Walking with Lamb of God in Hell, er Pomona
Author’s note: This concert review is late, I apologize. I’ve been extremely busy with client work. Better late than never, right?
On May 28th, my friend Dave and I once again headed to the Fox Theater in Pomona. (We had previously been there to see Danzig and Killswitch Engage.) This time, we remembered to arrive early to grab our pit passes. The staff only gives them out to the first 500 fans in line and they’re pretty strict about keeping you out if you don’t have one.
I wore my normal concert gear, which is my Big Lebowski tee shirt. (Get yours by clicking the image below.) It’s a great conversation starter, and I’m able to make friends and make some art sales while I’m out enjoying myself. While we waited on Dave’s girlfriend to arrive, we chatted with the group of guys in front of us about tattoos, artwork, the band Puscifer, and Maynard’s other band’s obnoxious superfans.
Corrosion of Conformity
Corrosion of Conformity is a band that I’ve heard about for a long time, but for some reason I never decided to listen to them. Their band name gave me the impression that they were a death metal band. I don’t really have a good reason for failing to prove myself wrong until now.
Now, having seen them perform live, I can say I’m a fan. They play bluesy, stoner rock. Think slow riffs with a heavy bassline. You could tell the guys were having a blast, and Pepper, the singer, thanked the crowd numerous times for the support. The highlight, for me, was the song Albatross, which I’ve embedded for your listening pleasure.
Corrosion of Conformity Setlist: Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo) | Paranoid Opioid | Broken Man | Seven Days | The Door | Vote With a Bullet | Albatross | Clean My Wounds
Sound: ★★★½ out of 5
Energy: ★★★★ out of 5
Live Performance: ★★★½ out of 5
Overall: ★★★½ out of 5
I had seen Clutch just last year with Mastodon, and if you’ve read my review, you’ll know that I preferred theirs to Mastodon’s performance. (Though both were very solid.) Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see them again.
Once more, they brought the pure rock fury (see what I did there?), the funk, and the energy. The mosh pit was also a bit more lively for Clutch than it had been for Corrosion of Conformity. If I had any reservations about the set, it was that I didn’t like the setlist this year as much as last year. However, I am very thankful that they switched it up so I could hear songs I had not heard before.
For me, the highlight was the very first song, which I’ve embedded here. It’s a track off of their latest (excellent) album. Another highlight was the old song Spacegrass. Pepper Keenan (from COC) came out and played as a guest. His contribution was welcomed with loud cheering and applause. I can’t recommend Clutch enough. Listen to their albums, go see them live. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover them, but I’m glad I finally did. I’ll go see them any time they’re in town. Believe the hype; the show is THAT good.
Clutch Setlist: Sucker for the Witch | The House That Peterbilt | The Mob Goes Wild | Profits of Doom | Decapitation Blues | Sea of Destruction | Unto the Breach | X-Ray Visions | Firebirds! | Spacegrass (with Pepper Keenan) | A Quick Death in Texas | Your Love Is Incarceration
Setlist: ★★★½ out of 5
Sound: ★★★★ out of 5
Energy: ★★★★★ out of 5
Live Performance: ★★★★ out of 5
Overall: ★★★★½ out of 5
Lamb of God
Lamb of God: where do I begin? This was, hands down, the most brutal show I’ve ever attended. Even before they took the stage, the sense of anticipation was palpable. While the roadies set up the stage, there were two giant LED screens with videos of fire burning. It was an omen of what was to come. Right before the band came on, the lights went out, the fire turned to smoke, and the crowd went absolutely berserk. I only went into the mosh pit one time during Lamb of God’s set, and I was injured within thirty seconds. (I’ve got to learn that I’m not sixteen anymore.)
During the show, the video screens played mostly videos of destruction (building demolition, fires, etc.), cults (snake handlers, Benny Hinn), and anti-religious iconography. With any other band, this might come off cheesy, but with Lamb of God, you believed every second of it. The music, the atmosphere, and the crowd lifted the mix of the music and the iconography into something more.
The entire band played their hearts out, and Randy Blythe, the singer, used the entire stage and worked up the crowd into a frenzy. Controlled chaos, maybe? If there was any control at all. It was hot, it was brutal, it was fast. I loved it. If you’re into heavy music, you need to see Lamb of God perform. Even if you don’t like the music, the performance is incredible. I’ve never been simultaneously awestruck and afraid for my body’s well-being at the same time. I’ve embedded my favorite Lamb of God song below, which was also the opening song. It was an unbelievable night, and my only regret was that I was dumb enough to injure myself in the pit.
Lamb of God Setlist: Walk with Me in Hell | Ruin | 512 | Ghost Walking | Now You’ve Got Something to Die For | Still Echoes | Descending | The Faded Line | Blacken the Cursed Sun | Anthropoid | Hourglass
Encore: Vigil | Laid to Rest | Redneck
Setlist: ★★★★ out of 5
Sound: ★★★★★ out of 5
Energy: ★★★★★ out of 5
Live Performance: ★★★★ out of 5
Overall: ★★★★½ out of 5
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