Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lamb of God/ Decapitated/ The Acacia Strain @ Rams Head Live 6/19/2013

We went to see Lamb of God up at Ram's Head Live. We also wanted to make sure we saw Decapitated (who we had thought were on first), so we got there a little early. We saw Scott and maybe someone else there!


We got there after 7:30, which is when the show was supposed to start (so the Ram's Head Happy Hour special was still on) but the first band went on closer to 7:45... and it was definitely not Decapitated. As we were getting our ticket issues sorted out, we noticed some signs saying that there would be no moshing, no crowd surfing, and no aggressive behaviour- or you'd allegedly be ejected. I was chuckling because what dream world is Ram's Head living in. I can only figure that the owners of Ram's Head had read about Randy Blythe's recent legal situation and circumstances of it and decided they will outlaw any such behaviour to prevent anything from happening at THEIR venue. Which makes sense business and PR wise, but in reality there is no way you're going to prevent rowdy behaviour at a heavy show.


The Acacia Strain was on first and they were better than expected. I had heard one of their albums (3750) and was underwhelmed by it. One song on that- 'Extreme Wrath Of The Jhiaxus'- had  a Star Wars Episode II sound byte. Yeah, kinda lame. Regardless, their performance that night made me reconsider their goodness. They were heavy and sounded really good, but they were not memorable, I didn't find anything distinctive in their deathcore sound. I think Milla said that their sound was kind of like 'One big long breakdown.' One thing I did remember was that unlike many other -core bands, the guitarist actually played some leads. So that was unexpectedly appreciated. Not a bad opener, but not a band I'd go see headline. The crowd seemed to like them, also. Not much movement from the crowd, because I think they were trying to figure out what the ever present red shirted security staff was going to actually do. I think The Acacia Strain's vocalist was demanding crowd surfers, so people eventually surfed! Up yours, signs!

We checked out the merch table by this point and noticed Decapitated's stock was pretty odd. Many shirts only has S or XL (and those were only $10!), which would have been fine if they were in my size. The Acacia Strain, like another -core band (Darkest Hour), had a ton of shirts... each of which seemed to be borrowing/tribute to/referencing other things- from Wrestling to Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin. This was not the last wrestling reference tonight, either! I think some degree of 'tribute' to other bands that influenced you is fine, but having ALL your shirts like that screams of lack of originality.  Lamb of God had several 'tattoo/affliction' type shirts and one with a Skeleton Fiddler. But nothing  that jumped out to me. There was also some sort of large hardcover Art book ($40).

 Decapitated took the stage next, with some acoustic intro that was quickly shattered by the thundering drums- and some very technical guitars. Their first song blew away The Acacia Strain's entire set. The drealocked frontman of this Polish death metal band commanded the stage pretty well, and the songs were just brutal. I had only heard a few songs by them before, but they were absolutely killer live. The guitar work was awesome, and the ever present drums were exactly how heavy drums should sound- like a rumbling storm! I would definitely go see these guys again, very impressed. I believe during Decapitated's set, there was some minor moshing as well.

Lamb of God exploded on the stage in a similar fashion to the last time we saw them, and kicked their energetic set into high gear, only briefly stopping at a couple points. Their lights and video screens supplemented the performance and made for a great show. Randy and the boys sounded great, solid, powerful. They even had 'Polish Pauly' from Decapitated drum on one song near the end (I think 'Redneck'). The crowd def broke out into moshing, crowd surfing, and all sorts of aggressive behaviour during their set, as expected. The moshing was not as intense as one usually sees at  a Lamb of God show. The wheelchair guy was at this show, and he was hoisted above and surfed the crowd a couple times. The chicken suit guy was in the pit, with his stinky chicken suit. Randy gave both of these characters a shout out. My favourites were "Walk with me in Hell" and "Contractor" (aka the song where how can you not expect a pit).

During Lamb of God, people would cheer (Woo!) and then they showed a Ric Flair (a famous wrestler) clip on the screens. Multiple times throughout the show. That was amazing! WOO!

I was curious and just looked up the last time we saw them (in November 2012 at the Fillmore, Silver Spring)... and they played the same setlist this time. I heard an interview where Chris Adler was talking about how this tour cycle was the 'B' cities, smaller places allegedly which don't get a lot of shows like this- so maybe that's why they didn't switch anything up. So perhaps a little disappointing to some to see the exact same show again, with nothing new. I thought it was a great show, Lamb of God are back with a renewed vigor (but not so much stage show)!

Ner the end of the set , I saw the frontman from Decapitated making out with some chick. I didn't want to cockblock him so I didn't approach for a pic.As the huge number of people were SLOWLY filing out, I was wondering what would happen if there was a fire X_X:

Next show: Zac Brown Band

Photos:
No Moshing
Merch
The Acacia Strain
Decapitated
Decapitated II
Lamb of God
Moar Lamb of God
Lamb of God- 11th hour I think
Polish Pauly and Lamb of God
Lamb of God w/ Pauly- the drummer from Decapitated
 Randy's Back
WOO!

Setlists

The Acacia Strain (7:45- 8:14)
???

Decapitated (8:33- 9:15) (this was from another date on the same tour- it seems like it is accurate)
  • Silence
  • Pest
  • Day 69
  • 404
  • Post(?) Organic
  • Carnival is Forever
  • Homo Sum
  • A View From a Hole
  • Spheres of Madness

Lamb of God ( 9:40-11:05)
  • Desolation
  • Ghost Walking
  • Walk With Me in Hell
  • Set to Fail
  • Ruin
  • Now You've Got Something to Die For
  • 11th Hour
  • The Undertow
  • Omerta
  • Contractor
  • The Passing (over the PA)
  • In Your Words
  • Laid to Rest
  •  
  • Redneck
  • Black Label