Gig Recap: Lamb of God Absolutely Lays Waste to the YouTube Theater in LA on ‘Omens’ Tour

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

At one point during Lamb of God‘s pummeling headlining concert at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif., on Thursday night, vocalist D. Randall Blythe commanded his adoring audience to dance.

When considering that Lamb of God’s music is especially pummeling in both delivery and theme, the demand for dancing might seem … weird. But it didn’t, as in fact the cathartic power of the long-running heavy/”groove metal” band’s music provides a respite from the rigors of daily life and a chance to just totally let loose.

Touring in support of the album Omens, which Lamb of God released just last week on Oct. 7, the band is in its finest form right now on the road. Blythe’s otherworldly howl, paired with the guitar shredding of Mark Morton and Willie Adler, the bass work of John Campbell and Art Cruz’s double-bass drum antihalation behind the kit, the album’s 10 songs are a relentless barrage of energy, aggression and the sort of consistency that has made Lamb of God living legends in the metal scene.

Click here to pick up Omens on CD from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pick up Omens on LP from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE

Live, they brought the production of an arena show to the intimate YouTube Theater, a state-of-the-art facility located adjacent to SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Chargers and Rams. Steam and smoke poured out of the risers on stage, as did a display of fireworks timed to a few specific songs. That was an unexpected touch that added to the primal energy put forth by the band, Blythe bounding around the stage in cargo shorts, a t-shirt and his dreadlocked hair.

Throughout the 15-song set, Blythe held the audience in the palm of his hands, so to speak. When not commanding his army to dance and turn the entire general-admission area into a mosh pit, he was inspiring sporadic crowd surfers from the seated section, giving Cruz a special shout-out as an East Los Angeles resident returning home for a big tour stop, and generally packing a ton of energy into his role leading the band.

“This song is about an unexpected European vacation I took a while ago. I would not recommend those accommodations,” said Blythe to introduce “512,” a song inspired by his experience being imprisoned in the Czech Republic due to a wildly unexpected legal matter years ago (read more about that here).

The pummeling beats and frenetic power of the performance rarely let up. At one point, a fan shouted “I LOVE THIS CONCERT!” between songs, which pretty much summed up the vibe of the entire room.

Blythe characterized his band’s new album as a “very pissed-off record,” a visceral response to the state of the world. That they’re able to channel such dark, bleak themes into a blitz of heavy music primed for head-banging — and a bit of melody! — is what has made Lamb of God kings of the hard music scene for so long, and they’re still out there obliterating stages around the world as a result of this fine-tuned commitment to thoughtful aggression and precise brutality.

Lamb of God’s set list:

Memento Mori
Walk With Me in Hell
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
Resurrection Man
11th Hour
Ghost Walking
Laid to Rest

The tour has a few dates left with support from Fit for an Autopsy, Animals as Leaders and Killswitch Engage — the latter of which turned in a rousing set as main support, slamming through 15 songs of their own and their fan-favorite cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver.”

This tour package features a killer group of hard rock/heavy metal bands, so be sure to catch a show if you’re in the Southwest in the coming week (before Lamb of God heads overseas):

Oct 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theater
Oct 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
Oct 16 – El Paso, TX – UTEP Don Haskins Center
Oct 18 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum
Oct 19 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall
Oct 20 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

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