10 awesome live 80s thrash metal videos you should watch right now


With the pandemic keeping concerts as we know them canceled, we’ve posted some of our favorite live videos each day of the week to help you know when you can finally catch an IRL show. Sometimes we pick one theme, like ’90s punk or’ 80s hardcore, and here’s another: ’80s trash metal.

There’s been a real resurgence of thrash for quite some time now – with new bands, reunions and returning albums from classic bands, and the continued relevance of classic bands that never broke up – and lots of bands on. this list are bands that were on tour just before the start of the pandemic and / or that had scheduled shows later this year. But for the sake of this list, I was left with only film footage. in the ’80s, which means things get a little grainy at times, but it’s such a treat that we can see and hear this stuff over 30 years later.

Ten is obviously a small number and there are a lot more videos available than we could have included, but we think it’s a nice selection for thrash viewing and we’ll continue to post more live videos as long as we are in our 40s. in effect, so maybe there’s some more thrash to come. Also, I didn’t pick the more obscure bands or anything, but I intentionally left out Metallica (which we recently posted footage from from the ’80s) and Slayer (ditto) to include some of the slightly less obvious groups.

And if you want to keep the party going after watching the videos, I have prepared a 80s 40s Spotify Playlist featuring all ten groups on this list and 16 more. Subscribe and Stream at the bottom of this article. Okay, less talk, no more brawls. Forward the videos …

Anthrax @ Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK – 11/16/1987

The same year Anthrax comes out Among the living, they played London’s historic Hammersmith, which was captured on a pro-shot film. Even today, anthrax is one of the most purely fun classic thrash bands to see live, and they were even more of an adrenaline rush in the late ’80s. There’s hardly a moment when the four non-drummers aren’t running on stage at the same time, and it feels like they’ve boosted the speed of almost every song in this set. They give it their all, and according to the volume of the singing crowd, anyone who got to see this IRL show gave it away right away.

Whiplash @ Scum in Katwijk, The Netherlands – 04/23/2018

Across the Anthrax River in Passaic, NJ, Whiplash was creating a rawer, more devilish style of thrash metal that was already perfected by their 1986 debut LP. Power and Pain and sounded just as vicious the following year Ticket to chaos. The year after releasing their second album, they performed this Dutch show, which is one of the only full 80s-era concert footage from this band that seems to exist on YouTube. It’s a little harsh, but it shows that these guys were just as maniac on stage as they were in the studio. And the constantly moshing crowd of divers on stage was also full of its fair share of maniacs. Tony Portaro’s screams are as crass in this recording as they are on the records, but the real treat is watching him tear himself to pieces. His fingers move so fast.

Death Angel @ Scum in Katwijk, Holland – 06/24/1988

Here are footage from that same Dutch location two months later of Bay Area greats Death Angel, who were set to release their second album. Frolic through the park just a week and a half after this show. They tore up a set of songs from this album and their ’87 debut Ultra-Violence, and it all tore apart. The band is just a relentless riff machine, and the voice of Mark Osegueda flew, even more than on the first records of the group.

Vio-lence @ Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia, PA – 07/10/1988

Upcoming: Death Angel Bay area, neighboring Vio-lence. This Philly show was just months after Vio-lence’s now classic debut album Eternal nightmare came out, and that video quality sucks, but the sound is good and it still shows you how great this band was at their peak. According to a commentator who said they were there, “the place was overcapacity by about 100 people and the air units were down. It was about 110 degrees there that day.” Still, that didn’t stop the band and the crowd from being constantly on the move throughout this show. The violence already seemed harsh Eternal nightmare, and as this video shows, they also watched him on stage. Especially singer Sean Killian, he’s crazy.

Overkill @ Paramount Theater in Peekskill, NY – 08/31/1988

Also from NJ (as Whiplash) were Overkill, and here they are on the Under the influence in Peekskill, New York. The sound quality of this video is noticeably coarser than that of Under the influence, but that only makes Overkill more badass. And even with the hoarse audio, Blitz’s moans and Bobby Gustafson’s shredding still ring out of this world.

Exodus @ Zeche in Bochum, Germany – 02/20/1989

After the release of their third album Fabulous disaster In early 1989, Bay Area thrash greats Exodus took this raging LP on tour of Europe and had this show professionally filmed in Germany for a TV special, as well as an interview. (which is stuck in the middle of this performance, with German overdubs). This is one of the best full 80s gig footage I’ve seen from Exodus, and it really shows you how bona fide stars these guys had become by the end of the decade. (Compare it to one of their full-length concert films from 1985, which is still great, but the energy of this show is through the roof in comparison.) Fabulous disaster the songs sounded perfect at this show already, and when they release a classic like “And Then There Were None”, it’s as cathartic as you’d expect.

Sodom @ Eissporthalle in Braunschweig, Germany – 10/6/1989

This list is certainly very American, but Germany also had a big thrash scene in the 80s and one of their best bands was (and still is) Sodom. Just days after the release of their third album Agent Orange, they performed this home country show, which started off with the title song from the new album and then included a nice selection of songs from Agent Orange and their previous albums and EPs (including their cover of Motorhead’s “Iron Fist”). Sodom had a particularly devilish style of thrash that was often considered proto-black metal, and you can really feel the darkness in this performance. Some of these videos are pure fun, but this one is sheer dirt.

Nuclear attack @ Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK – 4/10/1989

Fast forward about two years from that pro-shot Anthrax show at Hammersmith, and here’s a pro-shot video at the same Nuclear Assault location (featuring former Anthrax – and Stormtroopers of Death – bassist Dan Lilker). Nuclear Assault was set to release their third killer album Handle with Care, that they played almost everything on that show, and they sounded as impeccable as they did on the record. There is a charm in the shaky / blurry / grainy images we often get from this era (and it’s often our only option anyway), but this super pro video is more than gratifying. You feel like you’re there with the band, and you really get a feel for how much this band ripped apart in their prime.

Testament @ Country Club in Reseda, CA – 10/06/1989

Just two days after that Nuclear Assault broadcast in the UK, Testament argued their killer third album (Practice what you preach) with this show in the group’s country of origin. As on the new album, the show opened with the title song, and it’s a total pleasure to see Testament launch a show with a fiery rendition of this now classic song when the song was only two months old. The rest of the set was heavy on the new album, and they also performed “Into the Pit”, “The New Order”, “The Preacher”, “Do or Die”, “COTLOD” and many other favorites. from the first two albums, and the intensity never stopped once. Testaments are true lifers who released beloved albums and live shows long after the original era of thrash, but there is nothing quite like being able to witness the limitless energy they had in the late 80s.

Suicidal Tendencies @ The Ritz in New York, NY – 10/20/1989

Suicidal Tendencies made their debut as an outright hardcore band on their self-titled, timeless and classic 1983 debut album, but through their 1987 second album. Joining the Army, they started to introduce thrasher influences and helped create the sound, look and style of the trash crossover. This was followed by the years 1988 How am I going to laugh tomorrow when I can’t even smile today and the years 1989 Controlled by Hate / Feel Like Shit … Deja Vu, and only three days after the latter’s release, they performed this show at the New York Ritz (now known as Webster Hall). Suicidal Tendencies have had millions of cool members over the years, but this formation of the band (current Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo recently joined) remains one of their best and this video really shows just how strong they were. . No matter the metal of the riffs and solos, Cyco has remained a hardcore leader at heart, and it’s really cool to see him bark and stomp at this show as Rocky George tears himself apart.

Keep the party going with this 26 track song 80s Thrash Quarantine Playlist:

For more live metal videos go here. For more of our favorite live videos across all genres, go here. Also check out 10 awesome 80s hardcore live videos, 12 awesome modern hardcore live videos and 10 awesome 90s punk live videos. We have also put together an archive of metal livestreams.


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