Sound: For this gig, LoG were supported by Between the Buried and Me, August Burns Red and Job For A Cowboy. Bear in mind, for most of the time, I was at right at the front, or a bit behind the amp stacks (so you can imagine that it was a little hard to hear clearly).
First up its Between the Buried and Me, setting the crowd up for one hell of an evening. I've never really listened to BTBAM and from the few songs I have, they came off as a really awkward Mastodon/Dream Theater hybrid. I also thought they'd be pretty sloppy live, a lot of their work is quite complex. But all discriminations aside, they did good in warming up the crowd. Although the set was solid, I really thought it was one huge song they were playing. Its not that I don't know any of their songs, they just didn't have any breaks as far as breaks go. The last 'section' of the set was spacey, like an Opeth moment were all the distortion and drums and growls just stop and theres a wierd piano section. Although not my thing, good stuff.
Next up were August Burns Red, and I was sure they wouldn't go down well. Even though it was predominatly a metalcore gig, while listening to them before the night, I just thought that their rather banal sound wouldn't be well accepted. The bassist was also pratting around with his volume which not only mutilated everyones ears but generally ruined the sound of the other instruments. Although their set was solid, I didn't particularly like it, every song had a predictable and very annoying breakdown somewhere and although the crowd were unfazed physically, I could tell they were thinking 'Oh dear, here we go again'. Thankfully it didn't drag on too long.
Up next were Job For a Cowboy. Now, I've tried listening to them before, I found a lot of their music to be mind-numbingly dull and would of thought that the only thing to keep the show alive would be the overcharged bass volume (thanks to the bassist from before). But, I was genuinely surprised. I've looked into an album or two, and seen some live vids before and thought 'Wow, this scene kid thing is everywhere'. But no, it was pretty tight, I would say that the emphasis of screaming was a little much on the '-core' side of things, but it wasn't too bad. It remained heavy enough to be enjoyable and better than I imagined.
Lastly, the main reason why a lot of people were there, Lamb of God strolled onto the stage in a flurry of 'Yeahs' and 'Woots'. They held more stage presence than any of the other bands and the crowd were already fired up. They brought out all the great tracks, most coming from the new album (Wrath) but also including earlier classics. Some of my Favourites were 'Dead Seeds', 'Contractor', 'Walk With Me In Hell' and the ever intense 'Grace' with an improvised intro. 'Redneck' was also played, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the building knew the lyrics. Sound wise, I would have thought Mark Mortons 'Jazzimater' as I call it wouldn't have made much of an effect. Well, of course, I forgot he uses it all the time and has always sounded like a very powerful telecaster. Chris Adler never fails to perform, although in my opinion not very influential/innovative as a drummer, he still manages to blow everyone away with his grooved up playing. Really was the highlight of the weekend. // 7
Perfomance: BTBAM's show was a little unexciting visually, although the vocalist/kayboardist did his best to try and get the crowd going by pacing around the stage and waving his arms like a nutter. The lighting effects were well co-ordinated but it did little to make it more exciting. This is because the guitarists/bassist did very little in way of anything other than play their instruments. That said though, they did play well, and they're no slouches at soloing.
Of course, August Burns Red had to try and keep the crowd going. Although I'm sure their mindset was ernest, their skinny jeans and short cut/fringe haircuts didn't really fit in well. But what made it even more embarrasing, almost hilariously so, was the boxes the stage hands had set up before they had started playing. These were more or less individual podiums for the band to use when they were playing. However, even though the effect was meant to be empowering, the guitarists were trying ever so hard to headbang while playing their 'difficult' riffs (their faces were really tensed up for some powerchords), they managed to look like Morris dancers bouncing on their knees when standing on them. The bassist was equally wierd, swinging his out-of-proportion-to-body bass around his body. In all fairness to ABR, it just seems to me they were playing to the wrong crowd, who were getting a little bored of them judging by their lack of enthusiasm (save from the few teenagers at the front who attempted to mosh, but couldnt get it very big).
Job For A Cowboy did miles better. The only problem I found with thier performance was the lighting effects. However, some laughs were had during their set. A mate of mine who used to go to college wormed his way to the front through the crowd (if anyone was there, you should remember this). Sometime during/after a song (the breakdown made it confusing) the vocalist of JFAC more or less halted the show to point out a fight/mosh that had broken out at the front. Low and behold he said 'Oh look, theres a ginger dude having a fight. First thing I see in England and its a fight, how f**kin' cute.' Needless to say, it was pretty funny.
As their set finished, the crowd were periodically shouting 'lamb of god!' or 'El Oh Gee' because they seemed to be taking sweet time in the back to prepare for the show. But anyway, if I remember correctly, first track up was 'Grace'. The lights dimmed for Willie and Chris and then some epic, if a little misplaced, soloing ensued. Of course, Grace being Grace, it hid the real balls-on groovy nature of the song. Randy Blythe maintains his rep as being a good frontman, getting the crowds fired up, generally joking about english culture (for example, he got everyone to chant 'Ole, ole ole ole') and keeping the other performers up with Chris Adlers drumming. Thouroughly enjoyable last half. // 7
Overall Impression: The main reason for going was for a mates birthday. It was the day after the gig, and he loved all the bands playing, so it was the perfect present, really. Although I can say I've never really liked any of the bands except LoG, it was all thouroughly fun.
Tickets were cheap for a high profile gig, only 22 each. Well worth the money for such a good night.
Highlights of the gig are LoG's set, the wierd spacey section during a BTBAM song, the fight in the JFAC set and picking up Chris Adlers sticks as he threw them to the crowd (which my friend added to his collection of famous drummers sticks).
Although there wasn't any extreme stage performaces, like covering the stage in goats blood or burning something, the bands themselves were the only thing really necessary for the show. Although Brixton is a big venue and famous for metal acts, the 'theatre' style effects made it a little unfitting. But the end result isnt anything to complain about.
Although the gig was great overall, I'd like to see some of my other favourite bands play (Opeth in April, for example) but given the oppurtinity, I would relive the entire experience. // 8