Easter Sunday 2001. Yeah!! I'm going to see Cannibal Corpse at The Birch Hill sweatbox, we used to call it. It held about 900, dripping wet, and with no AC whatsoever you usually were. With sweat. Anybody near Jersey remembers The Birch Hill. Corpse on Easter!! Hell yeah! With Dimmu Borgir and The Haunted, as well. I would gorge down my Easter ham and get there early, cause there was another band opening the whole blasphemous event. Lamb of God. Some brutal-ass kids from Virginia. The next day I told stories of being in the most vicious pit, to this day. People jumping around punching each other in the head, while George Corpsegrinder whipped the place into a chaotic frenzy of violence. Didn't mention Dimmu. Not much about The Haunted either, although they did do a bit of an easter ass-kicking. Yet, they both were overshadowed by the reason I personally was one of the first ones in the place. Lamb Of God. I had only heard one song from them before that day and was not familiar with Burn The Priest. The song "Black Label" was a favorite of mine and I wanted it live! I got it and a whole lot more! Talk about a warm up! By the time Lamb Of God did "Black Label" I was dripping. Four months later, WSOU from Seton Hall University, held a 15 year anniversary show. 25 or so bands, including Lamb Of God, and again they kicked everybody's ass. I got to meet them too and get their autograph's. They signed my photo album "Devil Rock" and "Always Stay Metal" and checked out all my photos.Cool.
I seemed to lose track of them for a couple of years after that. I became known as The Pit Photographer for my picture taking style and got the interest of alot of public relations people and I learned to play the game well enough to start getting on guest lists and getting photo passes (although I never used them). I got my own photo gallery on a site in the U.K. and it helped me immensely. It was then that I came in contact with Maria Ferrero, one of the biggest PR people in the business and she was the coolest, helping me out with who to get in touch with for shows to get passes and hooking me up herself, with guest lists and photo passes for her band's shows. One of which was Lamb Of God. I owe alot to her and the people of Adrenaline PR. I caught Lamb Of God at Ozzfest and they stole the show again on the second stage. They were much bigger now. About to explode with a new album. Then, Maria's assistant Jenson, hooked me up for the show of the year in 2004. The sold out Lamb Of God cd release party for "Ashes Of The Wake" in NYC at Irving Plaza. Guest list, photo pass, VIP pass. It was the shiiaat!!! They kicked some serious butt!! The new cd became my favorite and Lamb Of God was bigtime!! Then I jetted down to Philly shortly after that, to the Trocadero Theater. The first show was sold out, but I caught the second night and they filmed their DVD "Killadelphia" for both nights. Another roof raising dripping sweat. I was right in front with my friend, Donna, so I hope we're in the DVD. That would be cool. Usually after five times seeing a band, I've seen enough. They toured arenas with Slipknot after that and although my man, Jenson, said he would hook me up with a photo pass in Jersey, I just didn't like big arena shows. I was worried. I thought L.O.G. was too big now.
I had an exhausting April with alot of shows and needed a rest, but there was one I noticed in the beginning of May.
In Allentown, only 30 minutes away from house, at The Crocodile Rock Cafe. Lamb Of God. No way! It was their last show on their way home from 10 weeks on the road. Teamed with Machine Head. I'm freakin' there. I got in touch with Jenson and he hooked me up. Jenson, you are the man! Guest list and photo. Much, much thanks once again to Adrenaline PR. You rule!
My son and Donna went with me, and although it was a school night, the place was close enough that it would be an early night. Twelve Tribes opened, and we worked our way up to the front, as usual. I had a photo pass, but there wasn't a whole helluva lot of room between the barrier and the stage and you can't get that great of pics if you're right on top of the bands, so I figured as long as they let me take pics from the audience, I would shoot from the pit like I always do. Places have been stingy lately about taking pics, so I always take the photo passes now, just in case. The Croc is great for pics from the crowd too. The crowd was awesome, packing the place. Machine Head came out to some huge Mach-ine Head chants and got a fantastic reception. They literally blew the roof off too! They were awesome. Rob Flynn is the definition of Metal. It was a brutal set. "Ten Ton Hammer" totally kicked everyone's ass!!
They were gracious as hell for the amazing reception they got, with the crowd chanting their name repeatedly. It was an awesome crowd! They really set the stage for what was about to come. Lamb Of God.
This would be my sixth time and I'll probably see them six more. They pretty much did the same set as the last two shows, but they deliver like no other. I'll go see them do the same set a hundred times and be front and center, dripping sweat, every freakin' time!! They opened with "Laid To Rest" and blew the walls out from the beginning to end. They did most of the "Ashes" album. "Hourglass", " Now You've Got Something To Die For". The crowd was going berserk. My son was a surfing maniac! I was jumping around, sweating my ass off and tossing kids everywhere (and taking pics)along with Donna right in the front. I had some serious back problems earlier in the week and the crush of the pit felt wonderful. I remember "Ruin" stomping everybody, and the Burn The Priest favorite, "Bloodletting" got my back straightened out nicely! Neither band had ever played The Croc, but both vowed to return soon. They loved the Allentown crowd. It was another dripping sweat like I love so much. I had a blue jean vest on that you could wring out after the show and leave a small puddle!!Awesome!
Now L.O.G. can finally get home and get some rest. They've burned a path across the U.S. and everybody is a pile of ash in their wake! I've seen them come along way over the years and there is just no stopping Lamb Of God. Let the Devil Rock rule! Kick this EMO explosion back to heaven. I can't wait for The Sounds Of The Underground tour this summer and my seventh dripping sweat with Lamb Of God. By then, I'm sure my aching back will need straightening again.