When Slayer, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse come to town you tend to take notice. I enjoy a good hardcore show from time to time but this one took things to a new level. Unfortunately, I was unable to stick around for the headline Slayer but that certainly didn’t diminish the night.
The Ottawa metal/hardcore scene has always been one of the most loyal and dedicated fan bases I’ve ever seen so it wasn’t a big surprise that the stadium slowly filled up for a wicked night of music. Now I have never had the chance to see any of these guys in the ticket live so this was going to be a whole new experience for me on top of getting to be right up close in the photo pit…what a way to see the destruction.
This show is Slayers last world tour so diehard fans came from far and wide.
Cannibal Corpse was first up for the night. Based out of Tampa Florida, the band formed in 1988. They have been nothing short of a staple in the hardcore community for years. Even after years of controversy they still managed to carve their names in stone. They have released 14 studio albums and worldwide sales of over 2 million units as of 2015.
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher made his presence known and belted out tracks like ‘Evisceration Plague’ and Scourge of Iron’’ as the crowd exploded. Everyone rocked out with every single track. My Photographer colleagues can back me up on this one. One of the best things about shooting a hardcore show is the potential “Hair” shot which we were not let down.
Up next were the boys from Amon Amarth. Based in Sweden they have been active since 1992. The changeover in stage kits was certainly impressive. A Viking long boat was front and center with the Berserker graphics covering the stage signaling they were ready for war!
Starting out the night with Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ Johan Hegg took center stage. Blasting out tracks like ‘Pursuit of Vikings and ‘As Loke Falls’ they truly bring you that feeling of a Viking Horde coming to your shores. Hardcore fans even sat down and rowed the long boat with them. This being the first time making a trip to Ottawa they got to conquer a whole new city and leave their mark.
Lamb of God
It was now time for Lamb of God. Based out of Richmond Virginia, they have been on the scene since 1994. Nominated for many awards they have held on to the title of one of the best live hardcore bands to see. As the only Canadian date for them therefore fans made sure not to miss out.
These guys are the pinnacle of hardcore. The heads were banging, hair was flying and metal horns were held high while Randy Blythe smashed the stage. They started out the night with ‘Omerta’, ‘Ruin’ and ‘Walk with Me’. The fans went nuts and security hand their work cut out for them as a pit opened up and bodies went flying. People were being crowd surfed and practically thrown at the stage which made the front guards a little nervous. When you go to a hardcore show you expect some hardcore fans and Lamb of God fans are some of the best.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick around for the final act with Slayer. From what I’ve seen they did nothing short of tear the house down with face smashing tracks and huge blasts of pyro.
Can’t say I’m not disappointed I wasn’t able to finish out the night. When you have some of the world’s best hardcore bands in front you how can you not leave with a smile on your face.