First intermission is almost over. All the gaps in the room fill well in advance for Lamb of God to walk on. The crowds voices are heard as they chant “Lamb of God!” repeatedly right up until the band walk onto the stage and it’s then that the chants turn into roars of cheers and applause. And just like that they belt straight into Walk With Me In Hell, the opening track off of their hugely successful 2006 album Sacrament. An old favourite that always gets the crowd amped up. From the moment they begin their set right through to their closing moments of Redneck the crowd are absolutely relentless.
Randy calls for a the biggest circle pit we’ve ever seen. So without hesitation, the crowd breaks apart doing exactly what they’re told. It’s insane. By this point, I’ve taken my photos and I’m up in my allocated seat in the stands. I see everything from here and seeing a circle pit that large in the Entertainment Centre is something else. I’ve been lucky enough to see Lamb of God almost every time they’ve been out here and this has to be one of their best performances. Tighter than ever. New album in hand. It’s like they’re refreshed. They just love what they do and that energy is definitely fed to the crowd.
The lights dim and Be Prepared for Hell plays over the speakers as the band take to the stage. They jump straight into The Negative One, the first release from their most recent album The Gray Chapter, closely followed by Eyeless and Distasterpiece.
This is the second visit from Slipknot as part of a 2 year long tour which is coming to an end. And they’re celebrating the 15 year anniversary of their 2001 album Iowa this time around. The crowd are in for a treat as they are playing a hefty five songs off of the record. It’s a setlist full of everything you want to hear. Songs that never get old. This is one of the tightest bands you will ever see with some of the greatest charisma in music today.
There was something missing though. And it is something very noticeable. Unfortunately Percussionist Shaun “Clown” Crahan has had to pull himself away from the final Australian leg of their tour to attend to a family emergency, leaving his mask at bay on his percussion kit. If their is anything lacking in the show, it is his persona. As much as the whole band brings the show together in their own individual way, Clown has always been a staple in the band. You struggle not to watch him do his thing. And unfortunately this was a missing piece of the show.
Nevertheless, the band puts on a spectacular show. They closed with Spit It Out from their debut self-titled album. When it comes to a slow steady break, the crowd all take a seat on the arena floor, something that Slipknot fans have been doing for as far back as I can remember. And according to front man Corey Taylor, something that has been ripped off by at least 6 other bands.
“When I say ‘Jump the f*** up’ you jump the f*** up, but not until I say….Jump the f*** up.” Taylor makes this crystal clear to the crowd as they go wild for his demands. The band begin to build up to the those final moments and that’s when he says it, at the top of his lungs, with all his rage….”JUMP THE F*** UP!”. A sea of bodies go from the ground to their feet. I’ve been in that crowd and I’ve sat above that crowd. And no matter where you are, it is mind blowing.
I walk away from this show in awe. For three reasons. First and foremost, this is my first time photographing them. That itself is a whole other experience. Secondly, I’ve seen Slipknot and Lamb of God in the one show at the one venue, anyone lucky enough to be there would feel the same. And thirdly, I just saw Slipknot….again….and they were just as astounding and impressive as each time I’ve seen them previously. To see the full gallery click here
IMAGES (c) Dan Maynard