Charlie Benante reflects on first Pantera reunion show: "I think I was metal meditating, don't laugh…I'm serious"

Charlie Benante
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Charlie Benante has reflected on the first Pantera reunion show, which took place on December 2 at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest. 

The Anthrax drummer joined guitarist Zakk Wylde and surviving Pantera members Rex Brown (bass) and Philip Anselmo (vocals) for the highly-controversial reunion, the debut night of which marked the band's first show in twenty years.

The following evening, Benante took to social media to reflect on the historic moment, which he described as a session of "metal meditating". 

He explains (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): "If I say I wasn't nervous, I'd be lying. The excitement, the fear, the emotions, the love and the work that went into doing this all played a part of what was in my head.

"When I got up there it had all seemed to disappear ( except for the cold 50 degree weather, 🥶) I looked at @philiphanselmo @rexbrownofficial and @zakkwyldebls and felt the connection, Bam!!!! New Level started and we were off. I kept looking down at my set list and was getting hyped up for the next song.

"Thank you #sterlingwinfield for bringing me an old @dimebagdarrell wristband and a pair of @vinniepaul3 old gloves. I wore the wristband and brought the gloves up with me. I had some moments up there like I felt I wasn't there, I went to some other place. I think I was Metal meditating , don't laugh… I'm serious.

"Thank to the @panteraofficial family, thank you to the crew and the amazing fans who have always been so positive about this. Thank you to @carlaharvey and @miacbenante for listening to me play Pantera songs day in and out. I look forward to seeing you all and having a great time playing these songs and reliving the feeling of what a great band they are!"

Check it the post below:

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For the debut reformation set, the band opened with A New Level and Mouth for War from 1992’s A Vulgar Display Of Power. Other songs they played included I’m Broken, Fucking Hostile, Walk and their cover of Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan, which included a video tribute to late guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul.

Pantera setlist, Hell & Heaven Open Air, Texicoco, Mexico, Friday December 2, 2022

01. A New Level
02. Mouth for War
03. Strength Beyond Strength
04. Becoming
05. I'm Broken
06. Use My Third Arm
07. Drag the Waters
08. This Love
09. Yesterday Don't Mean Shit
10. Fucking Hostile
11. Planet Caravan
12. 5 Minutes Alone
13. Walk
14. Cowboys From Hell
15. Domination/Hollow

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.