The deep rumblings of bass notes, screams and the rhythmic pounding of drums that you heard resounding from the Magic City Music Hall last Monday evening were the sweet sounds of what I am calling the best metal lineup of 2016 so far. From the moment opener, Corrosion of Conformity, took the stage to final note of headliner, Lamb of God, this show was incredible.
Up first is Raleigh, NC’s own Corrosion Of Conformity. They blasted out a perfect selection of songs from their 30+ year career with such precision and ferocity that they set the tone as an opener that was going to be very tough to top. They kicked off their set with “Paranoid Opioid” off of their 2005 album “In The Arms Of God.” It wasn’t long before they tore right into one of the songs that got me hooked on them, “Broken Man.” Pepper took time to thank the fans who continue to support the band. He let the fans know that they keep doing what they do because of them. The crowd went crazy as they played an incredible version of “Vote with a Bullet.” They wrapped up their set with the hit that launched them into “metal legend status,” “Clean my Wounds.” After their performance, Pepper came out to hang out and chat with fans.
The lights dim and Chuck Brown’s “We Need Some Money” fills the PA system. The crowd is already excited, warmed up and feeling good. Then Clutch takes the stage and begins tearing through “Who Wants to Rock,” which they haven’t played live since 2013! Honestly this was the perfect song to start their set because their diehard fans went wild. Clutch played a flawless mix of old a new tracks that included “Cypress Grove,” “A Quick Death in Texas,” and the crowd truly appreciated them breaking out “Sucker For the Witch” from the classic album “Psychic Warfare.” If you haven’t seen them live, I don’t know what the hell you are waiting for. Seriously this band has been around since the early 90s and they are remarkable. They bring together a unique blend of rock and metal and throw in a fun loving blast of funk that creates a very satisfying heavy groove metal sound. I can’t do them justice with any description. You just need to get out and hear it for yourself.
The Magic City Music hall goes dark, the video screens on the stage begin to flicker and come to life. Images of destruction including buildings crumbling, explosions, war and fire set the tone for the heavy metal onslaught we are about to experience. The first chords ring out as the drums begin to pound and Randy Blythe explodes out onto the stage as the band wastes no time ripping into “Walk With Me In Hell.” The crowd erupts into a mass of bodies moving, flying and crowd surfing. Lamb of God also played a pleasing mix of old and new, obscure tracks and well-known hits. They slashed through songs like a well-oiled machine: “Ruin,” the heart pounding shred fest “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For,” “Still Echos”, “Desolation”, “Laid To Rest” and “Redneck.”
If the combination of a capacity crowd and over three hours of metal music wasn’t enough to get your heart pumping, then you probably should have checked your pulse to make certain you were alive. As the lights came back up and the smoke cleared the fans I saw slowly making their way toward the bar, merch booths or the exits all looked totally satisfied.
Please enjoy the photo gallery.