Explosive Lamb of God ignites the crowd’s excitement

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The power and fury of Lamb of God was evident two songs into their set at The Dome at Oakdale in Wallingford Sunday, June 3.

Prior to Lamb of God’s headlining set, Jasta and Behemoth set the heavy metal table.

As both bands whipped through their sets, the audience was enraptured and hypnotized by the action on stage.

Jasta, a local favorite because it’s a spin off of Connecticut’s own Hatebreed, played its own brand of heavy metal filled with tight grooves and a grass roots vibe. Lead singer Jamey Jasta clearly enjoyed the opportunity to play to tightly packed crowd under The Dome at Xfinity Theater. He relished his role to establish the communal atmosphere of a metal show.

Behemoth, who has been touring with Slayer as has Lamb of God been, carried the torch of mysterious, magical, mythical and epic metal. With their monkish hoods and makeup, they looked and played like demonic gods from medieval mythologies. They were larger than life and their set was hypnotizing.

But Lamb of God, playing in a rare smaller venue, upped the energy level to 11 in the building.

Lamb of God, touring behind “Legion: XX,” an album of punk rock covers under the original name Burn the Priest, took no time at all to set a fire underneath the crowd’s collective feet.

During Behemoth and Jasta, there were a few isolated incidents of crowd surfing that put security on alert. But they clearly were part of the metal ritual.

And as Lamb of God ripped into “Omerta” upon their stage entrance, the crowd was still grounded– albeit more enthusiastic and stoked than they were during the openers.

But as soon as the first notes of “Ruin” sounded, the energy level in the crowd exploded and had nowhere to go but up.

And soon, security took formation as fan after fan bombarded the stage as they soared across the hands and arms of their fan-mates.

All the commotion was understandable as Lamb of God lead singer Randy Blythe was primal and powerful as they launched into his vocals. And the band as a whole marched forward as a tightly primed metal machine—musically taut and tight and intent on a metallic groove.

Lamb of God clearly must feel blessed to be part of Slayer’s farewell tour, which set down at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville two nights before.

But Lamb of God proved their true element is under the spotlight where they not only provide the fuel for the fire in the ardor of metal fans, they are also the match that ignites the bomb of the fans’ adulation.

PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN

Marching for those who made the ultimate sacrifice

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The memory of those members of the American military who made the ultimate sacrifice was honored Monday, May 28 in downtown Bristol.

The annual Memorial Day Parade in downtown Bristol, which was organized by the Bristol Veterans Council, stepped off under gray skies and cooler temperatures. But, unlike Sunday, the rains held off and participants stepped off without a hitch.

PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN

Despite rain, Forestville still remembers

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

A persistent misty rain fell on Forestville Sunday, May 27, but it was not enough to deter Forestville’s American Legion Post 209 from going forth with the annual Forestville Memorial Day Parade.

Although the event is annual, the past two years the streets of Forestville were empty on Memorial Day as rain scuttled plans for the event.

This year, the parade was moved to a Sunday– with a rain date of Monday. But organizers opted not to fall back to the rain date and surged ahead.

There were some changes due to the rain. Both Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern high schools marching bands didn’t participate because the rain could possibly damage uniforms and musical instruments. And there were some units that had marched in the past that didn’t participate. However, staples such as the Boy and Girl scouts and the Forestville Little League all marched.

Additionally, Post 209 went forth with the annual memorial ceremony where the war dead from Forestville were saluted by city leaders and was accompanied by a rifle salute from active duty representatives of the Army.

PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN