“We came here to f-ck this place up!” bellowed Lamb of God lead singer Randy Blythe at Bonnaroo, before launching into yet another assault-on-the-senses metal beatdown. This was it: Festival attendees who had grown weary of the friendly smiles and welcoming high-fives from their concert comrades this weekend had finally found an explosive outlet at the metal outfit’s Saturday night pummeling.
After a rain delay of roughly one hour, the group barreled onstage and immediately launched into their apocalyptic vision: massive chugging guitars, headache-inducing drums, and the nearly unintelligible vocals of Blythe. In other words, it was exactly what Bonnaroo needed.
Performing as the odd men out in Bonnaroo’s sea of electronic, alternative, hip-hop and pop artists, Lamb of God took on the challenge of raising metal hell in an environment that supports far less metal talent. Understandably, the crowds at the concurrent Ellie Goulding and Sam Hunt sets dwarfed that of Lamb of God, but the Rooers who did make it to the delayed performance gave every ounce of energy to the veteran act.
From the first blistering chords of “Walk with Me in Hell” to the brutal attack of “Redneck” at the end of the night, Lame of God kept the mosh pit well-fueled; there were no soft songs to slow down the raging, and nothing close to a ballad amidst Blythe’s screams. And the accompanying visuals of guns, skulls and creepy-looking people did nothing except increase the pervasive sense of doom throughout the set.
Witnessing Lamb of God at Bonnaroo felt like a baptism by fire—even if you stayed far away from the mosh pit, you were still in danger from the metalheads who arrived late to the show and ended up sprinting through the crowd to get to the center. Pro tip: make sure to stay far away from anything that is affectionately known as the “Circle of Death,” and you should be able to make it out of the show in one piece. Or, even better, you’ll be able to make it out with a couple of bruises from a night of battle.
“This is a little bit different than the rest of your weekend, I take it?” asked Blythe, his eyes scanning a crowd of tie-dyed shirts freshly soaked with mosh pit sweat. A little different, yes, but isn’t that what Bonnaroo is all about?
Check out what Daughter told us backstage at Bonnaroo below: