By Andrew Bansal
August 27th 2015, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Hollywood CA:Even though several hard rock and heavy metal bands have been featured as musical guests on ABC television show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, not many could have predicted that Richmond, Virginia quintet Lamb Of God would ever be one of them. The undisputed success of their recently released seventh studio album ‘VII: Sturm und Drang’ landed them this national television gig on Thursday August 27 2015. A few hours before the actual broadcast, they took the stage in an intimate Hollywood setting as representatives of modern American heavy metal, and while fans nationwide set their DVRs and those elsewhere waited anxiously for the JKL YouTube uploads, Lamb Of God’s Los Angeles faithful braved the heat to a brief taste of the band’s on-stage intensity and experience the new material live.
Diehards lined up starting in the early hours of the afternoon, and soon after doors opened at 5:15, the segment of the El Capitan Theatre’s parking lot that serves as the venue for JKL outdoor concerts got fully occupied rather rapidly. The in-studio portion of this JKL episode was being filmed at that time and being shown live on the giant screen out here, and attendees stood through watching Jimmy Kimmel interview Pierce Brosnan and some chick from some famous TV show. The wait for the outdoor concert wasn’t as long as it sometimes can be at these events, and at 6:30, even with the sun still out, Lamb Of God’s arrival was announced amidst expectedly loud cheers from the crowd.
They opened with two songs from the new album, ‘512’ and ‘Still Echoes’. The first notable visual aspect of this Lamb Of God mini-performance was the stunning extent to which guitarist Will Adler has slimmed down, turning from the heaviest to the skinniest member of this band. Other than that, it was the same Lamb Of God people have grown to expect over the years, as technically precise and crushingly heavy as ever, sending the crowd into a frenzy of headbanging bursts and mosh pits. On a side note, Don Barris redeemed himself from his obnoxiousness at the recent Van Halen JKL concert by actually jumping in the mosh pit. But, the sound system on this JKL outdoor stage was perhaps not equipped to handle heaviness of this magnitude, as the band was forced to stop and restart ‘Still Echoes’, much to their frustration. Following take 2 of that song, they played three staple hits ‘Now You’ve Got Something To Die For’, ‘Laid To Rest’ and ‘Redneck’. Only the new songs were filmed for television, and the F-bombs in the song lyrics as well as Randy Blythe’s crowd interaction were smartly saved for the non-televised segment.
As huge of a moment as this was for Lamb Of God in terms of their mainstream popularity in this country, they did not seem totally in their element on this stage, having to play such a short set, being made to walk off stage after the first song and return when the camera crew was ready for the next one, only to be cut short mid-song. But despite that, as you can see in the YouTube footage, they still put forth a supremely professional performance and showed their class as musicians, adjusting themselves to this strange environment. Lamb Of God’s appearance on this show restores a semblance of faith in humanity and proves that metal bands can sell without selling out.