TVD Live Shots: Megadeth, Lamb of
God, Trivium, and Hatebreed at FivePoint Amphitheater, 9/1

The Metal Tour of the Year featuring Megadeth, Lamb of God, Trivium, and Hatebreed was one of the most incredible shows I have been to in the past five years (and I’ve been to plenty). The lineup was a ferocious blend of new and old metal that left nothing to the imagination at a sold out FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.  Based on the way each band played, you never would have guessed that most were on a Covid induced hiatus for the better part of two years.  Each left it all on stage for the thousands in attendance and ultimately scorched the earth beneath them when the dust finally settled on Wednesday evening.

I don’t know about you, but I had The Metal Tour of the Year circled on my calendar for quite some time.  As the date approached, I started see other bands cancelling tours and hoped that would not be the case for Five Point’s first true metal show of the year.

Although huge fans of Megadeth, Lamb of God, Trivium, and Hatebreed, I’d never had the chance to catch any of them live and knew this might be my only chance to catch them together on one killer bill. Luckily for me (and the thousands of rabid fans just like me), the Metal Gods ultimately came through and Wednesday’s metal extravaganza went off without a hitch on a spectacular night under the stars.

Taking the 6PM slot and first up on stage was Bridgeport, Connecticut’s very own, Hatebreed. Jamey Jasta and Company immediately launched into an 11-song set that was pure adrenaline and then some. For me, the highlight of their set was a killer rendition of Slayer’s “Ghosts of War” along with two of my favorites, “Last Breath” and “I Will Be Heard.” Such a good band and one worthy of major metal respect.

Next on tap was Trivium and they didn’t disappoint.  Led by founding father Matt Heafy, the band churned out a ridiculous 8-song set that kicked the general admission pit into overdrive under a now setting sun at Five Point. Highlights included “What the Dead Men Say,” “Feast of Fire,” and “In Waves.” Goddamn that song sounded incredible! My only regret is that Trivium was limited in time and there were probably 4 or 5 more songs I would have loved to hear live. I guess we’ll have to leave that for another day.

Co-headlining the Metal Tour of the Year were none other than Lamb of God, and they put on a near-perfect performance for the Southern California faithful.  Frontman extraordinaire Randy Blythe, along with John Campbell (bass), Mark Morton (lead guitar), Willie Adler (rhythm guitar), and Art Cruz (drums) crushed an unbelievable set composed of 12 classics spanning their 25+ year catalog.

They kicked off their set with 2020’s “Memento Mori” and ended with arguably their most popular song, “Redneck.” This set had everything fans would want in a metal show and more including mosh pits, death defying jumps, and of course—fire!  I’ve seen plenty of metal shows in my day, and can honestly say that Randy Blythe and Lamb of God’s performance on Wednesday may have been one of the best I have EVER seen—period.

Wrapping up the evening’s festivities was Megadeth. Considered one of the “Big Four” of American thrash metal, Dave Mustaine pulled no punches on Wednesday with 11-classics spanning the band’s storied 40-year history and ultimately solidified the band’s rightful place on the altar of all things metal.

Classics such as “Sweating Bullets,” “Trust,” and “Symphony of Destruction” were fan favorites along with mega-hits “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” which closed out their set for the evening. My only gripe was the short set—it clocked in at just under an hour.  I get it, but how can one not play classics like “A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)”? Outside of that, Mustaine’ s performance on Wednesday was one for the ages.

Bottom line for me, The Metal Tour of the Year lived up to all of its pre-show hype and brought much needed live music relief to fans throughout Southern California. This masterclass in metal won’t soon be forgotten and definitely an instant classic in my book.

HATEBREED

TRIVIUM

LAMB OF GOD

MEGADETH

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