Shadows Fall and High On Fire were also part of this American metal quadruple bill – but I missed them, my apologies. I’m sure they were most entertaining. High On Fire’s brand of stoner metal is pretty damn impressive, and the quality thrash of Shadows Fall is evident on their latest album Retribution.
Devil Driver weren’t quite on the money tonight – a weak mix didn’t help either. Although the thundering riffage of Clouds Over California was bloody fantastic, as was the twisted metal of Not All Who Wander Are Lost. The fist-to-the-face onslaught of Meet The Wretched had many of us spilling our drinks in a mad mosh, and I Could Care Less went off like a box full of illegal fireworks. Devil Driver were quite good, just not up to their usual high standard. Not that it mattered, the crowd lapped it up with a great circle mosh, and apparently some Elaine (Seinfeld) style bad dancing – glad I missed that!
After a far too long wait, Lamb Of God finally appeared in a rather wanky mix of smoke and lights and lame intro music. What the hell was this? But what happened next was that Lamb Of God gave us one of the most hard-hitting metal shows of the year. Fucking hell, talk about brutal – they were tight, with a constant frenetic intensity that set the crowd into a berserk frenzy: they were lovin’ it. And frontman Randy Blythe was pumping up the crowd at every opportunity. There was literally a sea of thrashers – at one point it seemed everyone in the Big Top was going totally bat-shit, the atmosphere was electric.
Special mention must be made of axeman Mark Morton. I mean really, what a show-off. He was just too good, nailing every riff like the guitar-god that he is. Look no further than the epic Walk With Me In Hell, its scorching power threatened to blow the roof off the Big Top. The jackhammer blast of Ruin was another lesson in metal, although no one was taking notes – they were all in fits of metal ecstasy. Laid To Rest was another example of Lamb Of God’s remarkable arsenal of thrash. As they wrapped it all up with kick-arse single Redneck, Lamb Of God showed us all how to put on a loud, fun night of completely entertaining metal. As the final big overseas metal tour for the year, it was perfect.