What an amazing show!
First, people showed up for this sold out show early! The Canadian based metal band, Anciients, started the evening. With a very distinct sound (Crowbar meets Clutch meets Opeth), this four-piece stoner metal band put on a great show. Unfortunately, it was obvious that audience was a mix of Lamb of God fans and hard core Decapitated fans – but I doubt anyone would say the Anciients was anything less than enjoyable.
Hailing from Poland – up next was the Mighty Decapitated. Now this band brought the energy up. Deep vocals, killer guitar solos, and a lot of middle fingers raised high in the air, this band was perfectly placed in between the more ambient Anciients and the anticipation of Lamb of God. As soon as Decapitated finished their last song and left the stage, the crowd started chanting “Lamb of God…Lamb of God…”
While the show was oddly scheduled to be the same date as the annual Rose Festival parade, (which passed right outside the venue) and made parking a nightmare, metal heads showed up in droves.
Some bands do a great job of making you really believe they love your city; some don’t. Randy Blythe is one of those musicians who do. Not only did he make himself available to fans outside the gates, in the arcade across the street, and at the local skate park — he took photos and was very personable. He even mentioned Oregon’s Powell’s bookstore as being one of the best he’d ever seen.
Even under the dark cloud of interest regarding his unfortunate legal issues, he addressed it. He mentioned the unfortunate death of a fan at a past show asked the crowd to “please take care of one other.” He thanked the troops, made a tribute to the recently departed Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), and absolutely gave the show 100% of his time and effort.
Everyone who was anyone in Portland’s metal scene was there. Jesus even made an appearance (A fan dressed like Jesus made his way into the pit and crowd surfed – it was hilarious). You could see Randy laughing at him and enjoying all that Portland’s fans had to offer.
While undeniably more polished than the days when Randy would pet his back patch of hair on stage (oh yes he did) it was obvious that the entire band still loves what they do.