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OMENS Tour: LAMB OF GOD, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, BARONESS, SUICIDE SILENCE – MGM Music Hall @ Fenway, Boston September 21, 22, 2022

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Words and photos by Robert Forte

Lamb of God are somewhat of a rarity in the world of heavy music.

Not only does the band continue to be one of the hardest-hitting live touring acts today, the boys from
Richmond, Virginia have also continued to produce new material that, in some ways, surpasses their more revered, earlier career records.

Crushing, thunderous, fiery, aggressive and fucking brilliant are but a few adjectives that have been used to rightfully describe Lamb of God’s forthcoming studio album, Omens, set to be released on Nuclear Blast Records on October 7

Randy Blythe and co. did New England the honor of pulling up the tour buses to the newly christened MGM Music Hall at Fenway in Boston, Massachusetts this past week to give the faithful a slight taste of what’s to come from the Omens record as well as a full-course meal of the metal mayhem and musical debauchery Lamb of God fans desperately crave.

Do you know how to get a Lamb of God crowd worked up into a full-blown frenzy of flying fists, kicks and circle pits?

Start the show the way the band did in Boston with an opening three-song salvo of Memento Mori, Walk With Me in Hell and Now You’ve got Something to Die For.

By the time those first three songs had ended, the entirety of the MGM Music Hall at Fenway and even the band themselves needed a second to catch their collective breaths.

Distant fans in the upper sections could be heard hooting and hollering from all corners, while audience members closer to the stage were heard uttering lines that included, “holy shit,” “un-fucking real” and “are you kidding me?”

That’s Lamb of God in a nutshell, particularly in a live setting, where the band can effortlessly whip an entire audience into a metal-induced fever from the very first moments of their live performance. Fans hoping to hear some of the new material from Omens were treated to songs from the album that
included the title track Omens as well as the first single from the record, the incisive, Nevermore.

Other earlier in the set highlights from Boston by Lamb of God included a blistering, Ruin, that saw the band enveloped in pyres of smoke and Omerta, where front-man Randy Blythe stalked the Boston crowd from stage end to stage end while a series of floor-to-ceiling pyrotechnics exploded behind both the frontman and the entire band.

Lamb of God even threw a few monkey wrenches into the set in Boston for the die-hards that included three lesser played in a live setting tracks which included, The Contractor off of 2009’s underrated Wrath
and both 512 and Ghost Walking off of pre-pandemic banger, 2015’s VII: Sturm und Drang.

Prior to 512 Blythe dedicated the song to all of the other bands playing on the current tour while also
explaining how the song itself was about an unplanned, extended European vacation he took a while back. This being of course a nod to Blythe’s time spent in a Prague prison back in 2012 on manslaughter charges he was eventually found innocent of.

It’s hard to find faults in any Lamb of God’s live show. The energy the band brings is infectious, the pace at which they drive their live performance is unparalleled, and their set list choices always include just the right amount of the old, mixed in with the new.

Lamb of God not only make it look easy, but the band makes fans feel as though each and every live show has been tailored made for the audience they’re playing to that very evening. They’re genuine, easily relatable, sublime musicians and to put it much more simply, a great fucking time.

This allows them to not only pull off one hell of a live show, it makes those who attend their concerts feel like they’re part of something special. Which is exactly why many in attendance in Boston this past week likely left the MGM Music Hall at Fenway excited and already chatting about the next time they’ll have a chance to see the band play live again.

That’s the definition of leaving them wanting for more and if there was one thing the fans in Boston
displayed, it’s that they definitely want more of Lamb of God, and they sure as hell want it soon. Fans of Lamb of God’s live shows are spoiled, as the band almost always puts together a tour bill that gets them salivating for more than just the headlining act’s time on the lighted stage.

The current Omens tour proved to be no different as Lamb of God brought along Boston hometown
heroes Killswitch Engage, Savannah, Georgia rockers Baroness and beloved west coast deathcore outfit
Suicide Silence along for the ride.

All three acts served up shortened sets of live music that primed the Boston faithful properly for what turned out to be a bewitching headlining set from Lamb of God themselves.

The primary highlight from Suicide Silence‘s set in Boston had to be when the band pulled a Gojira and had the audience set up a Wall of Death prior to their last song, You Only Live Once, from 2011’s The Black Crown, the final album original singer Mitch Lucker sang on prior to his untimely death back in 2012.

Who doesn’t want to see about a thousand or so metal heads drive full force into one another from one side of the stage floor to the other to end a band’s set? Baroness‘s time on the MGM Music Hall at Fenway’s stage was kind of a love-in from beginning to end. This came off as kind of a surprise as the band’s music is much further away from Lamb of God’s core demographic than say either Suicide Silence’s or Killswitch Engage‘s.

Smiles, laughter and a lot of fun were the hallmarks of Baroness’s set in Boston. If only every band could play a live set that made fans feel that way following their performances, we’d all be that much better off for it.

Killswitch Engage could have easily been the headliner for the performance in Boston, as it was clear a large percentage of the crowd inside the MGM Music Hall at Fenway were clearly in attendance to see their New England area brothers perform a hometown show for them.

Because of the pandemic, Killswitch Engage played few live dates to promote their latest record, the critically well-received Atonement from 2019. In fact, since the Incarnate tour cycle ended, Killswitch
Engage have played only a handful of live shows in the six years since.

Thus, it was a little disappointing to hear only a few songs off of Atonement which included the pulverizing Unleashed as well as the the under appreciated The Crownless King. However, anyone feeling a little let down that Atonement wasn’t given enough stage time must have been overjoyed when former vocalist Howard Jones surprised the Boston audience by joining the band for the night’s encore of The Signal Fire.

It’s important to give a nod to Killswitch Engage for being one of the bands within the genre that have continued to prove that heavy music still has a place in this world as songs such as Unbroken and When Darkness Falls were on albums that sold over a half million copies.

That’s not easy to do in any genre of music these days, let alone the world of hard rock and heavy metal. The fact that Killswitch Engage is still making music that sells, while also mattering and being damn fucking good in the process is something no fan of heavy music should take lightly.

The only possible negative thing that anyone could say about Killswitch Engage this past week in Boston was that the band has been long overdue for a headlining tour themselves.

Let’s hope that dream comes to fruition before the Massachusetts natives go into hibernation to record the follow-up to the resplendent Atonement sometime soon.

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