The Unholy Trinity of Behemoth, Lamb of God and Slayer captivated the sold-out crowd at The Forum in Los Angeles, California August 5th.
There were a few things I knew before I headed to the show. One I’m driving into the Los Angeles on any day there is a crap load of traffic. It took me over 2 ½ hours for over an hour drive. Another, we are escorted in and out of the photo pit, there will be no camera check-in photographers had to take their equipment to the cars after the three songs and be escorted back in to see the show. And lastly, I wasn’t photographing Slayer, but watching them without working so hard photographing, well worth it.
Arriving early making sure I had a close parking spot. I sit back relax and people watch. Getting a little antsy I decided to walk around. They were not there when I arrived and now I hear chanting, we have protesters across the street holding signs, ˈwe’re the devilˈ, ˈwe’re going to hellˈ, ˈAntichristˈ, etc. etc. etc. What’s the word? Oh yes, hypocrite! Have they ever thought people want to be taken out of their everyday lives and be entertained for three hours? This makes the experience more exciting.
It’s show time. The first band to hit the stage, the black metal band Behemoth from Poland. I heard nothing but good about this band, isn’t that a contradicting statement? Good about worshiping Satan. They went above and beyond what I expected this being the first time I’ve caught their show. Their stage attire, the back drop, their props. Could I tell you what they were singing ˈNOˈ but I loved it. Frontman/guitarist Adam Nergal Darski kneels behind his mic stand with the triangle/fire symbol with two Cobra heads, holding flames summoning the fans. I was waiting for the Cobras to come alive. Another thing that stood out to me about Darski as he works the stage, he can look at you like he’s stealing your soul then give you a little smirk so unexpected, but awesome.
Guitarist Patryk Sztybe stage name Seth, bassist Tomasz Wróblewski stage name Orion and sitting in for Zbigniew Robert Promiński, stage name Inferno, due to expecting their second child, was John Rice behind the skins. Opening the set with Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer off Satanist followed by Conquer All off Demigod. Rounding out the first three songs was Messe Noire off Satanist. Now, I was escorted out of The Forum, put my equipment away and headed back in to try and catch as much of the set I could. Seven songs from the three albums, a short 30-minute set is not enough time. I look forward to catching this band again.
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
Decade of Therion
Ov Fire and the Void
Chant for Eschaton 2000
All photos by Tammy Greene
©2017. Please DO NOT copy or use without permission.
While the stage is being turned over. I head back out to my car pick up my equipment and wait to be escorted to the photo pit for Metallers Lamb of God from Richmond, Virginia. Now that I’m back in the photo pit the back of the stage has massive LED screens, showing clips that correspond with the songs.
Lamb of God formed in 1994, over two decades ago. It’s probably been that long since I first seen them. They happened to be on the bill of the show I attended. No disrespect, but I can’t remember anything about them except the name. It is safe to say I’m seeing Lamb of God for the first time. As the band members take the stage, guitarists Mark Morton, and Will Adler, bassist John Campbell, drummer Chris Adler and frontman Randy Blythe hit the stage like the Tasmanian devil’s his energy was addicting.
They opened the set with Laid to Rest followed by Now You’ve Got Something to Die For off Ashes of the Wake and rounding out the first three songs with 512 off Vll: Strum Und Drang. The body surfing and moshing were in full force as Blythe encourage the fans to get moving. It’s time to be escorted out of the pit and take my camera back to the car one more time and then head back in to see the rest of the set.
Blythe took a couple moments between songs to address the fans thanking openers Behemoth and headliners Slayer for the tour. What I found interesting when Blythe explain to the fans twenty years ago they were banned from playing at The Forum, look at them now!! Lamb of God has eight albums in their discography. The very first studio album under the name Burn the Priest. The remaining seven Lamb of God. There is quite a bit to choose from to make a 10-song set list including songs from the albums As the Palaces Burn and Sacrament.
Lamb of God ended their set with Walk with Me In Hell and Redneck off the album Sacrament.
Lamb of God Setlist:
Laid to Rest
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
Engage the Fear Machine
Blacken the Cursed Sun
Walk with Me in Hell
Los Angeles’ own, almighty Slayer, filmed their entire set. Having the full film crew on hand photographers were not allowed in the photo pit. After putting my gear in the car, I headed back into the Forum. My ticket was the on the floor. I worked my way to the front and I watched the almighty Slayer to the left of the stage seeing them for the first time. The fans were fanatics, screaming and yelling, cheering, with horns pumping in the air, beer flying from across the room, empty cups flying, clothes were flying – whatever anybody could throw in the air, they did. The mosh pit not as energetic, I’m sure, due to the aroma in the air but was humongous. It seemed like the whole floor was moshing, it was very exciting to witness!
A curtain covers the front of the stage as the intro music starts playing it is used as a screen. At first, it turns all red with white crosses, then the Pentagon symbols dance across the curtain ending with the Slayer logo. The curtain drops the sold-out crowd’s cheers erupt. The whole stage is visible with a glow of red light and fog. You may only see a faint shadow of drummer Paul Bostaph but you can hear the monstrous beat. Guitarists Gary Holt and Kerry King were thrashing their heads so fast it was already giving me a neck ache. Frontman, and bassist, Tom Araya stood front and center, like he’s holding court opening the set with Repentless off the song-titled album, followed by The Antichrist off Show No Mercy ending the first three songs with Disciple from God Hates Us All.
Slayer‘s time on stage lasted two hours with 20 songs from eight albums. Amazing pyrotechnics shot out from the floor and at an angle forming an inverted cross. I could feel a little heat standing to the left of the stage. I’m sure the fans in front felt like they were in hell. A backdrop glowed when the lights went down with images that looked like bloodied Jesus. The show ended abruptly with Angel of Death off the Reign in Blood album. I’ve never seen a show end like that with thank you, goodbye no hesitation, no encore, lights came on. Fans had to leave working their way through the debris I described earlier.
When the Stillness Comes
You Against You
Dead Skin Mast
Born of Fire
Cast the First Stone
Seasons in the Abyss
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
All and in all I had a great time. Each band a bit different with some killer Metal. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed!SHARE THIS POST: