A massive metal bill consisting of Behemoth, Lamb of God, and Slayer is making its way around the US. Metal is a genre that is often labeled as aggressive and angry by those that are not interested in it. But for those that are part of the community, you’ll probably agree with me when I say that metal shows often draw a very welcoming and supportive crowd once you look past the sometimes gory and satanic band shirts. Getting to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is not quite as easy as others in the city, even though it sits high on Boston’s list of venues based on capacity. The Metal line, I mean Silver line (which is basically a bus that tries to act like a train), is the most direct way to get to the venue. Last week, on a toasty summer evening, the line was backed to the brim with a sea of black shirts that were plastered with a variety of big names in metal. Even as many jostled around to push their way into the last remaining spaces in the cabin, there felt a camaraderie amongst the group as people held the doors to get as many people as possible en route to the evening’s show.

When I’ve seen Behemoth in the past, I’ve often walked out of the venue questioning if I actually saw them or just heard them. Known for dim lights and heavy stage smoke, it almost felt strange to experience them outdoors during the golden hour of the evening. A thick wave of smoke rolled towards the edge of the stage as the death metal giants Behemoth kicked off the evening. Even with the shortest set of the evening, they packed a lot of crowd favorites into the set list.

With a warmed up crowd ready for more, Lamb of God was up next to take to the stage and quickly jumped into “Laid to Rest”. Behind them sat two large LED screens that cycled through various photo and video clips that matched up with themes of their songs. Multiple times Randy Blythe would walk to the left of the stage and pause for just a moment before running at full speed to launch himself into the air.

Another thing to note about the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is that it is a seated venue. That’s right, rows of seats from the very back all the way up to the edge of the barrier in front of the stage. Not quite where you would picture a lot of metal shows being held. Though you could sense some frustration in the crowd due to being confined to their seats, the bands brought up the situation multiple times between songs in order to lighten the air. Tom Araya even took a moment to comment on the seating situation and encouraged fans to continue to “wiggle” at their seats since there wasn’t space for a pit to break out.

Slayer, a classic. Having seen them three times in the last year, their set was a bit predictable. For many bands, when I describe them as “predictable”, it should be interpreted as boring. With Slayer, that is not the case. You know what you’re going to get and it’s sure as hell going to be good! Their recent stop in Boston was no exception. Throughout the set, Araya’s comments and a grand smile broke up the gloom and doom that resonated throughout the venue. I had to leave a few songs before the end of their set that evening, but even being a ten-minute walk away from the venue, I could still hear the music flooding the streets of Boston.

TL;DR recap: Behemoth played in broad daylight. Lamb of God embraced New England’s vocabulary with Randy comically dropping “wicked” a couple times. Slayer encouraged the crowd to continue to wiggle in their seats for the night. Faces were melted off by three bands on tour that you will be sorry to miss.

Tour Dates:

07/12 – Sanford Center – Bemidji, MN
07/16 – Chicago Open Air Festival – Toyota Park @ Chicago, IL
07/18 – Express Live! – Columbus, OH
07/20 – Red Hat Amphitheater – Raleigh, NC
07/21 – St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
07/23 – Electric Factory Outdoors – Philadelphia, PA
07/25 – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion – Boston, MA
07/27 – Theater at Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
07/28 – Pier Six Pavilion – Baltimore, MD
07/30 – Municipal Auditorium – Nashville, TN
08/01 – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater – Bonner Springs, KS
08/02 – 1st Bank Center – Denver, CO
08/04 – The Joint/Hard Rock Hotel – Las Vegas, NV
08/05 – The Forum – Los Angeles, CA
08/09 – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA
08/11 – The Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR
08/12 – WaMu Theatre – Seattle, WA
08/14 – Encana Events Center – Dawson Creek, BC
08/15 – SMS Equipment Stadium – Fort McMurray, AB
08/17 – KettleHouse Amphitheater – Missoula, MT
08/19 – Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM
08/20 – Comerica Theatre – Phoenix, AZ