n January, I started off my 2012 concert going by seeing Lamb of God at the Paradise in Boston. It was only fitting that I (potentially) ended my 2012 concert going by seeing Lamb of God yet again at the House of Blues in Boston last night.
British melodic death thrashers Sylosis opened the show. I just got into them within the past couple months (their new record, Monolith, is one of my favorites of this year) and I was really excited to get to see them for the first time. They absolutely killed it. The whole band was tight as hell and they sounded exactly like they do on record. Josh Middleton is a severely underrated guitar player and every single solo he played was awesome. I was pleased to see how strong the reception was for them. The whole crowd was into their set right out of the gate and the pits maintained in intensity throughout their set. Boston was also fortunate enough to get an extra song from them, but their 25-minute set time still seemed way too short. Sylosis was a perfect way to open the night and I really hope they blow up in the near future, They are the next truly special metal band in my opinion and they are far too good to continue to fly under the radar.
Hellyeah was up next and as I expected, They pretty much sucked. They killed any momentum that Sylosis had built up. Their vocalist, Chad Gray, is such an assclown that it made their set almost amusing. Seriously that guy has to be one of the biggest faux-tough guy douchers I've ever seen in my life. His rants to the crowd about metal, drinking, and "the cowboy attitude" were almost as painful as his feeble attempts at screaming. It's a shame because the music wasn't too bad at times, but the vocals and general douchebaggery from Gray killed their set. It was cool to see Vinnie Paul play live, but besides that Hellyeah was pretty fucking bad.
After Hellyeah finished up, My friends and I went talked to Sylosis at their merch table (one of my friends also found a pick their guitarist threw on the ground randomly by their merch table). Rhythm guitarist Alex Bailey and drummer Rob Callard were both super nice guys and were stoked that we dug their music. They signed my ticket and also confirmed they will be back to the U.S next year, more than likely on a festival package tour (Mayhem Fest perhaps?).
We headed back down to the floor after that and In Flames started a couple minutes later. They brought back the momentum that Hellyeah had killed. I don't what the fuck show some people earlier on the tour saw when they said that In Flames was stagnant and the crowd was dead for them, In Flames was on fire last night and the crowd was going ballistic the whole time they were on (especially during "Reroute to Remain", "Cloud Connected", "Take This Life" and *gasp* "Embody the Invisible", so much for no one knows old In Flames anymore). Andres Friden sounded great and was his typical hilarious stuff in-between songs. The highlight was when was joking with the people in the balcony that we're sitting down saying that it wasn't the movies and there was no popcorn being served tonight (I don't remember the direct quote, but it was far funnier than what I am describing). Clearly I would've have loved to hear way more old stuff, but like I've said in the past, In Flames is such a great live band it does not matter what songs are played. Even though they are not the band they used to be in terms of quality of their studio material, In Flames is still amazing live.
It had finally come time for Lamb of God to hit the stage. As they have done the previous three times I've seen them, They savaged the audience for an hour and fifteen minutes. Their typical energy and immense stage presence was in full effect once again. This time was especially special because it was Randy Blythe's first tour since being freed from jail in the Czech Republic on false manslaughter charges. He seemed even more excited and energized on stage than ever before, Which I didn't think was previously possible. The setlist was pretty typical from them with the classics like "Laid to Rest", "Ruin", and of course "Black Label", with the notorious wall of death, mixed pretty with the newer stuff like "Desolation", "Ghost Walking", and "Set to Fail". I was stoked to finally hear "Omerta" and a deep cut like "11th Hour" live. Those were definitely amongst my favorite songs of the night and I was glad they decided to mix the set up a little bit this go-round. Lamb of God never fails to bring the house down live in a club setting and last night was no exception. If this does end up being my last show of the year, It's hell of a show to end the year on.
In Flames 9/10
Lamb of God 9.5/10
3/14 Dropkick Murphys
4/10 At the Gates/Converge