This show was one of the ones I was looking forward to shooting this month because not only was Lamb of God playing, they also brought along Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity which I feel made the shows lineup pretty freaking epic! I reference this show as being a bucket list “x3” experience for me because all of these bands have meant something to me at some point in my life over the last 20 years. Clutch was a band that I discovered in 1996, and infact saw live at an Extreme Radio Halloween show on 10/30/98 at the American Theatre (now Roberts Orpheum). The 90’s were so much more than just Seattle based alternative bands, Clutch I feel got clumped into the metal genre but if you listen to their catalog closely you’ll soon discover there is much more going on with their sound. Then you have Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C) who is a band I saw open for Metallica on the Load Tour at Kiel Center (aka Scottrade) on 2/4/97. I remember being amazed at the energy that C.O.C had and that frontman Pepper Keenan had this presence that just commanded your attention. Seeing both of these acts almost 20 years later and getting to photograph them was kind of surreal. Clutch has gotten so refined and has cultivated their style over the years to be so unique that I would say they are a band that truly “owns” their sound. Neil Fallon in my opinion has really blossomed into the frontman he was always meant to be, he was so engaging that he was a challenge to photograph as he was constantly moving from one side of the stage to the other. It was a very fun set to be in the pit! C.O.C was again just as amazing as they were when I saw them 19 years ago and their set was something I really wish younger music fans could have experienced. Pepper and the rest of the band took stage and did the job that an opening act should do. They completely rocked and engaged with the crowd so forwardly that they had no choice but to throw their hands up, clap, and holler. It was refreshing to see a show with that much energy straight out of the box. Then of course you have the headliner yet to take stage, the mighty Lamb of God.
Lamb of God first off packed the heck out of the Pageant, it was a very solid sell out. It was tight to move around in some spots but it was awesome to see so a great turn out for a metal show featuring some acts that are 20+ year veterans in the business. Lamb of God is an act that in the last 5 years I have missed two opportunities to photograph, and I was so stoked to finally get the chance to not only see them live for the first time but also add them to my portfolio. I would say as far as metal vocalists go Randy Blythe probably personifies the image of the wiry, crazy eyed, and intense frontman that makes metal so much fun to experience live. Randy did not disappoint and the rest of the band came swinging hammers, pounding away at metal riffs fueled by double bass runs that pulsated through your chest. The one thing about a metal show that you can not deny is that the energy is almost alive, like the music is so intense that it literally electrifies the room.
I left that night feeling better than I had in a long time after shooting a show. I actually snapped kind of an awkward selfie on my way out with Pepper Keenan, and I couldn’t have picked a better way to close out my night. Enjoy the pics and for goodness sake, go see a metal show! If you love live music, metal I guarantee is one of the most unique genres you’ll ever experience.