Where: Toledo, OH
Bands of Note:
Headliner: Lamb of God
Is thrash making a
comeback, or what? Okay, so some of you elitists may argue that the
modern crop of 'post-thrash' bands are not nearly tr00 enough compared
to the likes of über-brutal Sodom or Kreator. In any case, three-fourths
of the bill, in some hybrid and/or sub-genre, has thrash present in
their sound. The fourth, Gojira, is more of a progressive death metal
outfit (with elements of multiple other sub-genres interspersed) that
was none-the-less enjoyable.
In all fairness, I was really only familiar with half of the bill's entire catalogue, that being Trivium and Lamb of God. Machine Head I have not really heard at all and Gojira I listened to that morning in school. However, obviously it takes more than a once-through to get a band's material stuck in your head. Everyone knows that going to see a band who's material you are unfamiliar with is undoubtedly going to be a not-as-fun experience, so forgive my opinion if it seems skewed.
The affairs start off
typical metal affair: that is, waiting outside in thirty-degree weather
in a t-shirt and jeans for about twenty minutes. I thought this type of
thing was only limited to the House of Blues and whenever Trivium played
at a local venue, as all of the rest of the Cleveland area venues have
never taken so long to let me in. I stand corrected.
Third is Trivium. I'm not going to lament on how their coming onstage routine was a ripped-off, albeit cheesier, version of Metallica's entrance, because it was just as cliché the first time. Just as I had predicted earlier that night, Heafy and co. led off with "Entrance of the Conlagration", probably one of the better songs off of The Crusade. I was a bit surprised to hear their sound quality sound not as good as it was at the small club where I last saw them. You'd think with their no-doubt growing budget they would have higher-end equipment. Again, muddiness and poor mixing. The rest of their set was uninspired at best. Trivium played a shorter set with less varied songs than the previous time I saw them, and with not as much enthusiasm, either. Maybe Heafy only gets into it when he's headlining? At least they didn't break a cymbal or lose a contact...
The saying "save the
best for last" truly seems to ring true here. Lamb of God is a band that
has been continually growing on me. I've gone from only liking one album
to liking and/or being familiar almost all of their material. Although I
saw them once on the Unholy Alliance tour (with equally, if not more,
terrible mixing), this time would wipe away any doubt I had of their
live performance reputation. I will say, even the headliner, despite
their fancy set-lighting, had a crappy sound. Luckily for me, I knew
about 80% of the songs that were being played, so I could sort of fill
in the missing fidelity in my mind's ear. Simply put, Lamb of God kicked
ass. Randy Blythe, while perhaps not the most charismatic front man, did
little talking and got the crowd into a frenzy on multiple occasions.
Almost every song had more than one circle put going on at any given
time. The riffs were heavy, the heads were banging, and LoG just put on
a no frills, balls out, metal show that was just about perfect except
for maybe going one or two songs too long. Before playing their last
number, Blythe said to the crowd (paraphrased for your convenience):
"This is gonna be our last song. We don't do encores; this isn't some
fucking Limp Bizkit concert!" Classic.