LAMB OF GOD KICK OFF RESOLUTION TOURING CYCLE IN STYLE IN NYC
Here’s when you know that a band has finally “made it”: when they’ve got their own stage carpets, custom-monogrammed with the band’s logo, to stomp and spit all over as they play live every night. These are no scrims, props or hanging stage-banners, mind you: only the members themselves and those up in the balcony will ever see them, and those things have gotta cost $500-$1,000 each, easy. And THAT, my friends, is success, a definition by which Lamb of God are now in the bigtime.
“New York City’s always been good to us,” bellowed newly-dreadlocked Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe, frenetically pacing from one side of the stage to the other in his trademark camo shorts, in that specific Randy Blythe galloping gate. “We go way back here. We used to play The Wetlands, CBGB’s, all those places,” said Blythe, seemingly not realizing (or maybe just not caring) that the majority of those in attendance were too young or too suburban to have ever attended a show at either. “Last time through we played a little venue called Madison Square Garden, with Metallica. This is much more our style — I like to see your faces!” Indeed, it was refreshing to see Lamb of God at the relatively tiny 1,200-capacity Irving Plaza; last time I saw them headline was in 2007 at the Roseland Ballroom, three times the size of Irving, and the band has only EXPLODED in popularity since then.
The intimacy of this show was what made it so special. Big bands will do this from time to time, do a quick tour of “underplays” immediately prior to or during the release week of an album to generate hype, build buzz, and give back to the diehards. And those shows are always a blast; this one had been circled on my calendar as a highlight for the month of January the very minute it was announced. Lamb of God did not disappoint.
The band opened with two brand new songs from their new album Resolution — one of which we premiered right here on MetalSucks in December — before launching into Sacrament album-opener “Walk With Me in Hell,” which sent the crowd into a tizzy. Scratch that — from our vantage point in the rich-people seats up in the balcony we all laughed to each other as a gigantic moshpit opened up in the center of the floor before Lamb of God even took the stage. “Walk With Me in Hell” elevated that energy to the next level, then, and Lamb never let it dwindle for the rest of the night. The band focused on material from Wrath, Sacrament and Resolution (four songs in total from the latter), sprinkling in a few older fan favorites (“Hourglass,” “Ruin,” and perennial fan-favorite “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”), executing them all with the surgeon-like precision for which they’re known. Read the full setlist here. Personal set highlight: the magnificent “Descending,” from Sacrament.
It’s gonna be a doozy of an album cycle for Lamb of God if history is any indication; this band is known to hit the road for 2+ years following the release of an album, and they’re known to hit it HARD with non-stop worldwide touring. I’m incredibly glad I got to see them now, still fresh, still excited to be playing live again, in the cozy setting Irving Plaza offers. Best of luck to you in your journey, dudes!