And after more than an hour of roaming around and waiting, the lights dimmed on stage. We slowly started moving in. Blue tinted bulbs began to shine and the opening strains of 'The passing', the opening song of LOG's new album 'Wrath' were heard. As the short song subsided, LOG was on stage with 'In your words', accompanied by a blast of lighting effects. Yes, there they were. Chris Adler, the modern drumming God flanked on both sides by Bassie John campbell and guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton and led by the inimitable Randy Blythe. The opening scream of 'In your words' sent shivers down the spine. The moshes had already started in full swing. It was pushing and shoving all around with some searching for a space to breath. 'Set to fail' followed, the song name signifying the opposite of what Lamb of God was going to do this day. The sore point was a little bad mixing in the sound console. The drums were perfect, with each kick reverberating in everyone's hearts. But the guitars and vocals were drowned out. Even Randy's open throated screams sounded feeble sometimes. And this condition stayed throughout the concert. Wish the organisers gave a little more importance to the sounds, as its been a bane in international rock fests in India, most notably the Megadeth one. By the time they started belting out their classics, I had somehow reached the front row and stayed there for the rest of the show. 'Now you've got something to die for' had most of the audience singing along. And as it happens with bands visiting India for the first time, LOG were surprised too.
Randy dedicated the song 'Contractor' to Mahatma Gandhi, descibing him as a punk rock dude. Ofcourse, he meant it with all respect unlike what some misinterpreted it to be. Chris Adler evoked a sense of awe with his brilliance. This guy deserves a big bow because he started drumming at the relatively late age of 22 and mastered it in such a short time. Rather, he has grown into a drumming God. Classics like 'laid to rest' and 'walk with me in hell' followed. There was no reprieve for the audience unlike traditional concerts where the band goes off stage and gets back with an encore. It was all over in a flash. 15 odd songs in the gap of about 75 minutes. 75 minutes of non stop headbanging, pushing, shoving, broken noses, flaring tempers and mixing sweatdrops. And then, the stage was clean. Everyone waited for the encore, but had to walk back disappointed. Still, the sense of achievement was on view, on most faces, of having watched one of the best metal bands of the modern era. This classification won't go down well with LOG, who are in there just to make music rather than compete. But then, I can be sure none of them will ever read this blog and so I can take the liberty to classify them. And its not right to end without thanking the 2 youngsters Arpan Peter and Vivek Venugopal who floated the event management company 'Overture' and made this concert a reality. Whatever be the glitches, this guys and their team deserve a standing ovation for pulling off something of this magnitude. And yes, DNA can think twice before bringing in gay pop bands to rock concerts. You've got competitors here, guys who has passion for the music rather than an eye on the 'market'.
The exponents of Pure American metal sent the audience into a tizzy with the unrelenting brutal assault of metal. This concert means a lot to Indian metalheads. To know what 'Lamb of God' has done to the metal scene in India, you just need to listen to the numerous Indian bands inspired by them. That distinctive drumming style and breakneck riffing are aped(no disrespect meant here..cos aping LOG is no mean task) by many a band in India, much like Metallica, Slayer and Iron Maiden inspired many in the 80s and 90s. Lamb of God is truely the deserving flagbearer of metal in the noughties and beyond. And it takes guts and passion to stay true to the roots, to stay brutal...as ever!
Dedicating this blog to Ronnie James Dio, the high priest of heavy metal who passed away recently.
your crusader Praveen