Photo Credit, Dirt Junior
Halloween night in Hollywood marked a big event for metalheads everywhere – Lamb of God’s first show in Los Angeles since singer Randy Blythe’s June incarceration in a Czech prison for an alleged manslaughter charge of a stage diver at a Lamb of God concert in Prague in 2010. The circumstances forced the band to cancel tour dates in both Europe and Stateside after Blythe was held by Czech authorities for 37 days.
After such an experience, which Blythe has described as “surreal” in interviews, you might expect the ‘Redneck’ vocalist to still be a little shaken up, but he was back, and so was Lamb of God, bringing it full force on All Hallows Eve for all the guys and ghouls in attendance. Opening up with the crushing “Desolation” off the band’s new album Resolution to a room that began bathed in blackness, until the screens lit up and gave us images of destruction, war, and political commentary, then on to another newbie “Ghost Walking”.
Lamb of God, like some of the waiting mass of metalheads that filled the Palladium at something close to capacity, were dressed up for the occasion with guitarist Willie Adler garbed in an East Bound and Down Kenny Powers costume, vocalist Randy in some kind of war paint, and the rest of the band, guitarist Mark Morton, bass player John Campbell and drummer Chris Adler dressed as themselves – and as metal as it comes.
“How the fuck are you feeling California?” Randy growled at the crowd, “first things first, happy fucking Halloween. It’s my favorite day of the year- it’s our day,” before cracking a joke about Willie leaving the band and being replaced by Kenny Powers. He also wasn’t afraid to shy away from the hot topic on everyone’s minds, referencing his recent Czech jail stint in a comment before launching into “Now You Have Something to Die For” a few songs later. “We had a slight delay in this tour. I had a brief stay in a nice gated community. But I’m glad to be back here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The rest of the set contained a mix of older and newer Lamb of God, with Randy dedicating the more recent track “Contractor” to Glenn Danzig, calling it a ‘punk rock song.’ The whole set which included “Laid to Rest”, “Set to Fail”, and “Walk with Me in Hell” among others, was delivered with the ease, grace, and brutality that fans have come to expect from the band. It was a good, long, and heavy show, but the encore was where it really took off in particular with “Redneck” and “Black Label” to take us on home
Brits Sylosis, Hatebreed, and Swedes In Flames who were also on the bill in that order. They all played solid sets, especially when the crowd favorite “Deliver Us” was busted out by In Flames, but it did seem obvious that Lamb of God were who we were all really here for, and they did not fail to deliver one killer show, worthy enough to wake the dead on All Hallows Eve.
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