LAMB OF GOD
@ The Limelight, Belfast
12th August 2013
Review by Melanie Brehaut
Photography by Paul Verner
For those of us who didn’t make it Bloodstock this year and knowing the next round of ‘UK tour’ announcements will almost inevitably leave out Northern Ireland (argh!), tonight’s Lamb of God gig in the Limelight gives up something to be whimperingly grateful for. In fairness, LOG has returned to both the north and south of Ireland several times (take note, other bands!)
Support this evening comes from prog metal upstarts TesseracT.
As the band casually arrived onstage they immediately filled the Limelight with chugging riffs, soaring vocals and surprisingly beautiful harmonies.
They also fill the cramped stage space with lots of flailing, windmilling hair – all apart from sharply dressed vocalist Ashe O’Hara, who looks a bit like he has wandered onstage to join the wrong band!
They play a decent set of both old and new tunes such as ‘Deception’ and newies ‘Retrospect’ and (heaviest song of the set) ‘Nocturn’.
This last song is particularly well received by the wall-to-wall crowd, with some headbanging as well as lots of cheers, horns and so on…
Their proggy metal with added quirky time signatures and crunchy riffs is a delight to listen to but they seem a rather odd choice of support for the likes of LOG.
Speaking of whom…the loooong wait in between sets (ok, it was only half an hour), the removal of the stage curtain that was hiding the band’s backdrop, the lowering of the house lights…there is an electricity in the air, a sense of almost palpable tension. Suddenly the stage lights up with ominous purple spotlights. Oh boy…horns up, here we go for Lamb of God!
The band stride onstage and all of a sudden, there they are! It’s Randy Blythe, in person! (fangirl squeal!)
They open with a storming version of ‘Desolation’, followed by ‘Ghost Walking’; in fact latest album ‘Resolution’ gets quite an outing tonight.
Randy himself is in fine form as he paces, snarls and roars. He addresses the crowd affectionately and often, informing us that the band “return to Belfast to throwdown with you motherfuckers” and speaking fleetingly of his recent, as he puts it, “legal troubles”.
The band stayrd faithful to their sound, effortlessly recreating each song and even the spoken word intro from ‘Omerta’. Randy’s menacing growl, the blastbeats, the guitars solos…well.
Let’s just say that tonight sets the bar gloriously high for future metal gigs in the Limelight!
The highlight of the set is, of course, ‘Redneck’: the clear crowd favourite judging by the size of the huge circle pit that appears and the volume level of THAT line being sung back to Randy.
There is heavy crowd participation here; moshpits, crowd surfers, raised horns and fist pumping.
Hilariously, the charismatic Blythe even grabs a phone off someone at the front and proceeds to check messages and contacts, even pretending to ‘out’ the owner to his mother via a text!
It’s an unexpected and funny moment which certainly personalises the concert for one lucky punter. Even more astonishingly, during final track ‘Black Label’ (which Blythe touchingly dedicates “for Daniel”), he suddenly straps on Mark Morton’s guitar and hands over the microphone!
The crowd whoop with delight and (hopefully!) record the event, which Blythe describes as “a first for the band”. And then it’s time to come back to earth with a bump and file out of the Limelight, half deaf and beaming euphorically. WHAT a gig!
Belfast metalheads can often end up feeling a bit like Cinderella when it comes to bands touring the ‘UK’; left at home while their mainland British counterparts enjoy concert after concert.
Tonight’s massively successful gig shows why they should try to get over here, despite the logistics. THIS is what we live for! To Randy and fellow bandmates in Lamb of God: there are simply not enough superlatives to describe this evening’s triumphant return to Belfast.
Thank you and come back soon!
‘Walk With Me In Hell
Set To Fail
Now You’ve Got Something To Die For
Laid To Rest
Sweet Home Alabama (cover)