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Metallica/ Lamb of God/ Volbeat

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC
Date: 11/15/09
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Lamb of God

Lamb of God (formerly known as Burn the Priest, much cooler name) must feel pretty darn lucky to again get the support slot for a Metallica arena tour and also for having received another Grammy Award nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category for the track ‘Set to Fail’ from their #2 debuting album "Wrath" which was released in 2009.

Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Cambell, with Chris Adler on drums (positioned to the far corner of the "in the round"), and Randall Blythe, all put 100% energy into the performance doing their best running around the large rectangular stage design.

‘The Passing’, ‘In Your Words’, ‘Set To Fail’ off the brand new album "Wrath" kicked off their neck breaking set, followed by ‘Walk With Me in Hell’ (and later on ‘Redneck’) from what you could consider their commercial breakthrough "Sacrament". The couple times I have seen the band, frontman Randall is a gritty example of what the new generation of thrash metal sounds (and looks) like; harsh, loud, devoid of melody, a fist in the face. His delivery just is wrenching as he belts out words, stomping around the stage likes it’s some dark back alley in the city as he kicks garbage and cats in the way. Mark and Willie are a strong recognized guitar team playing modern day, old school influenced, aggressive riffs and furious leads to punctuate Randall’s words.

‘Ruin’, ‘Now You've Got Something to Die For’, and ‘Laid to Rest’ represented two earlier records with ‘Black Label’ off the debut "New American Gospel" closed the set.

Lamb of God Setlist:

The Passing/In Your Words
Set To Fail
Walk With Me in Hell
Now You've Got Something To Die For
Dead Seeds
Laid to Rest
Black Label



After many many years of Metallica performing in the round and even though it is a great layout because you can see the band from anywhere in the arena, it has gotten old. Reason is that Metallica offer nothing as far as the actual stage design.

Of course things are well done, for the "Death Magnetic" tour four moving light rigs are in the shape of the coffin from the album cover, laser lights are perfectly choreographed with much of the music, but aside from that, nothing. Colored pyro emerges to the left and right of Lars’ drum kit (if you wanna call it that) during songs like ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘One’, and giant black beach balls are dispersed into the crowd for the encore/finale ‘Seek and Destroy’. Aside from that, as far as the stage in design its minimalistic. Would you say Metallica have a great stage set then? I don’t think so, its plain and bland. Metallica really should change the design of the stage or add maybe moving backdrops and/or set pieces, something.

As performers, James, Kirk, and especially bassist Robert Trujillo constantly move around the stage, switching mics, playing to the crowd, Lars emerges from time to time to get a reaction but he still annoys me with that small drum kit. I would love for someone to steal the snare drum, hahaha.

Metallica’s setlist on the other hand for the "Death Magnetic" tour is exciting. ‘That Was Just Your Life’, ‘The End of the Line’, ‘The Day That Never Comes’, plus usually another two or three from "Magnetic", ‘Puppets’, ‘One’, ‘Sandman’, and ‘Nothing Else Matters’ are staples but the rest of the songs are different city to city. Tonight, Jersey was treated to freekin ‘Trapped Under Ice’…how awesome! And ‘Shortest Straw’! And a snippit of ‘Metal Militia’ was also a treat. ‘Dyers Eve’ was a decent obscure one from "And Justice For All", and as usual ‘Sad But True’ was just absolutely crushing. With three from "Ride the Lightning" and but only the tile track from "Puppets"??...No ‘Battery’, ‘Disposable Heros’, or ‘Damage Inc.’?? Disappointing.

I hope Metallica continue to rotate songs in the set, they are one of the few bands that do and it gives fans more of a reason to see the show. Who wants to hear the same setlist tour after tour? I know I don’t and is why I pass on seeing Iron Maiden sometimes (as much as I love them). Thank God for the "Somewhere Back In Time Tour". Now we just need a redesigned stage and a bigger drum kit Lars will actually use.

Metallica Setlist:

That Was Just Your Life
The End of the Line
Creeping Death
The Shortest Straw
Fade to Black
Broken, Beat, and Scared
My Apocalypse
Sad But True
The Judas Kiss
The Day That Never Comes
Master of Puppets
Dyers Eve
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Last Caress
Trapped Under Ice
Metal Militia *snippet*
Seek and Destroy

Lamb of God:


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