Jagermeister Puts The Heavy Back In Their Music Tour and Baltimore Shows Them Some Love In Return
Band Photo: Lacuna Coil (?)
On Tuesday, April 10, I made my first trip to Baltimore's Ram's Head Live to catch the Jagermeister Music Tour, featuring Stone Sour, Shadows Fall, and Lacuna Coil. This lineup is one of the most promising metal lineups since the Fall 2005 tour, when Disturbed headlined with support from Corrosion of Conformity, bloodsimple and A Dozen Furies. With the least heavy bands headlining on both that tour and the present one, it's still a far cry form the days when Slayer headlined. But the tour was clearly designed to once again be a metal tour, but also draw in a comparable crowd to its more mainstream rock line-ups.
This stop also featured Unbroken as the local openers, but they played before the listed show time of 8pm, so I missed them completely. Just after 8 o'clock, Lacuna Coil took the stage. Lacuna Coil, who are trading direct support slots throughout the tour, played an energetic 30 or 40 minute set of slightly nu-metal infused melodic metal.
They played a number of songs that could easily be recognized from their past two albums, "Karmacode" and "Comalies," which were both fairly sucessful. While their music is not super-heavy, they entertained with plenty of headbanging and a good stage show. Frontwoman Cristina Scabbia often interacted or "dueled" on vocals with her male vocal counterpart, Andrea Ferro, and interacted with the other band members a bit as well.
In the end, Lacuna Coil played a good set, was entertaining and got a good reaction from the crowd.
Shadows Fall was up next. They easily played the heaviest set of the night, playing a number of songs from their past four albums. Despite the somewhat "lighter" lineup, the crowd responded well to the faster-paced and heavier music of Shadows Fall, getting a few circle pits going at times. They did play quite a few melodic songs as well, perhaps catering to teh crowd a bit, but overall their set was intense and heavy.
Shadows Fall have definitely bolstered their stage presence since I first saw them supporting "The Art of Balance." Brian Fair is entertaining to watch, as he headbangs and throws his waist-long dreadlocks around. With age, guitarists Jonathan Donais and Matt Bachand have also filled out their spots with a solid stage presence like the guitar heroes they have come to be.
With five albums under their belt, Shadows Fall's 40-45 minute set seemed a bit short. But this was a night of short sets and they put on a good show in the time they had. It was the best performance of the night to me, but the crowd's opinion seemed to differ from mine.
Stone Sour took the stage at around 10pm. They opened with two of their strongest and heaviest songs, "30/30-150" and "Come What(ever) May." Unfortunately they came out much less heavy live, creating a weaker start to their set than should have been. The crowd was still extremely appreciative and into the band, however. A couple songs later and after switching out their guitars, they finally rocked hard with "Reborn," which contains very Slipknot-like riffage and screaming during the chorus.
Stone Sour lost some momentum by playing some more rock-songs such as "Sillyworld," then lost even more when the rest of the band left the stage and Corey performed an accoustic song. Then he engaged the crowd, showing great appreciation for the crowd reaction that he called the best of the tour (so far). He followed with a an excellet rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" that he cut short. Then he followed with the accoustic balad "Through Glass," which had the entire crowd singing along. I even found myself joining in as well.
While not exactly an extreme metal bill, it's nice to see Jagermeister put real heavy metal back on the tour this year, giving fans yet another quality tour package to choose from this spring. With many sold out shows on the tour, they are certainly proving that metal is once again commercially viable and that they can still put on a successful metal tour.
The Ram's Head Live was an absolute delight of a club. With a dozen or so large plasma TVs around the many spacious bar areas, it is possibly suited better for partying and hanging out than metal concerts and moshing. Boasting a capacity of around 1600 people, the prime viewing area from the main floor is a bit small compared to the likes of DC's 9:30 club, but it was much easier to get around the entire venue as well as get a drink at a bar. The club is connected to its very own tavern that serves food and is conveniently located in a nicely revitalized area of Baltimore only a couple blocks from the Inner Harbor.
I've posted photos from the show in the photo gallery section.
The Jagermeister Music Tour is wrapping up in early May, but if you enjoy any of the bands on the bill, check out this great package on one of the remaining tour dates:
04/28/2007 - Denver @ Fillmore Auditorium w/ Switchpin
04/30/2007 - Kansas City @ Beaumont Club w/ TBA
05/01/2007 - St. Louis @ The Pagent w/ Conquest
05/02/2007 - Omaha @ Sokol Auditorium w/ Curbstone
05/04/2007 - Des Moines @ Val Air Ballroom w/ TBA
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