This was it. This was what all the hype, expectation and discussion had been about. It’s been an “interesting” year for Randy “Roger Brilliant” Blythe and his Lamb Of God cohorts, and as the stage time for their headline performance at Bloodstock drew near there was a real air of expectation.
As the band rip into Desolation the man himself runs onto the stage and the place goes batshit-mental as everyone surges forward to get a closer look. You can almost taste the goodwill towards Randy in the air, and Lamb Of God respond like a band of brothers who have something to prove.
Put simply Lamb Of God are in explosive form, and with a passing reference to recent events, and a plea”If someone goes down, help them up” they set about putting on a good old fashioned headline performance. This HAS to be good, the eyes of the world are on Randy Blythe and with all the recent coverage of their “legal issues” they really can’t afford for anything to go wrong…
Although it almost did.
Three songs in, and the strain on the barrier suddenly gets too much during Walk With Me In Hell. With 10,000 people pushing forward something has to give, and luckily festival head-dude Simon Hall sees the barrier start to go and, almost single handedly, holds the damn thing up until the rest of the crew in the pit realise what is happening and give him a hand. The pressure on the barrier is immense, but from the stage Randy sees what is happening and the band stop the set and order everyone to take a step back… and potential disaster is averted.
The interruption to the set while the barrier problems were rectified did seem to rob Lamb Of God of a bit of their sting, and after the stunning opening salvos everything did seem to be a little more subdued after the enforced break. Maybe they realise how close a call it was, and it takes them a few songs to get back up to full speed.
It’s unfortunate that the barrier problems (not down to the band, and surely something that it’s not hard to get right !!) take the edge off a performance which (literally) walks the line between triumph and tragedy.
It took until the encores for Lamb Of God to really crank it back up and show what they are capable of, but when they do by Christ they do it with style. What better way to end the evening than with Laid To Rest, Redneck and Black Label serving as a brutal, awesome reminder of just what LoG are.