Lamb Of God + Killer Be Killed
170 Russell, Melbourne
24 February 2015
Review by Regan Boyce
If you’ve ever had any doubt as to why Melbourne is considered the home of metal in Australia, you need only to come to a show on a weeknight and witness the sea of black shirts with not a single care about the next day’s commitments among them. The opportunity to see Lamb Of God in a venue as small as 170 Russell was enough to bring out the crowd on a Tuesday night, throw in metal’s best and newest super group Killer Be Killed playing their first club show ever and the venue was packed shoulder to shoulder before the first band.
When Killer Be Killed took the stage it took vocalist Greg Puciato (of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) about 10 seconds to get off it and in to the crowd while ripping in to ‘Fire To Your Flag’, and the entire venue went from 0 to 100 in under a minute with the front rows screaming along and everyone behind them slamming bodies against each other. Back on stage, Mastodon’s Troy Sanders and the living metal god Max Cavalera himself provided the riffs that put the crush in ‘Curb Crusher’ and traded vocal duties constantly. The mysterious fifth man of this four-piece was Juan Montoya, who was never introduced but looked quite content keeping Puciato’s guitar duties covered so he can be the unleashed beast with a microphone he is.
The band spoke little between songs, trying to fit as much of their debut album in to the set as possible, but thanked the crowd for supporting them so much on their first ever tour, and thanked Converge’s drummer Ben Koller for filling in while Dave Elitch played with Antemasque. Very little had to be said however, as anything that Sanders’ crazy eyes couldn’t say with a single gaze was given as a command from Cavalera, and obeyed instantly by the submissive crowd. When Max said jump the floor shook, when he said sing along the walls shook with the noise, his word was law. The band managed to rip through all but one of their songs, and the mosh pit never slowed once, people were far too absorbed in Killer Be Killed to even remember there was 90 minutes of Lamb Of God still to come.
The crowd was restless and chanting for Lamb Of God when the lights dimmed, bringing forth a rupture of applause as the intro track played and the band took the stage, wasting no time before tearing into ‘Desolation’. Front man Randy Blythe was particularly animated as he bounced around the stage where he had a small platform set up, and when he was out of breath all he’d have to do is hold out the microphone to hear the sweet sound of almost 1,000 screaming fans singing along, and he must’ve loved that sound because almost every song he had the crowd joining in. The band started with the big hits early with ‘Walk With Me In Hell’ just four songs in, but the crowd was more than warmed up for some heavy hitters by this point, with people crawling over the waves of punters and surfing over the barriers.
‘Set To Fail’ followed and ironically at the end of the song the show was delayed by some guitar difficulties, Randy kept us all entertained though and even stole one of Chris Adler’s drumsticks for a screaming diehard on the barrier. When the problems were over the band quickly shifted back in to top gear with ‘Hourglass’ and followed it with hits such as ‘Something To Die For’ and ‘Laid To Rest’, the crowd belting out every word alongside the band. In a brief pause a chant of appreciation came from the masses, “Randy’s a sick cunt!”, and his humbled response was a short monologue every fan knew well as the intro to ‘Omerta’, and that’s exactly what followed. The slow chugging riffs saw the mosh at its calmest for the night but that was soon remedied by Lamb Of God’s attempt at a punk song ‘Contractor’, which brought a whole new level of violence to the crowd.
The band finished up and left the stage to chants of “Chris is a sick cunt!” and “Willie’s a sick cunt!” before coming back on for one last hurrah, treating the fans to ‘Vigil’ before finishing with everyone’s favorites ‘Redneck’ and ‘Black Label’, which had colossal circle pits and walls of death respectively. The band finished with as much energy as they started with, cementing their place as one of modern metal’s greatest bands. I’ve seen Lamb Of God at festivals, halls and arenas, but this is by far the most memorable show I’ll ever see them play.