Has metal really become “gray, bald and fat”? That question doesn’t even deserve to be asked after I lived the show that I’m gonna tell you about. This is not something about beauty, looks, physical conditions, preferences and other meaningless stuff, it’s about this thing called music that has the power to unite THOUSANDS of people in one place with no short-term purpose, but with the ideal that the people standing next to us are our family that won’t judge us and will share emotions with us. The long awaited Summer’s Last Stand Tour featuring SLIPKNOT, LAMB OF GOD and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE was one that I talked about for months until the very last show in Dallas, TX finally arrived.
This was definitely a show that I’m sure many of us were looking forward to see since January! It almost seemed unreal that the wait consisted of eight months to see what potentially could be the best touring package of the year. That night, the Gexa Energy Pavilion had people in almost every single spot available. Most of the seats were taken, the pit section felt very tight, the lawn section had hardly any visible grass and most of the originally blue seats were just occupied by people with black shirts. THIS was the show the metalheads chose to enjoy from start to finish.
Thankfully, the tour organizers scheduled a show like this on a Saturday night during Labor Day weekend, which was absolutely perfect for the pre-gaming rituals and gear preparation for the madness that was about to happen in Dallas. I got in just in time to witness the kickass performance from BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, which has been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them.
I vaguely remember some negative comments when they were announced as part of the tour, but their setlist just kept my blood pumping for almost forty minutes. Starting with “Your Betrayal”, one of my favorite tracks, I spotted lots of people headbanging HARD to the band’s beats. Up next “No Way Out”, from their newest release Venom, and I had the best taste of the track while not going nuts yet due to the relatively hot Texas weather. “Raising Hell” and “Army of Noise” were two more from the album, and they represent in many ways what I like about BFMV, which is the intensity of their music and combination of sounds with lyrics. Once these couple of amazing new tracks finished, it was time to go back to the band’s “thrashy” sound with none other than “Scream Aim Fire”, which caused many circle pits in the area, including my own in my isolated seat!
With their set almost at an end, I was absolutely happy to finally get to see BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE live (one thing I’ve waited to happen since 2009!). “Tears Don’t Fall” was played as their second-to-last song, which is also one of my favorites even though it’s more calm in comparison to the two bigger metal acts that were about to bring the place down in just a few hours. Finally, a perfect ending for a short, but solid set, “Waking the Demon” got the people pumped up for some time and got them ready to receive LAMB OF GOD with open arms. In general, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE were able to keep up the heaviness that I hoped this tour could have and their setlist didn’t disappoint. Their music works for me, and I couldn’t be happier. Coming up, one of the acts that the majority of the crowd was absolutely looking for:
LAMB OF GOD gave a major kick in the ass by starting with “Walk With Me In Hell”. The beginning of their set was epic, considering that it had already been two years since the band had their last gig in DFW. With no time to rest “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” gave the fans something to go crazy for. I never heard this song’s riffs go as heavy before, and that night, as the sunset was placed upon the Texans, LAMB OF GOD already had control and possession of the die-hard fans that waited the afternoon to see them.
Performing “Still Echoes” and “512” from seventh albumVII: Sturm Und Drang the band reached an more aggression not heard in years. LAMB OF GOD were reminding each and every one of us why they have established themselves as one of the most emblematic metal bands of this century.
From their previous release Resolution, “Ghost Walking” also provided a cold and hard hit in the face from the concertgoers that were in the pit, to the staff itself selling beers in the lawn. This was just half the set, and the crowd was ready to hear some of the old stuff, the classic LAMB OF GOD tunes that got most of us into the band. From As the Palaces Burn, “Ruin” had the non-seated crowds making a bigger space in the floor with lots of motion and adrenaline. Definitely an awesome track picked from the band’s early albums that always tastes sweet to listen to. The following couple of songs, “Hourglass” and “Vigil” were also played, giving more of the variety of tunes that LAMB OF GOD decided to give their fans that night, making it at least one from 80% of their albums.
They were not done just yet, as “Laid To Rest” was the second-to-last song and knowing that it’s the perfect opening track from Ashes of the Wake, another boost of adrenaline kicked in really hard to get me moving. Finally, the time had come for the group that at this point stole the show, and I wish at least there was enough time to play an additional song. From my favorite LAMB OF GOD album Sacrament, “Redneck” ended their set with a well-deserved ovation from the spectacular crowd attending the event.
I could hear the fans chanting “LAMB OF GOD! LAMB OF GOD! LAMB OF GOD!…” countless times in appreciation for what Blythe and company had done that night and during the previous decade for all of us, for giving us great music to enjoy, and for leaving in us a mark that every individual perceives as different, but keeps them alive and running.
LIVE WORDS: THE ALCALDE
LIVE PHOTOS: GUZPIX