Warning: This article contains video footage that contain expletives.
Also, I’d like to apologise about the quality of the clips included in the article, as they were filmed on a mobile phone.
Tonight was to be my first real heavy metal concert. And what a line up it was. I had arrived in Manchester, once again, to see an evening with the true lords of metal, Lamb of God. Supported by Between the Buried and Me, August Burns Red and Job for a Cowboy, I knew that I was in for a real treat. We filed into the venue at 7.30pm sharp, took our places beside the soundboard and awaited the arrival of Between the Buried and Me. Before seeing them listed as a support act for Lamb of God, I had not previously heard of them but purchased an album by them and gave it a listen and was pleasantly surprised. I was told by a friend that they are big in the US, so instantly this upped my expectations.
At roughly 7.45pm Between the Buried and Me took to the stage and launched into the goliath, Swim to the Moon. What I was not counting on, was the fact that Swim to the Moon is 18 minutes long, so this one song took up their entire set. Their music really didn’t draw me in, as they swapped from prog rock style verses to lengthy guitar solos and drum fills, all with screams rippled throughout to really confuse you. I could see the skill of all the musicians but I feel that although they are a good band, that perhaps they appealed to a different audience than that of the headliners, of course I could be wrong since they only showcased one song.
I recorded the first 5 minutes for the viewing pleasure of you guys :
Swim to The Moon – Between the Buried and Me [First 5 Minutes]
You can buy Between the Buried and Me’s latest album, Colors, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/colors/id263528676
Next up on the bill were August Burns Red, a band that is almost certainly more well known in the UK, especially having only just supported Bring Me The Horizon on their UK tour stint in October last year. Having endured BTBAM’s unusual music, my cousin and I were craving some real heavy stuff and ABR really did deliver. As they tore onto the stage, the crowd went wild, proving we weren’t the only ones who felt deprived of the entertainment we had paid for that evening. They belted out crowd favourites like white washed and back burner, before closing out their set with arguably their best song to date, composure. All the way throughout the set, energy oozed and sweat dripped from every note and word they thrashed out. August Burns Red were definitely the surprise package of the night, and definitely a band I’d look to see in a full headlining show.
This time I recorded ‘Composure’ for your viewing :
Composure – August Burns Red
You can buy August Burns Red’s latest album, Constellations, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/constellations/id322113613
Following August Burns Red was perhaps the heaviest band on the night, Job For A Cowboy. Once again, another band I had not previously heard of before seeing them touring with Lamb of God although once again I was reliably informed that they are big in the US, although by this point I wasn’t sure whether to trust the source, having seen another band that was big in the US in the form of Between the Buried and Me. Despite this, I waited with anticipation for Job for a Cowboy to materialise and at roughly 8.30pm they did and with such an impact. The sonic attack on my ears was outstanding, as the lead singer prowled the stage, pig squealing into the mic all the time. They played many songs, although I recognised none, apart from one, the tastefully named Constitutional Masturbation. Although not a band I’d hurry back to see, Job for a Cowboy did well to warm up the crowd and really hit the spot in terms of the genre of music the crowd was looking for.
You can buy Job for a Cowboy’s latest album, Ruination, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ruination-bonus-track-version/id318493703
Then finally, the time came for the band that we had all paid to see to take centre stage. The bands before them had tried to set a precedent and August Burns Red were the only ones who came within a country mile of what we were expecting from the almighty Lamb of God. As the opening notes of The Passing echoed through the speakers, the lights dropped and the whole crowd became a mass of anticipation.
The Passing – Lamb of God
Then, as the first beats of In Your Words dropped, that mass of anticipation, became a swirling mass of head bangers and onlookers alike, all here for one reason. To experience a world renowned heavy metal show.
In Your Words – Lamb of God
As the band blasted out classics, old and new, lead singer, Randy Blythe, stalks the stage growling and screaming the words to Set to Fail, Walk With Me in Hell and Now You’ve Got Something To Die For before blasting to the past with Ruin and then racing straight back to the present with Dead Seeds.
Set to Fail [Chorus] – Lamb of God
Next, things were slowed down considerably, as Omerta opened, with it’s distinctive poetic-like sermon style speech. Although it doesn’t slow it down for long, as the crowd opens, not for the first time this evening, and a brutal pit is sparked. Lamb of God then ploughed through Grace, Broken Hands, Laid to Rest and finally Contractor before exiting the stage. Of course, we knew the evening couldn’t end without a few staple Lamb of God live songs so an onslaught of chants consisting primarily of ‘Lamb of God!’ although a few more expletives may have been thrown around. Then they returned to the stage and after thanking the support acts, launched into Reclamation. The end of this song signalled the curfew and my heart sunk. But in true rock and roll style, they well and truly crashed through the curfew, launching straight into Redneck. This song really proved why Lamb of God concerts are known all over the world for their brutality, energy and passion. The room appeared to have a black hole open in the centre, sucking in much of the audience into a vicious pit that spanned almost the whole room.
Redneck – Lamb of God
And as the redneck came to an end, everyone knew what was coming. ‘If you don’t know what is about to happen, get the f*** out of the way’ screamed Randy as the room split exactly in half all the way from the stage to the soundboard. As the drums of Black Label kicked in, Randy commanded the crowd to hold, and so they did. Then as his harsh scream ripped through the speakers the opposing edges of the crowd sprinted at each other. The wall of death was even more brutal than the pit the preceded it and by now everyone in the whole room was moshing, or just simply nodding their head back and forth in time with the drums. It was simply an unbelievable night and I feel honoured to say I have seen Lamb of God live. Everything I had read, been told and seen was true and they exceeded my expectations by so much more. A truly outstanding live performance and a must see for any serious fan of heavy metal music.
You can buy Lamb of God’s most recent album, Wrath, here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wrath/id305092659