Surviving Pantera Members Reportedly Plotting 2023 Tour
The surviving members of Pantera are reportedly plotting a 2023 tour.
According to Billboard, singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown have hired Artist Group International to book the tour. "We are thrilled to be working with such an iconic band and bringing their music back to fans," said agent Peter Pappalardo.
Crucially, the article notes that there is no word on who will replace the other half of the band's classic lineup, the late Abbott brothers. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered onstage with Damageplan in 2004, and drummer Vinnie Paul died in 2018.
Pantera's last show took place on Aug. 26, 2001 in Yokohama, Japan. Dimebag announced the group's breakup in November 2003, blaming Anselmo for prioritizing side projects such as Down and Superjoint Ritual over their work together. "Nobody would return our calls so me and Vinnie just sat at home not knowing what the fuck was going on," he told Rock Sound (as reported by Blabbermouth.)
In recent years Anselmo has been performing sets exclusively comprised of Pantera songs with his backing band the Illegals. "I always play a couple of Pantera songs here and there, and that's fine," he told Revolver (as transcribed by Blabbermouth) in 2021. "When we started doing this, it was right after Vince passed. And it was a tough decision...we're never going to be another Pantera, but we can give it a spirited go and do the best we can and really encourage the audience to celebrate with us."
While appearing on the Inside with Paulo Baron podcast (as reported by Metal Injection) that same year, Anselmo said a Pantera reunion featuring himself and Brown was a possibility. "I think Rex sees what I'm doing with the Illegals and he likes it, you know? The more I keep Pantera alive, that's good for him too."
Brown was also a member of Down alongside Anselmo from 1999 until 2011, appearing on 2002's Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow and 2007's Down III: Over the Under albums.
Dimebag Darrell's close friend Zakk Wylde has been widely rumored as the lead replacement guitarist candidate for any potential Pantera reunion, but in a 2021 interview with Eon Music Brown said, "It's going to come up, and it wouldn't be Zakk Wylde, I guarantee you that. I've just put it out there so we can get on past it."