May 25, 2016 Lamb of God, Clutch & Corrosion of Conformity Unite For Metal Pummeling Of The Paramount Huntington, NY 5-17-16
Formed back in 1994, out of Richmond, Virginia, Lamb of God began their ascension in Metal as Burn the Priest, releasing one self-titled album in 1999 before changing their name. With heavy grooves and elements of Death Metal, which can best be described as American Heavy Metal, Vocalist Randy Blythe, Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, Bassist John Campbell, and Drummer Chris Adler have been a solid unit since the release of 2000’s New American Gospel. Now fifteen plus years into the birth of Lamb of God, the band has built one of the most respected names in Metal. Never more evident, their seventh album, 2015’s VII: Sturm und Drang, debuted at # 3 on the Billboard 200, and it was their fourth consecutive record to reach the Top 10 as well. An impressive feat, it proves detractors of Metal wrong, in fact, it solidifies just how popular bands like Lamb of God really are.
On the road again in 2016 to further support VII: Sturm und Drang, Lamb of God unite with a killer lineup that features support from Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity. Begun on April 30th in Fort Myers, Florida, the extensive tour will run through June 11th where it will end in Manchester, Tennessee at The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. With plenty of bone-crushing shows ahead, on the date of Tuesday, May 17th, the three-headed monster of Lamb of God, Clutch, and Corrosion of Conformity found their way to Huntington, New York to visit The Paramount. A nearly perfect spring night, fans of heavy grooves and heavier Metal flowed into the venue, which was recently voted the # 11 Best Venue Worldwide by Pollstar.
Kicking the night off in a big way, the audience was treated to a reunion of sorts, because, as recently as December of 2014, Corrosion of Conformity originals – Guitarist Woody Weatherman, Bassist Mike Dean, and Drummer Reed Mullin – reunited with Guitarist and Vocalist Pepper Keenan after a nine year split. Celebrating the reunion, Corrosion of Conformity, often known as C.O.C., spent 2015 supporting Clutch on tour, and now find themselves amidst this stacked lineup.
The early crowd reacted strongly to the sight of Keenan and the band back on stage together as they opened with “Bottom Feeder (El Que Come Abajo),” from 1996’s Wiseblood. A slow, groovy instrumental leading into “Paranoid Opioid,” from 2005’s In the Arms of God, which drew a large response from the growing crowd. “Broken Man” and “Seven Days” followed, each song receiving a larger response. Next up was “The Door,” an uptempo Hard Rock song that had the crowd moving. The band was tight and having a great time on stage, kicking off a great night of heavy music. Chants of C.O.C. began to rise from the crowd right before “Vote with a Bullet” and “Albatross,” one of the band’s most well-known songs.
Keenan told the crowd that the band had just signed with Nuclear Blast records and will have a new record out in 2017. Adding, “We haven’t played together in a very long time. It’s great to get the opportunity to tour with Lamb of God and Clutch and play for a bunch of people who have never heard us before, so thanks for coming out early to see us!” It was then that the band played perhaps their biggest hit, sending the song out to all who had never seen them before. That was “Clean My Wounds” which had the crowd loud and singing along, through the extended breakdown, as Keenan introduced the band and once again thanked Lamb of God and Clutch for taking them along on the road. He then led the audience in the final chorus, closing the set strong to a huge ovation. With many still learning of the reunited lineup of North Carolina’s Corrosion of Conformity, there is still more to come as the band plans their forthcoming record.
Next up was the one and only Clutch. Based out of Frederick, Maryland, Clutch has an impressive history as well that dates back to 1991 when they were originally called Glut Trip. Becoming one of Heavy Rock’s unsung heroes with a dirty sound all their own, Clutch have released eleven records, including their most recent, 2015’s Psychic Warfare. Familiar with the comfortable surroundings of The Paramount, Clutch has visited the venue on various occasions through the years. A headliner in their own right, the fans on the floor were ready for Clutch’s return as anticipation ran high until the moment the lights dropped prior to their set.
“We Need Money” by Chuck Brown played as the crowd, now nearing capacity, roared. Lead Singer Neil Fallon strode onto the stage followed by Guitarist Tim Sult and Bassist Dan Maines, with Jean-Paul Gaster taking his place behind the drum set. Fallon grabbed the mic. He shouted, “Alright, alright, alright,” to the crowd. His first words, “What’s that smell? Just like cornbread done too well!” began”Who Wants to Rock” right into “The House that Peterbilt,” from their 1995 debut album Clutch. Fallon was animated as he moved across the stage, pointing into the crowd. The band powered through “X-Ray Visions,” “Firebirds,” and “Decapitation Blues,” from Psychic Warfare, their newest record. The crowd shouted along with Fallon and threw fists in the air.
Next up was “Minotaur,” from 2009’s Strange Cousins from the West, the first album to be released on their own label, Weathermaker music. The band was tight and in the pocket. Fallon strapped on a guitar, as he would throughout the night, and began “The Regulator,” from 2004’s Blast Tyrant. He was soon joined by Sult, who shared the intro. Fallon mesmerized the crowd with his smooth, yet rugged vocals until the band crashed into the song. Keeping the energy high, the band flowed into the up tempo ”Noble Savage,” from the new one, before going back to Blast Tyrant for the groove rich “Cypress Grove.” Gaster and Maines were locked in and driving the band as they broke down. Fallon spoke to the crowd, getting them even more involved. Maines soloed and watched the crowd all moving to his groove.
Singing along, the audience got loud when the band came to “A Quick Death in Texas,” another new track. The growing crowd showed their appreciation as the band moved into “Sea of Destruction,” a rare cut from Slow Hole to China: Rare and Unreleased, recorded in 2003. And finally, from 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion, “Electric Worry” and “One Eye Dollar” closed out a great set from the band. All in all another great live performance by Clutch, Long Islanders now wait to see when the beloved band will return to The Paramount once again.
Following two extremely impressive supporting sets, everyone in attendance eagerly waited for Lamb of God to take the stage. When the lights went out, the crowd erupted. Large video screens displayed scenes of massive destruction, building after building crashing to the ground amid thick rumbling. In sudden contrast, a little girl playing with a flower appeared as the sound changed to sounds of guitar amps warming up to carry out their own destruction. Morton, Willie Adler, Campbell, and Chris Adler appeared in the deafening roar as they began “Walk with Me in Hell,” from their 2006 album Sacrament. Calmly walking out to center stage, Blythe’s entrance provoked the room to exploded around him. Delivering crushing vocals to the waiting crowd, who sang “Walk With Me in Hell!” in unison, it was an epic beginning. With that, everyone jumped and bounced as one, shaking the entire room as the band blasted through “Ruin,” from 2003’s As the Palaces Burn and “Still Echoes,” the opening track from VII: Sturm und Drang.
Scenes of natural disasters, destruction, and religious imagery filled the giant screens on stage, while, off stage, the pit swirled. When it was over, Blythe stood up high and addressed the crowd. “Fuck Yeah Long Island !” he continued, “For those of you who do not know, and for those of you who drank too fucking much at the bar down the street before you came here and you forgot where the fuck you are right now, we are Lamb of God and we come from Richmond, mother fucking, Virginia. We have returned to Long Island to throw down with you crazy mother fuckers. Are you ready to have a good time or what?” To Blythe’s delight, the crowd responded loudly. He continued with saying, “Here is one off of our last record, this song goes out to my man “Mitts” from Madball, born and raised right here in Huntington, New York. Respect to New York Hardcore, this song is called “512.” Revved up by the introduction, the Long Island audience embraced the new track as images of murder and violence played out behind the band. Meanwhile, Morton and Willie Adler combined to create a wall of sound that crashed over the room. What followed this pummeling was another attack in the form of “Desolation” and “Ghost Walking,” both from 2012’s Resolution.
Continuing to go for blood, “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” began with Blythe telling the crowd, “If you know the lyrics to this next song, I want you to sing them as loud as you can !” They obeyed, shouting along with him at the same time, expanding the pit to its largest. Keeping the adrenaline flowing high, Chris Adler was a machine, adding thunderous kick drums from the darkness and powering the band. Next was “Descending,” also from Sacrament, and “The Faded Line” from 2004’s Ashes of the Wake, giving fans all that they can handle. Showing no sign of slowing, Lamb of God moved into “Blacken the Cursed Sun,” “Anthropoid,” another new track, and “Hourglass,” also from 2004’s Ashes of the Wake. Yearning for more, the audience expressed so by screaming and shouting until Lamb of God returned to the stage and with that they rattled out a jolting encore featuring “Vigil,” “Laid to Rest,” and last but not least, “Redneck.”
From beginning to end, Lamb of God brought the chaos to Long Island. A more southern approach saw Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity supporting, and the formula worked as the heavy music took different forms throughout the night. From Sludge and Doom, to Heavy Groove, to Death and Thrash, each band brought the thunder in their own way, winning new fans and reinforcing the true believers. The resurgence of Heavy Metal Music is real, and judging by the reaction of The Paramount crowd, took a major step forward.