By Michel Dussack
On September 24th, Lamb of God celebrated the release of their critically acclaimed new album ‘Resolution’ with a sold out show at the legendary Irving Plaza. While the band could (and should) have played a much larger venue in New York, having such an intimate setting for what was essentially album release show, and only the second stop on the tour, was appreciate by every fan that was able to get tickets to the show, which sold out in under a day. Add to this the fact that it’s been ages since Lamb of God headlined a show in NYC, and you had the perfect formula for a completely insane atmosphere, something that was clear the instant the band started playing around 10pm.
Typically, when I go to review a show, I spend the first three songs in the photo pit, and then kick back and relax near the back of the venue and watch the band perform with plenty of space to myself. However, this show was different – I wasn’t photographing, so upon arrival I checked all my stuff and hung in the back during openers Too Late The Hero and The Acacia Strain. When Lamb of God came on, I jumped into the mosh, and enjoyed the metal assault of the quintet from Virginia. To the die hard fans there, it made no difference whether it was a new song or an older favorite, there was wall to wall moshing and save for the very front and the very back of the crowd, there was no way to escape it if you were on the floor. And though it initially seemed like Lamb of God would be placing a heavy focus on the material off ‘Resolution’, the band touched upon every release they’ve had.
Singer Randy Blythe was an absolute master on stage, though perhaps calling him a singer isn’t the best choice of words. He lets out vocals with a near inhuman roar, and it’s a wonder he can maintain his voice throughout the bands 90 minute set. In between songs, he’s also a genuinely funny guy, commenting on the Super Bowl and asking if there were any Patriots fans in the house during one break (I politely kept my hand down for fear of the crowd turning against me). He also mentioned the last time they were in New York was opening for Metallica at Madison Square Garden, and that they felt like Irving Plaza was more where they belonged. While they did appear extremely comfortable on such a small stage, I personally think they would’ve fit better at Terminal 5 or Roseland Ballroom, especially given the number of amps on stage and the number of fans desperate for a ticket to the sold out show.
The encore was undoubtedly the highlight of the entire show, especially Lamb of God’s signature closing song ‘Black Label’. Right before the song started, Blythe made a comment to the extent of “If you don’t know what’s about to happen, get the fuck out of the way” as the crowd inched further and further away from each other, squeezing up against the walls of Irving Plaza. As soon as Blythe yelled “Go” everyone in the venue ran at each other in a giant wall of death that compromised of at least half of the crowd. It’s clear that Lamb of God have only improved throughout their lengthy career and the next time they stop in NYC, they definitely won’t be playing such an intimate venue, but rather one probably close to twice in size. And that only means one thing – a bigger wall of death.
Upcoming Lamb of God Tour Dates:
Thu 01/26/12 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero Theatre
Fri 01/27/12 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
Sat 01/28/12 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Appearing with Judas Priest
Mon 02/20/12 Singapore, Singapore Fort Canning Park
Wed 02/22/12 Tokyo, Japan O-East
Thu 02/23/12 Osaka, Japan Big Cat
Appearing at “Soundwave Festival”
Sat 02/25/12 Brisbane, Australia R.N.A. Showgrounds
Sun 02/26/12 Sydney, Australia Olympic Park Showgrounds
Appearing at “Sidewaves”
Tue 02/28/12 Eatons Hill, Australia Eatons Hill Hotel
Thu 03/01/12 Canberra, Australia ANU Refectory
Appearing at “Soundwave Festival”
Fri 03/02/12 Melbourne, Australia Melbourne Showgrounds
Sat 03/03/12 Adelaide, Australia Bonython Park
Mon 03/05/12 Perth, Australia Claremont Showgrounds