It’s nearly been three years since Lamb Of God have graced Dublin with their presence and this is more than obvious as the crowd eagerly await for the band to appear on stage. The audience are already hyped up by support groups Five Finger Death Punch and Irish band Mass Extinction.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the boys from Richmond, Virginia start to appear through a haze of lights and smoke, looking as metal as ever. The crowd goes wild as vocalist David Randall Blythe (better know as Randy), screams the lyrics to the opening song of the night: ‘Hourglass’.
This is shortly followed by ‘Laid to Rest’. With metal as amazing as this, it’s a true talent that Blythe never looses the energy within his voice. Taking a short break to say hello to the crowd, he announces that they are about to perform an older track -Ruin’ and it’s dedicated to some very special guests in the house. Megadeth and Testament! After hearing this, fans scan the crowd seeking the familiar rock gods but this distraction is short lived as the growling vocals fill the room.
The band then decided to perform a track from their forthcoming album Wrath, which will be released on February 24th, this was called -Set to Fail’. The fans reacted just as well to this as the songs they were familiar with and awarded the band with metal growls and hardcore moshing.
Blythe, appeased with the crowds reaction, grabbed his bottle of beer while saluting the crowd saying “-SlÃ¡inte’ motherfuckers”. Metal heads everywhere were delighted at his use of Gaeilge and urged the star to “chug”. However, unbeknownst to the fans, Blythe was consuming Becks non-alcoholic, as he has recently opted for the cleaner lifestyle.
Of course at any event in Ireland, it seems that people always feel the need to sing -Ole Ole’ and this isn’t any different at a metal gig. Blythe responded by asking ‘why the fuck does everything in this country have to be about football?’. Nonetheless, he took it upon himself to honour Irish artists such as Thin Lizzy and Rory Gallagher, by dedicating a track from Wrath called ‘Contractor’ to them all.
‘Redneck’, from their 2006 album Sacrement soon followed and once again another compliment was delivered to the crowd – “what a great taste in music they had’ and how it rocked that they weren’t sitting at home watching the horrific TV show that was American Idol.
A couple of songs later the Virginian declared ‘this is going to be our last song and it’s about to get ugly, so if you don’t know what’s about to happen on that dance floor, get the fuck out of the way, this is ‘Black Label'”. For those of you that may not know, this track is from the band’s debut album New American Gospel and is well known in metal as being notorious for forming -the wall of death’, however Blythe no longer encourages this directly, due to the amount of injuries at Lamb of God gigs in the past. However, he didn’t need to encourage anyone as the crowd began running around what can only be compared to as headless chickens or sheep on drugs.
I think we can speak on behalf of everyone at this gig and declare Lamb of God to be hitting the legendary status in metal. Hopefully they will not leave it as long until they return to our Emerald Isle. It’s great to see a venue like The Academy embracing hardcore bands recently ensuring that the metal scene in Dublin stays alive.
~ 9th February 2009.
Photo by Damien James O’ Farrell