Lamb of God, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity played The Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta June 4, 2016 in a show that was arranged perfectly and represented the best values of Southern Hard Rock and Metal. Check out my review and live photo gallery here.
The last time I saw Clutch and Lamb of God on the same bill was the first ever Sounds of The Underground Tour, when it came through Edmonton in 2005. Over a decade ago – and that’s actually the first and last time I had seen Clutch. Since then, I’ve fallen even more in love with that band – their work has produced some masterful albums since that time so I was more than looking forward to seeing them live once again.
Playing a really good chunk of tunes from their latest two – Psychic Warfare and Earth Rocker, Clutch blew me away so hard. Their live show is incredible and they just have so much energy. Frontman Neil Fallon, the bearded dynamo, just lets loose up there and when he does that little gibberish evil yell thing that he does during the chorus of ‘Earth Rocker’ he kills me. The fact that a rock band like Clutch can be direct support to one of the heaviest metal acts on the planet is crazy. But Clutch is able to do that because they’re just that damn good – they can adapt to any concert setting and their setlist changes constantly. They never play the same shit every night and that blows my mind. They didn’t all play my favorite Clutch songs live — not even close — and I didn’t give a shit because what they did play – was astounding. There are not many bands who are able to do that. People always want the hits – Clutch makes every song a hit when they play it live. Fallon brought out a cowbell and a harmonica – and he did so to a crowd of bloodthirsty metalheads and they ate it up.
I appreciate that the only staple track during Clutch’s Canadian run is ‘The Mob Goes Wild’. “We’re pretty much obligated to play this one every time we come back here, it’s contractual,” said Fallon – as he lets the crowd chant along with him when he sings, “Everybody move to Canada, smoke lot’s of pot, everybody move to Canada – RIGHT NOW!” God I love Clutch. I actually saw a decent chunk of Calgarians leave after they had wrapped their set. There were dudes there – JUST for Clutch and although I would never dare leave before Lamb of God – I understand why. Clutch is in my humble opinion the best rock act on the planet today. I’m so happy I got to catch up with them over a decade later when they’re better than ever.
Corrosion of Conformity – I was not as familiar with and that’s why it’s so awesome that they’re on this tour to bring in new fans. COC are iconic – they probably have more bands who are fans of them than actual normal fans. They’ve been around for ages and even if you don’t know their music, if you’re a metalhead – you know that damn skull logo. Frontman Pepper Keenan is in the band Down and he came damn close to joining Metallica at one point. Getting the chance to see them play live was terrific and ending their set with ‘Albatross’ and ‘Clean My Wounds’ is wonderful. If you don’t know them – start with their album ‘Deliverance’ and then work your way through the catalog – this is Southern Metal at it’s finest.
I’ve seen Lamb of God live more times than any other band – ever. When Pantera went away, LOG took the crown and they have not stopped holding onto that title as the kings of heavy metal. It was rare back then and it’s still rare today to have an act that heavy be so accessible to the mainstream, but LOG have done it and they’ve endured some of the craziest hardships imaginable. I haven’t seen them live in several years though so I was curious to see if they still had it – that fire… I was not surprised but yeah – they still kill it. Frontman Randy Blythe is the best metal vocalist living today, he can conjure up the demons better than anyone and the range he has is brutal. I think their live rendition of ‘Now You’ve Got Something to Die For’ that night in Calgary was the best that song has ever sounded from any of the shows I’ve seen them do. On a separate note, I haven’t seen Randy with his dreadlocks until now, but I did get water from his hair – splashed onto my head more than once while I was upfront taking pictures. Kinda gross – but that’s metal – and in a way – kind of awesome? Still gross but I appreciate it – the dude doesn’t stop moving, ever.
Only two songs into the LOG show and a older dude who crowd-surfed to the front of the stage — lost his pants in the process and proceeded to pass out. Security had to take pantless man away from the front of the stage while Randy had a good laugh about it and continued to joke about losing your pants for the rest of the show. It was awesome – I salute you pantless crowd-surfer but I also feel bad for the dudes who may have accidentally been hoisting you through the air not knowing they were potentially touching nothing but true ass and or balls. Calgary has the best metal crowds… The circle pits they generated were nasty as hell and the one that came during ‘Vigil’ was a sight to behold. I love that there’s always one shirtless bald dude who struts around and just throws shoulders into everyone like he’s in a prison yard looking to throw down.Lamb of God, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity was a perfect bill. It was just the right kind of build because we had an underrated legend opening up the show, then we had a stellar rock band who can play in ANY setting imaginable, then we finish things off with a ferocious beast. Sometimes when you have two screamy bands opening up for a headliner, also known for death vocals – it can be tiring. But this line-up was the perfect build and I love how every act is a king when it comes to that Southern heaviness, New Orleans, Maryland and Virginia – all represented so well on one bill. Don’t miss this tour – there’s something for everyone who appreciates “heavy” music.
[Click Below Images to Enlarge]
All Photo Credit to Keven Skinner from www.615film.com