Smaller profile and venue this time around, but it was a hell of a show nonetheless.
French phenoms Gojira kicked things off with their city-leveling post-metal. It was a shame that the shoddy sound mix leveled their complex layers into a rumbling din, but the wall of sound was still pretty effective. Hopefully next time they'll have acoustics that match their quality.
Groove metal pioneers Machine Head may be the elder statesmen of the tour, but they sure ain't old (Although, they did play the song “Old.”). They unveiled two new tracks from their upcoming record The Blackening , which kicked just as much ass as the Burn My Eyes classics.
Robb Flynn was probably the most confident frontman of the show. He even tied their requisite Dimebag Darrell tribute into a new song before closing, as usual, with “Davidian.”
Pop thrashers Trivium wanted to put on a big metal show, so they had huge banners, wall panels, risers – the works. They started out with an appropriately epic intro as they flashed lights into the audience, before going through a set heavy on songs from their latest album , The Crusade. New tunes like “Detonation” and “Anthem (We Are the Fire)” were a lot of fun with the crowd participation.
The problem is, the band came across like excited puppies that really wanted the audience to like them. They ran all over the stage, making big moves that they nicked from old Megadeth and Metallica videos.
It was sort of like watching an '80s metal cover band. They're great songwriters and musicians. They just need to stop mimicking their idols and find their own voice on stage.
Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe was experiencing voice problems of his own: he had strep throat. He still managed to bark his way through an hour-plus set, which was impressive considering his high-impact vocal style.
The Grammy-nominated groove metal quintet had lots of energy, lights and amps (38 by my count, although 95 percent of those were probably façades). The crowd showed their approval of favorites like “Ruin” and “As the Palaces Burn” by turning the first two tiers into giant mosh pits.
Blythe darted around the stage through the smoke and backlighting, kicking into the air and screaming. The guitarists thrashed like crazy. There was much violence.
In other words, a typical Lamb of God show. Their fans wouldn't have it any other way.All in all, a pretty titanic clash.