Lamb Of God, Meshuggah Shake Australia’s Festival Hall

Lamb of God

It’s been five days since seeing Lamb of God and Meshuggah, and I only just fully recovered. It was my first ever time at the venue — Festival Hall — so I didn’t know what to expect, but how could I not go see two of my favorite bands ever?

The night in general was amazing, as expected; the crowd was awesome and really high-energy, and not too many scene kids showed up during Meshuggah, which was a plus. It was also the highest turnout to a gig I’ve ever seen. There must have been upwards of 10,000 people crammed together in this giant venue.

First things first: the sound was terrible. You could tell that metal was not a regular occurrence at Festival Hall; it was nowhere near loud enough, the bass sounded terrible (especially during Meshuggah), but it wasn’t the fault of Dick Lövgren — the fault lies solely on the mix.

How do you fuck up BASS, Festival Hall? On top of that, the vocals could have done with more volume. At least the guitars sounded good.

I derped hardcore and was late to the gig, missing out on the first five minutes of Meshuggah (so I had to look up the first song of the set list). Even despite the sound issues, Meshuggah tore it up. A lot of obZen and Koloss material, which was to be expected, but the real highlight for me was the Catch 33 stuff, especially “In Death – Is Life” and “In Death – Is Death.”

To see them close with that made me so happy, since Catch 33 is my personal favorite album by them.

Even though it was my first time seeing Meshuggah, I knew it was going to be an intense show, and they definitely delivered. From Jens Kidman’s notorious facial expressions, Mårten Hägstrom and Fredrik Thordendal’s insane shredding and drumming mastery of Tomas Haake, they put on a show I won’t soon forget. I could barely hear Lövgren, but he seemed to be having a good time. The lights were damn near blinding, but it added to the whole experience I’ll remember for a long time to come.

While waiting for Lamb of God to take the stage, which took a good half-hour, the floor started to get a bit more crowded. I look behind me to see a fucking sea of A Day to Remember, Bring Me the Horizon, etc. shirts, and sigh. I knew it was going to happen but I hoped it wouldn’t.

The hardcore dancers had come.

As Lamb of God took the stage, the lights went dark and the crowd roared so loud, the roof nearly blew off. The irony was that it was louder than the gig, since the sound FUCKING SUCKED.

You could guess they’d play a lot of stuff from Resolution, which I was okay with but not super stoked about. It’s probably my least favorite album they’ve put out but it was still awesome. “Desolation” for the opening song, as was expected, although “Straight for the Sun” followed by it would have probably been better. As the night went on, they only played four songs from Resolution, which was awesome, but they didn’t play “King Me,” which was slightly disappointing, because it’s the best song by far on the album. But Lamb of God doesn’t really have any bad songs, so it didn’t leave a bad impression.

Lots of older stuff on the set list reminded me of when I saw them in 2010 in Beijing, which was easily the best gig of my life. Hearing As the Palaces Burn material live again got me really stoked for the album’s remix/remaster (which is out in November; buying that shit for sure), and I “sang” along like the whole gig.

My throat was not a fan, especially after Kvelertak only a couple of days before, which I was still recovering from.

All in all, a fucking phenomenal show. Despite the sound issues, which infuriated me to no end, and the fucking prick in the spiked denim jacket in the pit (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, YOU FUCK!), it was a gig to remember. Time to wind down for a while, before I go see Devin. Fucking. Townsend. On October 13.

Meshuggah setlist:
Rational Gaze
Do Not Look Down
The Hurt that Finds You First
I Am Colossus
New Millennium Cyanide Christ
Mind’s Mirrors
In Death – Is Life
In Death – Is Death

Lamb of God setlist:
Ghost Walking
Walk with Me in Hell
Set to Fail
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
11th Hour
The Undertow
The Passing
In Your Words
Laid to Rest
Black Label

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