It’s a cold and frigid Texas evening in Dallas and only 2 days ago, people were scrambling to purchase their last minute gifts for their significant others for Valentine’s Day. Probably a few of those same people were left scuttling to find no available tickets for the sold out Lamb of God show at the new Palladium Ballroom near downtown Dallas. This was the first stop in their 7-week jaunt, bringing along Frenchmen Gojira, metal stalwarts Machine Head, and the Florida-based Trivium.
Gojira opened the show to an eager crowd and while many are just discovering this Bayonne, France export, the band has been plugging along in the French underground metal scene for 10 years now. LOG frontman Randy Blythe invited them on the tour after becoming a big fan of their newest record From Mars to Sirius. While only doing a 6-song set, it was enough to get the pit going and definitely set the tone for the evening. Think of a spacier Mastodon with lots of solid riffing between both guitar players. I can see a definite slot on an Ozzfest or Sounds of The Underground stage for sure.
Calfornia’s Machine Head came up next, delivering a strong set with new songs from their upcoming release “The Blackening” and great mixture of songs from their extensive catalog. Never having seen this influential band before, I was excited to see them at work. The crowd was quite responsive, obeying Robert Flynn’s every demand. They closed their set by dedicating “Aesthetics of Hate” to the memory of Dimebag Darrell, which of course had everyone feeling quite sentimental (remember this is Pantera country after all). Overall, their influence among many bands in heavy metal was definitely heard.
What can I say about Trivium? They seem to be the darlings of the metal scene in Europe but they still haven’t quite gotten to that level here. What I can say is that they love, and I mean Love Metallica. From wearing their own band t-shirts to the familiar James Hetfield stances done by frontman Matt Heafy; they walk the line between being a credible rock band or a very good cover band at your local dive. Now, to the band’s credit, they are all solid musicians and have the definite stage presence needed for a metal band but the downfall is their overbearing admiration of Metallica hinders them from becoming a band all their own.