With three bands on tonight and a curfew of 11:00pm, the doors open quite late and the audience waste no time in filling up the venue. What seems like only minutes after the doors opened, the lights go down and Huntress take to the stage. It's my first time seeing them, having heard about them only a couple of weeks previously and the band get a warm enough welcome from the crowd.
The twin guitars of Blake Meahl and touring guitarist Jordan Ryan are nice and loud whilst drummer Carl Wierzbicky remains almost hidden from view sitting at stage level, having do drum rise, but the loudest cheer goes up as vocalist Jill Janus makes her entrance.
With only two full length albums out, we're treated to three songs from each including the title track of their first album 'Spell Eater' set opener 'Senicide' both going down especially well.
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From their most recent album, 'Starbound Beast', they get a good response for 'Destroy Your Life' and 'Zenith' (a song about smoking weed with aliens!) but by far the biggest reaction of the night is for 'I Want to Fuck You to Death' though I'm not entirely sure that the reaction was because the audience liked the song or because the co-writer, one Lemmy Kilmister, got a name-check.
The band manage to hold their own, however, in the rapidly filling venue.
One thing I will say, though, is that the performance would have been much better if the soundman hadn't tried to ruin the set by adjusting levels on the guitar and vocals throughout the performance.
With the repeated loss of Janus' vocals, you could see the audience getting a bit bored – they were there, after all to hear as well as see the band.
Destroy Your Life
I Want To Fuck You To Death
Eight Of Swords
Jill Janus – Vocals
Blake Meahl – Lead Guitar
Jordan Ryan – Rhythm Guitar
Ian Alden – Bass Guitar
Carl Wierzbicky – Drums
Official Website: http://huntresskills.com
Without a doubt, Decapitated were the most extreme of the three bands to grace the stage and it's always difficult to try and guess how a death Metal band will be received by an audience predominantly made up of groove and thrash Metal fans. The band do, however, manage to draw a sizeable crowd whether it's out of genuine appreciation or just casual interest remains to be seen.
By the time they get to the second song, though, vocalist Rafał 'Rasta' Piotrowski has the audience in the palm of his hand and he manages to produce some incredible vocals (the soundman presumably being a different one from Huntress') while he head banging his way through the set.
Guitarist Wacław 'Vogg' Kiełtyka does a good job too, especially on the short solo during 'Lying and Weak' and drummer Michał 'ML' Łysejko can be heard but again is mostly shrouded as he, like Carl Wierzbicky for Huntress, didn't have a drum riser.
They may not be the most visually stimulating band standing, as they do, on pretty much the same positions for most of the set but the aural assault proves that this band have a musical talent that they rarely get the credit they deserve.
Decapitated may have been the underdogs here tonight, but the reception from the audience leads you to believe that they may have made a lot of new fans tonight.
A View From A Hole
Carnival Is Forever
Lying And Weak
Spheres Of Madness
Official Website: http://www.decapitatedband.net
So to the headline act, Lamb Of God. A lot has been said about the band in the press recently and some people actually thought they wouldn't tour Europe again after the Czech court case with singer Randy Blythe, but all this is forgotten as the band come onstage to a heroes welcome.
By this point the venue is full to bursting and the assembled mass shout and scream for the main act and their volume only increases as the house lights go down and the band take to the stage. Tonight was a lesson in filling a venue and giving the audience exactly what they wanted.
Kicking off things with 'Desolation', Blythe could do no wrong in the audience's eyes who needed no encouragement to join in. Using the whole stage, Blythe patrols it like a man on a mission while occasionally stopping to watch the security team stuck between the audience and stage trying to deal with the influx of crowd surfers that seem to quickly multiply to the point where they're struggling to keep up with the oncoming bodies.
There's a deafening roar as 'Ghost Walking' (from their most recent album, 'Resolution') finishes before Blythe addresses the crowd telling them it's great to be back in "bonnie Scotland" and apologies for full-time guitarist Mark Morton's absence from the tour due to a "family emergency" before he introduces his temporary replacement, Between The Buried And Me guitarist Paul Waggoner.
As the set progresses the crowd just get more and more animated. With 'The Undertow' completing a trio of songs from 'Resolution', the rest of the set is made up mostly of tracks recorded in 2006 and before. 'Walk With Me In Hell' is welcomed like an old friend whilst older tracks like 'Laid To Rest', 'Hourglass' and 'Now You've Got Something To Die For' (all culled from the 2005 'Killadelphia' album) also get a great reception.
Blythe's confidence in inter-song conversation seems to grow as the evening develops and he can't resist having a laugh with some Scotland versus England chat (yes, Download is held in England, Mr Blythe!) but it's all taken with good humour by the audience.
The band bring their set to a close with 'Black Label' and, of course, the ubiquitous 'Redneck' which unsurprisingly gets the biggest cheer of the night.
It's been a rough ride for this band in recent years (not least for Blythe) but hopefully they've turned the corner towards good fortune and there's a ready-made crowd in Glasgow who are more than happy for the band to return – sooner rather than later, I suspect.
Walk With Me In Hell
Set To Fail
Now You've Got Something To Die For
In Your Words
Laid To Rest
Lamb Of God are:
Randy Blythe – Vocals
Willie Adler – Guitar
Paul Waggoner – Guitar (stand in)
John Campbell – Bass Guitar
Chris Adler – Drums
Lamb Of God Online:
Official Website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com