There have been many great summer tours this year in 2015 with the word “Summer” in the title. This one was an amazingly banging show headlined by the outrageous 9-piece industrial spectacle, Slipknot, and supported by Motionless in White, Bullet for my Valentine and Lamb of God. The show was held at the East Coast’s premier pavilion venue, Jiffy Lube Live, a 25,000-person capacity indoor/outdoor space with good acoustics and a great cross breeze if it’s not 100 degrees outside.
Tonight’s musical activities were opened by Motionless in White. As it is for lots of opening bands, they played to a slightly sparse audience as the lines to enter the venue were still fairly long. Despite that fact, they played a great, high-energy set. They received a good response from the fans in attendance which gained ground as more people flanked the stage.
Bullet for My Valentine hit the stage with reckless abandon opening with one of their most commercially successful songs to date, “Your Betrayal”. Matthew Tuck, Michael Paget, Michael Thomas and Jamie Mathias, performing on vocals, guitar, drums and bass, respectively, played a tight, rippin’ show and enjoyed a small yet dedicated mosh pit throughout their set. The guys all play and sing simultaneously, so there was minimal movement on stage which was conducive to good photos. Unfortunately, it also made for a lackluster stage show which hopefully will gain some action as the band gains more popularity.
Next up were the masters of brutality, Lamb of God. Randy Blythe is a tornado of energy, barely stopping to take a breath. Their astounding performances were enhanced by large screen backdrops showing powerful imagery that symbolized concepts of Lamb of God’s lyrics, ranging from explosions to war scenes to imploding buildings. It all blended perfectly with Randy’s brutal vocals, Chris Adler‘s thunderous drums and the double guitars of Mark Morton and Willie Adler. Drawing from both old and new, the setlist was well rounded, boasting live performances of Sturm und Drang, Ruin, and closing the show with Redneck. This was my first time seeing Lamb of God and they did NOT disappoint.
Finally, Slipknot hit the stage after what seemed like a 10-minute intro that served to whip the crowd into a frenzy before descending into what I’ve heard described as “choreographed chaos” (Alistair Lawrence-Kerrang!) Slipknot’s stage show reminded me of a heavy metal three-ring circus with two percussionists on either side of the stage with hydraulic drum sets that raised, lowered and spun at will. The various members of this 9-piece ensemble seem to have a lot of fun aimlessly wandering around the stage playing their respective instruments. There was also alot of deco which was very funhouse-styled. A heavy metal fun-house within a three-ring circus, if you can imagine that. With the awesome light show and pyrotechnics, coupled with 9(!) members of the band bandying about, it was hard to see it all at once. You start to feel like if you focus on any one thing, you’ll miss something else.
Also very animated on stage, Corey Taylor delivered a strong vocal performance which had the crowd singing along. The fan response to certain songs definitely indicated which ones were the fan favorites. Corey started some fan interaction by having them sing the opening lines to “Duality” which went over really well. The various percussion instruments stole the show during songs such as “Psychosocial”, with Shawn Crahan (Clown) and Chris Fehn (#3) beating on various things with lead pipes and showing off their knowledge of hydraulics. The addition of Sid Wilson (#0) on turntables is very subtle. If you listen for it, you can hear it. Otherwise, you can’t really tell he’s doing anything because it blends into the overall composition so well. If you think a band with turntables can’t be metal, YOU’RE WRONG.
Overall, this show KICKED ASS. I will definitely be catching them again in the future when they come back to the DC area!
Dawn “Mama Love” Brown
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