Over half a year ago the announcement of the Slipknot Australian headline tour had the majority of our heavy music loving population in exhilaration. This number drastically dropped when it was declared that the “Australian Tour” was in fact only three cities on the east coast; sadly a common state of affairs for bands of a monumental stature. But not all was lost; fortunately, the other capitals were allocated with headline shows from the support act, filling a void that was thought to have been an endless abyss. The approach then became best surmised by famed writer Carl Sandberg with his quote: “To be a good loser is to learn how to win”, and victory was indeed reached from this occasion.
Alkira were an unknown quartet for this writer and probably a rather similar tale for the growing audience in attendance for the band’s cherished opening slot. However, the four-piece were here to change that notion and they did so, promptly and remarkably. Thrash is the name of the game for these locals and Metallica are clearly their prominent influence, Ride The Lightning even magically appeared during the performance. Before the labels of a “knock-off”, “copycat” or just plain stupid “tribute” band are assumed, this is extremely far from the case. Alkira has their identity; they have been carving it for years since their humble early days in Strathalbyn over half a decade ago. The track The Night Mare was simply a headbanger’s delight and initiated the first “mosh-pit” exertion; this was mostly due to their superior yet brilliant presence and attitude. Was it overly familiar? Was it derivative? All signs point to yes, but their forthcoming second album Klotho to be released in mere weeks on Truth Inc Records will certainly not disappoint.
On the other end of the spectrum, Adelaide’s Se Bon Ki Ra was quite a familiar band for this scribe; in actuality, the quintet was well known to the majority of the much larger audience. The five-piece does have a relatively stable fanbase and as the headline band for this event are a clear inspiration on the South Australian metalheads, it seemed logical to have them on board. Finding the obstacle of a reduced stage size slightly awkward, the band eventually found their groove and maintained the energy which the opening band set before them. All You Can Be persuaded the crowd to emotionally attach to what Se Bon Ki Ra presented; in actuality, this is what the quintet executed most favourably, an emotional connection through their music. Oddly there were some strange interactions between the band members, but it is in merriment, and the role of warming up the attendees had certainly been fulfilled.
Movement amongst the HQ complex had become an impossibility, 15 minutes before Virginia’s favourite metal sons Lamb Of God were intended to begin their assault on Adelaide, the enthusiasts decided had this was an eternity away, and therefore the band’s name was chanted at a deafening level. Crowd surfing began quite literally during the introduction siren which signalled the LoG’s march to the stage and when Walk With Me In Hell commenced, so did pandemonium. This frenzy did not falter or fade; inconceivably it magnified consistently. Ruin had crowd-surfers invading like an avalanche while the head-bangers were similar to a torrential oceanic storm. 512, Descending, Engage The Fear Machine, Now You’ve Got Something To Die For (with an immense breakdown), Still Echoes, Blacken The Cursed Sun, Anthropoid, The Faded Line (astoundingly colossal) and Laid To Rest instigated a hysteria that most likely has not been witnessed in HQ complex. Rampant vocalist Randy Blythe was the composer of his band and THE conductor of the crowd to a “divine being” vastness, but in stating that, LoG were beyond appreciative for what Adelaide had brought to the Tuesday night table.
To thank “the crazy mother f**kers” (Randy’s words) present – the necessary track Redneck. Undoubtedly the correct farewell as there was to be no encore.
It has been well documented that Lamb Of God has not had the easiest past. However, if the five-piece can depart a supporting role with the world’s most adored and constantly sellout and out-perform shows like this the majority of the year, in their words from 2006 album Sacrament – Again We Rise.