This has been a long time in the making. Covid shenanigans meant that this tour had been rescheduled a grand total of 3 times, so of course this show has some high hopes to live up to for a lot of enthusiastic, impatient fans.
Lamb of God is a heavy metal band that has become one of the most respected and influential acts in the genre since its formation in the mid-1990s. Known for their aggressive, groove-oriented sound and powerful live performances, the band has built a loyal following over the years, with fans often praising their intense and energetic live shows.
With epic support in the form of Municipal Waste (now the proud owners of the title ‘most people I’ve ever seen crowd surfing to a support act”) who bring their own brand of party thrash to whip the crowd into a frenzy, and the majestic (and, quite frankly, legendary) Kreator as a co-headliner, you couldn’t really ask for a better start to a heavy metal gig.
But it’s Lamb of God we are here to watch, headbang, circle pit, and crowd surf to.
Opening their set with “Memento Mori” from their 2020 eponymous album, and then launching immediately into older tracks “Ruin” and “Walk With Me in Hell,” Lamb of God are sonically crushing, with frontman Randy Blythe a whirling dervish of a frontman, never stopping, continuously high energy, dreadlocks flying all over the place. One of the most impressive things about Lamb of God‘s live show is the level of musicianship on display. The band members are all virtuosos, and their intricate and complex arrangements are executed flawlessly on stage.
They play a great mix of newer tracks from their most recent releases (including 2022’s ‘Omens’), but also a cracking number of songs from their back catalog, 2003’s album ‘Ashes of the Wake’ featuring particularly heavily in their setlist. We all love new music but, of course, it’s always the older tracks that send the gig-goers completely mental. Lamb of God has long held the title of one of the most intense and aggressive live acts, inspiring the same in their fans and this gig was no exception. Multitudes of crowd surfers, circle pits, and even a traditional Wall of Death, this is a frenetic expulsion of energy for a crowd that has waited WAY too long for this show (2018 being the last time Lamb of God graced our shores) and we enjoy every single minute of it.
Finishing up with an encore of “Vigil,” “Laid to Rest,” and “Redneck,” 3 tracks all from older, classic, albums (2006 being the latest), the crowd goes absolutely insane. I don’t think I have seen so many crowd-surfers in such a short time.
If you’re a fan of heavy metal music, then a Lamb of God concert is definitely an experience not to be missed. The band is known for its high-octane performances, which are filled with explosive riffs, thunderous drums, and guttural vocals that will leave you breathless. As we all leave Manchester Academy, sweaty, necks aching, dopamine sky high, I wonder, was it worth the wait?
Yes. Yes, it was.
Review and photos by Donna Craddock – Click Click Bang Photography