Saturday night’s Lamb of God show at the Revolution Concert House and Events Center proved to be a curious yet neck-snapping metal affair. Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God took a detour from its current run with Slipknot to headline this one off event for Boise fans. They brought fellow tourmates Bullet for my Valentine and Motionless in White with them. Slated as a Birthday Bash for radio station 100.3 The X, another band, Wilson, was later added to kick off the show. This pushed the already early show to a 5:30 start. Many fans arrived late, grumbling that they were unaware of the concert’s early start time. As fans arrived they were greeted by Nic and Big J from The X’s Morning after Show.
Though the crowd began small, the show did not. Detroit’s Wilson kick-started the mayhem with a heavy onslaught of riff-driven revelry. The band is out in support of its new album, Full Blast Fu*kery, released in 2013. The band tuned up tracks like “Better Off (Strictly Doods)”, “College Gangbang”, and “Susan Jane”. Frontman Chad Nicefield brought out a large band drum for the final song then crowd-surfed away at the end.
Many of the young ladies that showed up turned out specifically for Motionless in White, something frontman Chris Motionless pointed out during the set. The band spent much of its set bathed in red light which gave the an odd cast to the overall feel of the presentation and at times made band members hard to see. Given a slightly longer set time than normal for the tour, the band tossed in a cover of Danzig’s “Mother”. The band is touring in support of its 2014 release,Reincarnate, from which they played “Break the Cycle”, “Generation Lost”, “Unstoppable”, and the title track: The latter as the show closer. From Motionless in White’s previous two records, “Devil’s Night”, “Sick from the Melt”, and “Abigail” were also performed.
UK metal quartet Bullet for my Valentine tore up the stage next, tempting fans with a dose of its latest release, Venom. The band only played seven songs but they made them count. Three singles, “Raising Hell”, “No Way Out”, and “Army of Noise” were performed from the Venom record. The band opened its set with “Your Betrayal” from 2010’s Fever album. They closed the set with “Waking the Demon” from 2008’s Scream Aim Fire. They dialed up the title track from the same record during the show. This marked the first Boise performance for new bassist James Mathias. Frontman Michael Tuck spoke to the crowd frequently, and the band’s set bristled with energy.
The highlight of the night began, not surprisingly, with Lamb of God. It has been a long while since they graced the Treasure Valley, and they regaled fans with a bludgeoning set which included several tracks from its latest record, VII: Sturm und Drang. Video projection screens ran behind the band through the set, jumping with images of war, religion, and politics as a backdrop. The band opened its set, appropriately enough, with “Walk with Me in Hell” from its 2006 release, Sacrament. The same record yielded the tracks “Descending” and “Redneck” for the show. Frontman Randy Blythe engaged the crowd throughout the night as the band ripped through tracks from its decade old Killadelphiaalbum, including “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”, “Ruin”, “Hourglass”, “Laid to Rest”, and the set closer, “Black Label”. Oddly, the band only played “512” and “Still Echoes” from the new record. Other songs performed included “Ghost Walking” and “Set to Fail”. Drummer Chris Adler, who has been serving double duty with Megadeth, gave a propulsive performance. Guitarist Mark Morton and Willie Adler dominated the show with crunchy riffage and dynamic fretwork, while bassist John Campbell made the venue shake with his steady low-end rumble.
While both the show openers gave solid performances, one fan bluntly stated, “It seemed the real show didn’t start until Bullet for my Valentine hit the stage, and Lamb of God, what else can I say? They kicked ass.”
The next Xrock Birthday Bash will be Slipknot and Suicidal Tendencies on October 21 at Taco Bell Arena.
All photos © 2015 Katarzyna Cepek Photography.