Slipknot / Lamb Of God / BFMV / Motionless In White

Modern metal’s top guns battle the heat in Sin City

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With temperatures nudging triple digits, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE [5] are probably wishing that they were indeed motionless and in white.

Instead, they offer fairly standard, keyboard-sprinkled metalcore that has teenage girls screaming “We love you!” at vocalist Chris Cerulli. In fairness, they have their moments, Devil’s Night being among them, but their style is more conducive to a darkened club than unrelenting sunshine. It’s churlish to suggest that BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE [5] are not well received, but it’s foolish to suggest that they’re to everyone’s taste. Their seven-song setlist, led by Your Betrayal, drags on way too long and leaves little residual flavour.

Bullet For My Valentine: not to everyone’s taste on the day

Bullet For My Valentine: not to everyone’s taste on the day
(Image: © Stephanie Cabral)

LAMB OF GOD [9] have no such problems tonight, opening with Walk With Me In Hell before bulldozing into Now You’ve Got Something To Die For and new song Still Echoes concerning frontman Randy Blythe’s time in a Czech prison. Safe to say, their balls dropped some time ago and are now roughly the size of watermelons. It should also be noted that at 44, Randy has more energy than those half his age, tearing around the stage like he’s been let off a leash. There’s not an ounce of fat here, just sheer muscle, as *Redneck *rounds off an astonishing set.

Randy Blythe proves he has the fountain of youth on his side

Randy Blythe proves he has the fountain of youth on his side
(Image: © Stephanie Cabral)

Maybe it’s the heat, but the vast crowd appears lacklustre for SLIPKNOT [7], frontman Corey Taylor having to work the audience more than ever. Tonight has all the makings of a classic show – bathed in the light of a full moon and the golden reflection of the Mandalay Bay hotel – but somehow it’s not, at least if you’ve seen the band before.

Slipknot’s Clown spots Chucky in the crowd

Slipknot’s Clown spots Chucky in the crowd
(Image: © Stephanie Cabral)

Indeed, it isn’t until the penultimate song, Spit It Out, that everything comes together and this resembles the Slipknot we know and love. By which point there is only Custer to make a brutal last stand and then the crowd begins to drift away, caught offguard by an encore of [sic], People=Shit and the ever-brilliant Surfacing. On paper this is a flawless performance from a band still riding high on one of their finest albums, .5: The Gray Chapter being a work of absolute genius, but rather than leaving with that post-gig rush, there is a small sense of disappointment. It can never be said that Slipknot don’t pull out all the stops, but sometimes, apparently, that is not enough.