Lamb of God / Anthrax
Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
January 16, 2016
Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf
Sometimes a city chooses and band and vice versa, forming a special bond. Whenever Lamb of God (LoG) comes to Philly, it’s a big fucking deal! Philadelphia is rabid for LoG and they know it, regularly selling out venues to insane crowds. Hell, even LoG’s infamous KILLADELPHIA was recorded at my beloved Trocadero Theater! Tonight’s mayhem is at the Electric Factory and thrash veterans Anthrax are opening up. This is the first LoG show in Philly in a while and they are supporting last year’s VII STURM UND DRANG while Anthrax is getting ready to release FOR ALL KINGS next month. Sounds like a good Saturday night to me! Onto the Electric Factory!
The Electric Factory is a semi-famous venue that is really kind of a shithole. The original Electric Factory at 22nd and Arch Street (1968 – 1973) had acts like Jefferson Airplane (my uncle who’s a priest went to that!), Vanilla Fudge, Jimi Hendrix, etc. The modern version at 421 North 7th Street opened in 1994. I’ve been here many times for various acts. It is a general admission theater (capacity 2,500) with an upstairs bar that has some seating. The place tends to get oversold and tonight we were packed in like fucking sardines, luckily it wasn’t hot as balls in there for a change. Sound quality is ok, stage is spacious, pit is large, but often overfilled, and lighting is so-so. Parking sucks, we ended up a few blocks away. Place looks beat, would help if somebody took a paintbrush to it and cleaned it up a bit.
About 8:30 Anthrax took the stage and dove into an explosive version of “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t”. Jon and Scott’s guitars were heavy with chunky riffs while Charlie and Frankie provided a thunderous backdrop. Joey’s vocals were strong at times, not at others and his mic cut out a few times. Overall, the band sounded tighter than they did when I last saw them in September with Motorhead, but Joey wasn’t as on. At this point the Anthrax set has become pretty predictable as I’ve seen them 15 times now. Only surprises in the set were new song “Evil Twin”, a real thrasher that I dug, instrumental “March of the S.O.D”, and the crushing closer “Among the Living” (best song of the set, killer riffs from Scott, FOLLOW ME OR DIE!). Rest of the set was good staples like “Caught in a Mosh” (STOMP STOMP STOMP!), “Antisocial”, (great audience participation!) and “Indians” (PPP-PREDJUDICE!). Before “Evil Twin”, Scott addressed the crowd and said they had just been in town last September with Motorhead, which started a Lemmy chant! I thought Anthrax was going to play a Motorhead song in tribute to the fallen King of Rock n Roll and Metal, but it was not to be. “In The End” featured banners of Ronnie and Dime, but nothing for Lemmy? Come on, Dime’s been dead 11 years and Ronnie almost 6, Lemmy just died less than a month ago. Just sayin’. Anthrax always puts on a good show and I do feel that they are one of the best live thrash bands around; I just need a little more variety. Maybe a headlining tour supporting FOR ALL KINGS later this year will give us just that.
- Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
- Got the Time
- Caught in a Mosh
- Evil Twin
- March of the S.O.D.
- In the End
- Among the Living
LAMB OF GOD
You could feel the energy building. Screens on stage showed destruction, buildings collapsing (looked like the beginning of WOLFEN, if anyone knows that movie!) as the crowd began to get swept up into a frenzy. Then LoG took the stage and started cranking “Desolation” and the whole floor began to move! Randy was very animated as he shrieked and the band was tight, together, and feral. Fresh off working with Megadeth, Chris Adler laid down some sick drumming, providing the foundation for the ass kicking. LoG and the crowd clearly feed off each other’s energy, the heavier LoG played the nuttier the crowd got. “Walk With Me in Hell” was pretty fucking wild! Things were off to a killer start!
Randy addressed the crowd after “Walk” and said Philadelphia was the first city to give LoG a good response back in the day, and that’s why KILLADELPHIA was recorded here. There is definitely a mutual love and respect between LoG and Philly. Philly is a good metal town for established acts like LoG, Metallica, Slayer, Overkill, etc.
The set featured 4 new songs (“512”, “Still Echoes”, “Overlord” and “Erase This”) from VII STURM UND DRANG. “Overlord” is the first LoG song with clean vocals from Randy, it sounded fine but I’m not a fan of mixing vocal styles. Response to the new material was good. Best songs of the set included “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” and the well known closer “Redneck”. Overall, good set.
LoG is a must see live when they come to Philly. This is as close as you’ll get to the craziness of seeing Pantera live in the 90s (I did that twice). Check them out when they come to your town.
- Walk with Me in Hell
- Still Echoes
- The Subtle Arts of Murder and Persuasion
- The Faded Line
- Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
- Set to Fail
- Blacken the Cursed Sun
- Erase This
- Laid to Rest