Lamb Of God At Hollywood Palladium
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By Jamie Harvey
I was standing at the front of the legendary Hollywood Palladium stage surrounded by ghouls, zombies and superheroes. I had just seen up-and-coming British metal band Sylosis, GRAMMY-nominated bass-heavy metal act Hatebreed and Sweden's In Flames … and I was wearing a red wedding dress. It was Halloween in Hollyweird and, dressed as Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, I secured my veil in anticipation of the headbanging that ensued. There was so much anticipation for this set as it marked the return of the almighty Lamb Of God.
The music this night would rock, but arguably the highlight came several songs into the set when vocalist Randy Blythe, who was wearing some light corpse paint, acknowledged his return after a two-month-long incarceration in Prague that had postponed this tour.
"We had a slight delay in this tour," Blythe said. "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."
Blythe had been detained on manslaughter charges earlier this year for the highly controversial death of a fan at a concert in 2010. Blythe had allegedly pushed a fan offstage, resulting in the fan hitting his head and dying. I see kids jumping onstage and getting injured all the time at concerts, so this incident hit close to home for me.
The band took the stage and began with "Desolation" followed by "Ghost Walking," two tracks from their latest album, Resolution, which ranks as one of my top albums of 2012. The intensity, power and focus of this band created such a musical force. Peeling back time for "Walk With Me In Hell" from 2006's Sacrament, the band continued with the Best Metal Performance GRAMMY-nominated "Set To Fail," which displayed the talent of stellar drummer Chris Adler.
They then launched into the machine gun attack of "Now You've Got Something To Die For." The punishing "11th Hour" led into "The Undertow," one of my favorite tracks from the new album. As I listened to Blythe speak the opening of "Omerta" the crowd echoed the words around me, creating an appropriately spooky moment.
The encore began with "The Passing," which led into the GRAMMY-nominated "In Your Words," Lamb Of God's own special way of serving up brutal melancholy. "Laid To Rest," one of my favorites from my top Lamb Of God album, 2004's Ashes Of The Wake, signaled that things were coming to a close. The GRAMMY-nominated "Redneck," which was dedicated to country folk (i.e. me), had special significance that night since guitarist Willie Adler was dressed as "Eastbound & Down" character Kenny Powers. Closing with "Black Label," the infamous "wall of death" made sure every last black soul on the floor was swept into the pit's frenzy.
Once again, Lamb Of God's technical prowess was met by unbounded energy that was fueled by relentless anger, reiterating their place, for me, as one of metal's top bands today.
"Walk With Me In Hell"
"Set To Fail"
"Now You've Got Something To Die For"
"In Your Words"
"Laid To Rest"
To catch Lamb Of God in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
(Jamie Harvey lives in Los Angeles and is the rock community blogger for GRAMMY.com. She has attended and written about more than 500 shows since 2007. You can follow her musical adventures at www.hardrockchick.com.)