On Thursday, August 6th, the Summer’s Last Stand Tour featuring Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet for my Valentine, and Motionless in White came through Pittsburgh, stopping at the First Niagara Pavilion to put on what could possibly be one of the best shows to come around this summer. To put it simply, this is not a show to miss.
Motionless in White
While not my cup of te(quil)a, MiW put on a good show. They really seemed to get the crowd amped up for the rest of the night. This show was the closest on the tour to their hometown, Scranton, PA , and the band was treating it as if it was a homecoming show, and really putting their all into the performance. Aside from taking a song or two to get the vocals and guitars leveled, they put on an excellent show.
Bullet for my Valentine
It has been a few years since I had last seen BfmV on this stage, and they have only improved with age. While I don’t remember being exactly thrilled the last time I saw them, this time around it was more evident that the band had a professional manner about them. It was no frills heavy metal, they came out an played, sounded great, and I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way. The band treated the fans to two new songs, “No Way Out,” and “Army of Noise,” along with some of their classics such as “Tears Don’t Fall,” for an overall pleasant mix of a set.
Lamb of God
There has been a lot that has happened since I last saw Lamb of God, and even that was after the whole “Randy Blythe in a Czech prison” thing. There has been a new album, VII: Sturm und Drang, and D. Randall Blythe’s long awaited Dark Days. There has been a lot of energy and anger released in the last few months, and they seem plenty happy to bring it out on stage. While Randy may have tried very hard to dispel the rumors that he was a madman in a Czech courtroom, he certainly works hard to fit the persona when he gets on stage every night. Seriously, the guy gets airborne. He’s kind of like a groove metal David Lee Roth, but with less pizzazz and more Satan. There aren’t many bands that bring the mosh like Lamb of God, at one point I counted four separate pits going in the lawn. Then, when it seemed like it might have been settling down a little, and all else seemed bleak, the two largest pits merged into one and a brutal spiraling dust cloud started to appear from the middle of the lawn. My only grievance, and it’s really just my own personal bias speaking here, but Lamb of God totally deserved another 10-15 minutes to play.
This being the third time I’ve seen Slipknot at the location, twice before being Mayhem Festivals, it’s easy to see why this band has garnered such a following. While I’m not the biggest fan of them, or their newest album, their songs transcend the recordings when performed live. If you could harness the raw energy coming from this band in the live environment, it could revolutionize the defibrillator industry, because their super percussion heavy sound should be enough to give even the oldest, rusty metal heart the kickstart it would need to beat again. The stage setup for the show was also astounding to look at as well, and I would say every bit comparable to King Diamond’s on Mayhem Festival. And say what you want about the guy, Corey Taylor always know how to bring the crowd a boil. Whether it be his monologue as to why metalheads are all a family, or his rants against “bubblegum pop bulls*it,” the dude knows his audience. Be prepared to jump, because when Corey Taylor tells you to “jump the f*ck up,” you jump the f*ck up.
PSA: For your own safety, please do not headbang so hard that you throw yourself down the amphitheater hills. I shouldn’t have to say this, but apparently somebody has to give this nugget of advice to the world, because there are people out there that do it. It’s all fun and games until somebody throws themselves into a staircase handrail, missing splitting their skull open by just inches.