The sounds of electric guitars, double bass drums and loud, harsh screaming filled the air at the Lonestar Ampitheatre in Lubbock, Texas on Nov. 3. Hundreds of death metal fans gathered in the theatre’s indoor venue, the Lonestar Pavillion, to rock out to four face-melting, hardcore metal bands on the crisp autumn night.
The first band, Sylosis, a British metal band, opened the show as concert-goers continued to pour into the venue. Following Sylosis was In Flames, a Swedish metal band that formed in 1990. They got the crowd going with their mixture of heavy screaming and some slower melodies within some of the songs. When they played one of their more popular singles, “Take This Life,” at the end of their six-song set, the crowd sang along with the band throughout the entire song. When the time came for In Flames to head offstage, the crowd continued praising them by chanting “In Flames! In Flames!” even after they were off the stage.
Next to rock the stage was the Grammy nominated, metal-hardcore band from Connecticut, Hatebreed. The hardcore juggernauts, who have performed in both Amarillo and Lubbock several times before, said they were “happy to be back with all the crazy […] Texans who have always supported metal music.” Hatebreed got the crowd amped up with their in-your-face music and songs that were among the favorites of many of the concert-goers.
“This was my second or third time seeing Hatebreed and they are always one of my favorites,” said Brittani Morales, a 20-year-old metal fan. “I know a lot of their songs, so I like to just scream the lyrics and let loose. No one at these concerts cares if you act crazy, because everyone else is acting just as nuts as you are.”
Out of the four bands, Hatebreed got the most interaction from the audience. The site was like that of a crazy rock party that is usually seen only on television or in movies. When Hatebreed questioned the audience for not being energetic enough, the audience responded by throwing several people up in the air to surf across the crowd. At a few points during the remainder of Hatebreed’s set, several people were literally climbing across the ceiling, hanging from the fixtures and monkey barring their way over the crowd, including a rocker who was in a wheelchair, who was lifted from his chair and proceeded to swing across the ceiling like Tarzan.
“You West Texans are some of the most amazing, hardcore […] we have ever performed for. Thank you so much for continuing to support metal music,” Jamey Jasta, Hatebreed’s lead singer, said.
Headlining the show was Lamb of God, a death metal band from Virginia who have been touring every year since 2000. Lamb of God’s opening was extremely political, given that the show was only three days before Election Day. The stage was dark, with a low melody playing amidst the nearly silent venue. Suddenly, a large screen on the stage begins playing the famous political ad, “Daisy,” which was used in Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 campaign for presidency. Once the crowd realized what was playing on the screen, they erupted with cheers, supporting the statement that the band was making.
After their meaningful intro, Lamb of God capped off the show with a rowdy, head banging, fist throwing set that the audience seemed to appreciate. Throwing their fists and devil horns in the air, the crowd jumped around tirelessly, screaming along to the music. When the show was over, the crowd had not yet had enough and proceeded to chant until Lamb of God came back on the stage to perform two more songs.
“All in all, it was a great night full of face-melting metal music that I will not soon forget,” said Wesley Fitzgerald, a 28-year-old concert-goer. “My fiancé and I had a great time. We were kind of disappointed when it was over, but it was definitely worth the forty dollars for the ticket and the drive from Amarillo.”
The four bands will wrap up their current tour in Orlando, Fla. on Nov. 19.