs and encouraging them all to "get high, drop acid and get laid," Anselmo is off the chain throughout these recordings. The entire album is worth taking in from front to back, but below, we've compiled the very best of Anselmo's banter. "THE TREND IS DEAD!"
"This is off the goddamn Far Beyond Driven album which I gotta say, I'm very, very happy everyone bought that album and put all that fuckin' commercial shit in their fuckin' place when that record came out. No. 1 and all that fuckin' shit, I like it." - intro to "Becoming"
"The next song goes out to everybody out there that never gave up on the fuckin' heavy music, ever. Everybody who ignored all these weak-ass fuckin' trends and pussy-whipped fuckin' ideas. Fuck 'em all. 'Cause you know why? All of us together: THE TREND IS DEAD! Thank fuckin' god. THE TREND IS DEAD." - intro to "Sandblasted Skin"
"Hey, you know what the experts are tellin' you? Heavy music is dead and gone. But y'all do me a favor, y'all turn around and look at each other, turn around and look at all these motherfuckin' people here. And obviously somebody's wanting to hear something that fuckin' these experts are tellin' you you ain't supposed to be hearing."
"What? Our hit? This is our hit. This next song's our hit. You won't hear this song anywhere but in your goddamn car, at home or on this fuckin' stage, and that's the way it should be." - intro to "Suicide Note Pt. 2"
"You hear Rex's bass? Answer me, YOU HEAR THE FUCKIN' BASS?" - intro to "Dom/Hollow"
"Lemme ask you somethin'. How many of you crazy bastards are gonna come see Pantera again? Let's go. I love it. Til' the next time we see you, we love you, then you get high and you drop acid and then you get laid and all that good shit." - intro to "I'm Broken"
"It's OK to curse. You can curse if you want to. You paid good money to curse out loud."
"All right, I know what you wanna hear — everybody take a deep breath. Deep breath. Blow it out all over the motherfucker next to you, give 'em all your bullshit breath, in the face. And until we see you again ... four seconds from now everything's gonna look a little bit different." - intro to "Fucking Hostile"