Live: Lamb of God

lambofgodB1VERIZON WIRELESS THEATER — 4/24/2009: “It sure does smell in here.”

That was my prevailing thought while standing in a packed Verizon Wireless Theater, waiting for Lamb of God to take the stage. The legions of metalheads had packed the venue for the No Fear Energy Tour. The odor of two thousand metallic fans sweating out a sugar coma-inducing energy drink was way too prevalent. Apparently, the scumbags that run the Verizon stuck the $5 “service fee” in their pocket and could not be bothered to turn the AC on.

In these tough economic times, getting to see a package bill that also included As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom, Municipal Waste, and God Forbid, was a choice easily made.

However enjoyable the openers were, though, everyone was there to see Lamb of God. In support if their blistering 2009 release, Wrath, the Richmond, Virginia, quintet were the Horsemen of the ensuing Apocalypse. They came out swinging with the first two tracks from Wrath, “In Your Words” and “Set to Fail.” The amped-up crowd was in a moshing mood all night and stepped it up a notch for the headliners. The crowd on the floor was so overcrowded, however, that it looked more like a plate of vibrating balls than a pit. Local underground legend Mike Haaga of dead horse got a shoutout and if you didn’t like Lamb of God before that, the fact that they listen to dead horse should make you a fan.

Present throughout the show was the impressive and imposing presence of lead singer Randy Blythe. He walks the stage like a lion, pacing back and forth like he’s trying to find a way out of the cage. Onstage he’s tethered by the longest mic cable since the 1970s; no wireless mic for him. He has an intimidating yet engaging aura around him that makes it impossible to turn away.

The 60-minute set came to a close, without the now-played-out fake encore, with “Redneck” and “Black Label.” The former is an angry piece of inter-band feuding, and the latter a now-classic that features the Wall of Death.

What is the Wall of Death, you ask? Well, it’s the evolution of the mosh pit, where the traditional circular pattern is now two clearly divided sides that charge at one another, en masse. The amazing aspect of this is that this incredibly violent and injury causing spectacle is met with cheers and high-fives by all the participants.

As the satisfied crowd filed out of their seats, spontaneous chants of “Lamb of God, Lamb of God” rang out. Fellow concert-goers joined in with their sometimes shirtless cohorts. We had all just experienced a triumphant metal moment and not even the monsoon that was waiting outside could dampen our spirits. END

Live review by . Live review posted Friday, May 1st, 2009. Filed under Live Reviews.

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