Anthrax's fill-in reunion: Original bassist Dan Lilker returns for South American tour

Anthrax's original bassist Dan Lilker will be spending some time as their bassist for the first time in 40 years.

Los Angeles Premiere Of "DIO: Dreamers Never Die"
Los Angeles Premiere Of "DIO: Dreamers Never Die" / Paul Archuleta/GettyImages

For those craving a throwback to the golden era of metal, here's some exciting news to fuel that nostalgia. The iconic thrash metal outfit Anthrax is set to shake things up for their upcoming South American tour by reuniting with their original bassist, Dan Lilker, in lieu of Frank Bello, who won't be able to join them. "When we parted ways back in 1984, they told me to stick around because they might need me in 40 years," Lilker said, perhaps jokingly.

This surprising lineup change was announced via Anthrax's social media channels, citing personal reasons for Bello's absence. The band expressed their gratitude for Lilker stepping in, stating that he'll be filling in for Bello for the South American leg of the tour and two U.S. festival shows in May, marking his return to the fold after a staggering 40 years. Lilker's ties to Anthrax go way back, as he co-wrote and performed on their debut album, Fistful of Metal, and also collaborated with Charlie Benante and Scott Ian in Stormtroopers of Death.

Although he parted ways with Anthrax in 1984, he's set to make a triumphant return for a total of ten shows throughout April and May. Anthrax echoed their enthusiasm for playing alongside Lilker again, expressing their appreciation for him stepping up in Bello's absence. The affected tour dates span across various cities in South America and the United States, promising a series of electrifying performances that will undoubtedly reignite the fervor of old-school metal enthusiasts.

More details of the [temporarily] reunited Anthrax tour

Among the notable venues are MXMF The Metal Fest in Mexico City, The Metal Fest in Santiago, Chile, and the Summer Breeze Open Air in São Paulo, Brazil.

Lilker's musical journey beyond Anthrax includes his tenure with Nuclear Assault, which concluded in 2022, and his collaboration with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante in Stormtroopers of Death. This unexpected reunion with Anthrax serves as a testament to the enduring bond and legacy of the metal scene's pioneers.

If 40 years sounds like a long time ago, keep in mind that even Korn released their first album 30 years ago! Even so-called "Nu metal" is old, now and that means the "Big Four" thrash metal bands and their fans pretty much cannot be blamed for getting a little nostalgic, right?