A year ago everyone was trying to be hopeful that the summer concert schedule would happen. New music was hitting and everyone was excited to get into the full swing of our regular gatherings to celebrate the music we love. But the pandemic had other plans as concerts got cancelled or postponed threatening to silence the world. Yet we all know you can’t stop Metal and who better than the band many consider the leading force of New Wave American Heavy Metal – Lamb Of God – to remind us all that our music lives on no matter what.
Since the tour that was scheduled last year featuring Lamb Of God with Megadeth was postponed the band knew they couldn’t let their 2020 self-titled release live without some form of live performance. While before 2020 the idea of live streaming a show was more for promotional purposes it’s now becoming part of the industry. So on September 18th 2020 Lamb of God gave us that self titled album as a live stream and thank the metal gods they recorded it to release it to us now again and forever.
The DVD opens with the band explaining how anxious they were to do a live show that essentially was just one long video. No fans. No roar of the crowd. How it felt weird but was something they needed to do not just for themselves but for the fans. Yet despite seeing and hearing the fans they still brought the energy.
Rightly so they played their 2020 self-titled release in track order. The haunting vocals of Randy Blythe at the opening of “Memento Mori” with the blue and green lighting takes only seconds to pull you in. By the time they kick in the full speed power of the song you forget almost instantly that the show was in a small venue with no one there except the crew. The flow right into “Checkmate” continues the experience that you’d expect from a live show.
Even the quick visual break before “Reality Bath” doesn’t pull you back to a stream reality because how many times have we seen the stage go dark with a video screen to keep the crowds attention while things get rearranged on stage. The transition made complete sense and only missed the roar of the crowd as the song was introduced.
Of course the bonus, if you will, of a live show like this is the intimacy that you don’t just get from the cameras getting up close on the fingers of Mark Morton and Willie Adler throughout the show but within the band itself. Lamb Of God has grown, and deservingly so, to being on huge stages where there’s distance between them because the stages are so big. To see Lamb Of God on an intimate stage and precisely tight on each song is something I’m glad was documented with this DVD. Hell, at the end of “New Colossal Hate” they cut in to when the band was rehearsing and that sentiment is expressed by Randy.
Hearing “The Death of Us” added into the set was a nice touch since it was from the latest Bill & Ted movie which sadly got lost in the mess of the pandemic. And closing out with “512” just felt right albeit odd to hear Randy say “wreck your house” instead of the usual “wreck this place” because this was a live stream show. Really one of the few times throughout this performance where you’re reminded that there was in fact no audience.
This DVD is simply a must own not just for fans of Lamb Of God but metal fans in general. The band brought their A-Game to a show they could’ve easily half-assed and cleaned up with editing. They reminded us all that even in the worst of times that Metal, like life, always finds a way.