Lamb of God Frontman Says Social Distancing at Metal Shows Will Never Work


If the predictions by coronavirus health experts come true, concerts won’t return in earnest until fall 2021 at the earliest. With many countries and U.S. states beginning to start the gradual process of reopening their economies, many fans are hopeful concerts will return sooner, anxiously awaiting the moment we can finally blast our ears with music from a live PA again and feel the energy that’s unique to a band vibing with a room full of people.

But until there is a vaccine, effective treatment for COVID-19, or herd immunity, that’s wholly unrealistically. How will security personnel pat down concertgoers upon entry? Will fans not be able to crowd the front barricade? Will folks not be allowed to mosh, forced to stand six feet apart? How would these restrictions even be enforced? Will touring even be possible with reduced capacity venues unable to offer bands enough money to make it work?

Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe sees that reality — always the voice of wisdom, that Randy! — and in a recent chat with Vox & Hops [transcribed by Ultimate Guitar] he elaborated on why it’s simply not gonna work, especially for metal.

This is a person, mind you, who has a crapload of tour dates for later this year (some as soon as June) that have yet to be canceled. He stands to lose a lot of potential revenue if (when) those shows don’t happen, and I’m sure his booking agent is fielding a ton of phone calls from very angry show promoters right now.

Anyway, the quote:

“I don’t know if there will be shows until we can have shows normally – in general, for anyone. Because I don’t think… let’s be realistic, let’s be 100% realistic. I don’t think a bunch of metalheads or punk-rock kids or hardcore kids – when they all go to a show – if there’s gonna be social-distancing. Any band starts playing, that social distancing shit’s gonna go out the window. It’s like, ‘It’s time to mosh, motherfucker!’, you know what I mean? That’s not gonna work for us, bro, that’s just not gonna work. Can you imagine how weird it would be?

“I remember seeing Testament and Slayer in like, fuck, maybe ’90, I think it was – ’90 or ’91, they were on tour together, and they played this venue in Richmond called The Mosque, and it was all seated. It’s this beautiful theater and it’s all seated. And I was like, ‘This is not gonna work, man.’ And sure enough – they had security guards going up in the aisles and trying to keep it calm. But nah, man – chairs got fucked up.

“That’s not how you do it. And what am I gonna say to the audience? ‘Everybody, stand really still! Don’t touch anyone!… This next song is called ‘Walk With Me in Hell.’ Two meters, please.’ It’s not gonna work for Lamb of God, bro. I think it would be a mistake to try and have a fucking metal show and space restrictions. What the fuck, man? That just wouldn’t do, wouldn’t do at all.

“Another thing that fans need to remember is: this isn’t our decision. And it varies state to state, province to province, municipality to municipality; local governments have different rules. Everybody thinks that, well, we can just go on tour, and this is how we’re gonna do it. No, man. We have to be granted a license to play a show.”

If and when that Megadeth / Lamb of God tour comes down, you can keep up with our full list of coronavirus-related tour cancelations and postponements right here. I’d wager the first leg will be pulled any day now, and the fall leg will probably be rescheduled preemptively to 2021.

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