The 2023 Pantera reunion is in turmoil, with a number of shows cancelled in response to a 2016 incident involving frontman Phil Anselmo. The incident occurred at a charity concert in Los Angeles, where Anselmo was filmed making a Nazi-style salute while shouting “white power”.
Contemporaneous condemnation of the incident was swift, with Anselmo’s band Down being removed from a Dutch festival at the time. Anselmo apologised for the incident, which occurred at a concert in memory of late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. He said he “deserved completely” the criticism that had come his way, explaining it arose from a joke “made backstage that transpired upon the stage”.
Pantera – ‘Cowboys From Hell’
As Consequence Of Sound reports, Pantera’s upcoming reunion tour was scheduled to visit Germany and Austria in May and June. However, organisers of Germany’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals have removed Pantera from the festival lineups, with the Foo Fighters taking their place.
“Pantera will not be performing at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park 2023, as announced,” organisers said in a statement. “In the last few weeks, we have had many intensive conversations with artists, our partners and you, the festival fans, we have continued to deal with the criticism together and decided to remove the band from the program.”
Soon after the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park appearances were cancelled, Pantera’s 31st May performance in Vienna, Austria was also cancelled. A statement made by organisers gave no reason for the cancellation, but Blabbermouth reports that fans commenting on the promoter’s page have assumed it is related to Anselmo’s 2016 incident.
Pantera broke up in 2003. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was killed in 2004, and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, passed away in 2018. In 2022, it was announced that Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown would be joined by guitarist Zakk Wylde and drummer Charlie Benante for a series of reunion tour dates.