Lamb of God, Fear Factory Live Report From Washington, DC
Band Photo: Lamb of God (?)
Sunday, November 14, I attended the Lamb of God and Fear Factory concert (with Children of Bodom and Throwdown) at the 9:30 club in Washington, DC. I attempted to take some photos of the show with little success, as they did not have photo passes which allowed me to get behind there barrier that night. The few decent photos I did get that night have been posted in the Photo Gallery.
I was running a little late for the show but hoped to see all of the bands. After being further delayed in traffic, I arrived at the 9:30 club via metro while Throwdown was still playing. However, even an hour after doors opened, there were still lines to get in as well as at will call and the separate guest list line. The show was apparently sold out and I heard Randy talking about how many people Lamb of God had on the guest list, being relatively close to their home (which is Richmond, VA).
By the time I got inside, Throwdown was done playing and Children of Bodom was setting up. The 9:30 club, which holds probably a thousand to fifteen hundred people, was more packed than I’d ever seen it, which was even more surprising because people often don’t turn out for the opening bands. The crowd looked young (perhaps because I’m not so young anymore) and seemed like a lot of hardcore kids. But there’d be no trouble that night after I arrived (the cops were already outside with several people being questioned when I arrived). Perhaps it was just the style of the younger kids in general.
Working my way forward without pushing people around, I was still too far from the front to have any chance at taking good photos of Children of Bodom by the time they took the stage. The crowd reception for COB was good and they chanted “Bodom” in anticipation. Only vaguely familiar with their sound and not all of their releases and songs titles, I looked forward to their performance as well.
Children of Bodom jammed out in their unique blend of power thrash that few others come close to in style. The crowd was clearly enjoying Bodom, although I did not see a mosh pit the entire performance. Perhaps this was due to their propensity for more melodic and guitar virtuoso leads as opposed to heavy riffs, grooves and breakdowns. However there were many heavy riffs as well, which was puzzling as to why there was no pit. Instead, there was plenty of shaking and waving of the horns and headbanging going on.
The last couple of songs were crowd favorites and definitely the heaviest of them with Hate Crew Deathroll and Hate Me! Children of Bodom played an impressive set and stood out with their musical style and image, which were both very European in contrast to the headliners.
As they broke down their equipment and Fear Factory set up, I grabbed a drink and took the opportunity to move forward in hopes of getting some photos of Fear Factory. After a seemingly long wait – too long to be milling around in the stench of a hot, overcrowded room of sweaty people at least – Fear Factory finally took the stage. They assaulted the crowd with pairs of tunes from their latest album, Archetype, then Demanufacture, then Obsolete, and even a song from Soul of a New Machine before returning to newer material for about a dozen songs total.
Fear Factory played a tight performance. While not excessively loud as I was warned, the rapid bass of the drums was so strong I felt my heart was being forced to beat out of rhythm at the same rate. A mosh pit formed quicky, but there were more shoving matches in there than actual moshing. This caused the circle to expand greatly, while few people were actually in that space. I was soon nearly back in the bar area, while only a couple people away from the fringe of the circle. After nearly landing on my ass from people being pushed into me while trying to take some photos, I finally gave up on it.
Finally, I made my way near the front, off to the side, by the time Lamb of God were ready to play. Lamb of God kicked it off with the same intro they’ve used for a while now (since As The Palaces Burn) followed by Laid to Rest. The band has put on an excellent performance every time I have seen them and this time was no different. Their stage presence has improved ever so slightly and their energy level was high, with the classics sounding slightly faster and thrashier than on the studio albums.
Being more or less a home town crowd, the audience loved them and the mosh pit was alive for most of their set with good old-fashioned moshing rather than just shoving. Much to my delight, again the sound system was perfect - just loud enough without making my ears bleed (unlike when they were at the 9:30 club for Headbanger’s Ball last year).
Having seen Lamb of God four times in the past two years, I did not feel so bad having to leave to catch the metro before their set was done. But I left replaying one of the best tour packages I’ve seen put together in a long time.
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