• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

April 28, 2024- Concluding our coverage of the Sick New World festivities, we caught the very intense and sold out sideshow that featured LAMB OF GOD, with special openers, Incendiary and Kublai Khan TX

Incendiary

Incendiary from New York exploded onto the stage with their metal fused hardcore sound. Their high energy out the gate was the perfect way to get this sideshow started! The band was jumping around the whole set and I was surprised to see so many people yelling the lyrics along with the singer! I didn’t get a chance to check these guys out prior to this show, but I’m excited to see where this massive weekend takes them. They’ve got such an aggressive style that can be compared to the likes of Hatebreed or Terror, but with this heavier metallic edge that really sets them apart from some of the other similar bands of the hardcore and metal genres.

From Incendiary’s second song through the rest of the evening, the stage maintained such beautiful lighting. I usually expect chaotic and dark lighting for shows here, so this was a surprise. But as a photographer, it made me happy and I was able to actually show the intensity of the music, as it was damn near perfectly lit. 

Kublai Khan TX

Kublai Khan TX took the stage next. This is my second time seeing this band, and they’re really growing on me. These guys bring a special twang to their sound. So much so that it makes me think there’s something special in the air out there in Texas on the music front. Kublai Khan maintained the extremely high energy through the beginning of their set, and then ended up multiplying it by the end. Crowd surfers could be seen flying over the barricade non stop, along with very loud chanting along to the songs. Barks were not left out. Yes, you read that correctly. Barks. At certain intervals vocalist Matt Honeycutt would bark at the crowd. I think this is very much a hardcore thing. There are few genres outside of hardcore that use sounds like that. The crowd loved it! While Kublai Khan TX are labeled as metalcore, I would very much lump them in with the modern hardcore scene of today. Their roots in hardcore are ever present in comparison to standard metal or metalcore. So if you like that heavy hardcore sound, these guys should totally be on your list of bands to watch out for. They’ve been pretty big for the last few years, but I can only see the impact of this weekend pushing them out into something even bigger. 

By this time of the night, people up in the top seats could be seen standing up, and they stayed standing through the remainder of the evening. 

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Lamb of God

The announcement of this particular sideshow had me filled with happiness and nostalgia. I had seen Lamb of God play this stage on a co-headline tour with Hatebreed many, many years ago. I’ll never forget standing in that crowd as a wide eyed 19 year old, and almost dying on the floor during their trademark wall of death. You know, back when they used to play Black Label and it would hype the crowd up to unmeasurable amounts of energy. To be back in front of this band, on this stage, but as a photographer hit me in all the feels. I’ve loved this band since around 2006, but that show back in 2008-9 really solidified what this band meant to me personally. To be able to capture it and remember it from such a different perspective this time was very special. 

Lamb of God took the stage during the intro to “Memento Mori” from their 2020 self-titled album. The energy in the room exploded as Randy ran back and forth across the stage. The crowd exploded with excitement as they began playing the second song on their set list, “Walk With Me in Hell” off of 2006’s Sacrament. This song has been a fan favorite for so many years! It was right after this song that security started to become a bit uneasy, as the crowd had very quickly become very rowdy. Myself and the other photographers, (even the guy who films content for HoB) were escorted out of the barricaded pit area for our safety. I’ve been to a lot of shows where crowd surfers were ever present and I’ve never had to be escorted out of my designated area for safety so for that I am grateful that the staff had us in mind, but I did continue to capture pieces of the energy in the room from off to the side. You know…. When I wasn’t screaming along with the lyrics and headbanging excessively. 

Nearing the end of the set, Randy stops and talks about how they got to choose the line up for this sideshow, and how Incendiary and Kublai Khan force them to keep up their energy, they only want to bring the best and heaviest. How he can’t stand when heavy bands bring on other softer bands that don’t compare with the energy so by the time the headliner comes on there’s a false sense of excitement. Randy rather bring the best, so he can use their energy to give the crowd his best. I like this about Randy and Lamb of God. I’ve seen them so many times through the years and each time seems better than the last. 

Lamb of God ended their performance with one of their most popular songs, “Redneck”, another song from their 2006 album, Sacrament. I always love hearing this song live, but there’s also a funny history around this song, so I am always slightly tickled when I hear it. If you know, you know. Following this last song, the band could all be seen throwing picks and setlists that were taped to the stage. Art Cruz was the last one to come down from his high podium where his drum kit sits. He took a few minutes to throw out a few sticks and interact with the crowd. One stick he threw up into the seated upper level. A very young child caught it and the smile on that kid’s face is one that’s imprinted in my memory. What a special thing for that child to experience, and to have something physical to remember it by!

This time, just like the last time, I left the House of Blues feeling sore and without a voice. But also overwhelmed with happiness. I think the only thing that I was a little saddened about was being unable to get a clear photo of drummer Art Cruz. I’m only 5’6” and the House of Blues’ stage is so high. But that’s okay. They’ll come back to Vegas, and I’ll have another opportunity to snag those drummer shots that I always like to include in these pieces. 

Setlist:
  1. Memento Mori
  2. Walk With Me in Hell
  3. Hourglass
  4. Resurrection Man
  5. Ditch
  6. Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
  7. Ruin
  8. Descending
  9. Blacken the Cursed Sun
  10. 11th Hour
  11. Omens
  12. Vigil
  13. Laid to Rest
  14. Redneck

 As mentioned above, this was a sold out show. So if you missed it, you really missed something special, since Lamb of God have graduated to arenas and large theaters. 

Until next time…

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Live Photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2024 – All Rights Reserved.

By Courtney Ware

Lead photographer, art director, editor, and writer. Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Avid music lover, but favorites include thrash metal, deathcore, metalcore, and post hardcore. - Photography is my passion, and I've carried cameras around for as long as I can remember. I endlessly strive for the constant growth and capabilities this medium can offer. Nothing makes me happier than capturing emotions that I see, and sharing my knowledge in how I did it. - I have an undying love for my local music scene, having been a part of it since my teens.

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