So, I guess this is the new normal, catching a rock concert mid-afternoon on my computer via livestream? Weird, but cool. The headliner is Lamb of God performing their seminal record, Ashes of the Wake, in its entirety. You got me; I’m in. Lamb of God’s opener is a pre-recorded concert by metalcore fiends Whitechapel, culled from their Brotherhood of the Blade DVD. And that for me, was the weird part.
Technically, that also means Rachael Ray was a co-opener for Lamb of God as well, since her show was playing in the room I was watching this livestream in. I guess fellow Richmond, VA metal maniacs Municipal Waste or GWAR were busy doing laundry and/or meal prepping? Maybe scrapbooking? Hey, I get it, this is life in a pandemic. At least I wasn’t watching a rerun of Laverne and Shirley, right?
After enduring a few minutes of painful plasticity with host Jose Mangin, the Lamb of God livestream finally happened. It opened with the metal fellas waiting in the wings while their intro tape played over the PA. And when Lamb of God took the stage, they ripped into “Laid To Waste,” which had me moshing in my easy chair. I thought about stage-diving onto the couch, but the family cat was sleeping on it, so, I remained seated. In all seriousness, Lamb of God sounded great and looked healthy, and they were primed to kick ass.
If I’m not mistaken, the title track to their record, “Ashes of the Wake,” and “One Gun” were performed live for the first time. To quote singer Randy Blythe, “…EVER!” There was sparse banter between Blythe and the virtual audience, simply Lamb of God performing Ashes of the Wake for the first time live, and what a powerful experience it was. The energy of both the band and performance was massive in scale.
The band embodied equal parts anger and aggression with more than a hint of defiance, giving their live sound an extra edge and heaviness. It was definitely a “fuck you” quarantine performance for sure. For their encore, they played three songs from New American Gospel, which turned 20 years old on September 26.
I’m OK if this is the new norm. Lamb of God were in top form, and this livestream went off without any technical glitches, which made the experience even better. Lamb of God are the true heirs to the Slayer metal throne. Their performance here proved it.
For tour news, merch, etc., check out Lamb of God’s website here.