Pantera•Lamb of God•Spirit in the Room•August 29, 2023•USANA Amphitheatre
Reviewed and Photographed by Nate Bonney
Alright! It’s about time for this concert! It has been 22 years since Pantera has toured. A lot has happened since then. Break up, sidebands, recovery, the untimely death of guitarist and brother/co-founder Dimebag Darrell, and the death of his brother, Vinnie Paul in 2018. It was about time for their songs to be heard again live and that is what this tour was about.
They brought along two other bands that opened for them Spirit in the Room and Lamb of God and we can say that the night was not dull. It was a crowded concert and the anticipation was felt.
Spirit in the Room
Spirit in the Room is a group out of Los Angeles, California. Frontman and singer Dennis R. Sanders knows how to entertain. There’s not too much I can find on the history of the band. There’s not too much info out there on them they are fairly new but despite that, they did get the crowd going for their short set. They’re not your typical thrash metal band. They have some great dynamics in their music and it has a variety of influences that you can pick out. They are definitely worth listening to.
I wish the set was longer but they had two other bands that were going on so they didn’t have much time. Nonetheless, they still pumped out 6 songs and made an impact. The consensus I got from asking around was that people were impressed. From not knowing who they were it was a positive vibe everyone was feeling.
Spirit in the Room setlist
1. I Used To Be A Machine
2. Death Speaks To Me
4. Monetary Prayer
5. My Body My Blood
6. The Future Is Immediate
Lamb of God
After Spirit in the Room was done it was time for Lamb of God. I have heard about them since they formed in 1999 but did really listen to them until the last couple of years. They are out of Richmond, Virginia.
They started with “Memento Mori”. Man, it’s a good one to start off with. Powerful. Great dynamics, slow, soft, loud, and fast all in the same song. It’s amazing that singer Randy Blythe can have the strong vocals that he does. He doesn’t seem like he can sing like that but then he surprises you.
Their set was accompanied by some great lighting and backdrops and not to mention the use of pyrotechnics was a plus and was unexpected. Guitarist Mark Morton has some killer riffs! There’s a great balance of heavy patterns along with catching hooks which I find difficult to find in heavy metal music and He knows how to do it well.
Randy keeps the energy up the whole set. He runs around the stage and belts out his lyrics jumps off the drum stand and gets the crowd and fans going.
Randy stopped the show right before they were done with their set and gave a tribute to Pantera and Dimebag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul (Abbott brothers). After seeing Lamb of god in person I’m more of a fan than I was before and I look forward to seeing them play live again. I was quite impressed. They ended with a strong power song “Redneck” and the audience agreed with their cheering that it was a great song to end with.
1. Memento Mori
2. Walk With Me in Hell
3. Resurrection Man
5. Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
9. Laid to Rest
It was amazing to see a curtain in front of a stage that read “PANTERA.” I never would have thought a few years ago that I would see that. And thanks to lead singer Phil Anselmo and Bassist Rex Brown for making it happen! Along with Zack Wylde who is a legged and has played for a plethora of bands including Ozzy and Black Label Society and has filled in for many other guitarists. They invited drummer Charlie Benante from Anthrax along on the tour. So despite not having all the original members it was still a phenomenal show.
They started by playing on the big screen playing their video of the band’s early days with “Regular People” and “In Heaven.” It was a nice tribute to the original band members. Then the curtain dropped and BAMMM!!! Pantera! They started off with “A New Level” from their 1992 album “Vulgar Display of Power.” I give it to Phil, After all these years and undergoing multiple back surgeries can still give a performance. Although he’s not thrashing his head and convulsing his body he can still yell with power.
Zakk Wylde is amazing on the guitar. I don’t think there are many who can fill in for Dimebag Darrell, and Zakk is one who can. Their second song was “Mouth War,” from the same album. They had great lighting that was fitting for a return tour.
I heard from a lot of friends who decided not to go because it wasn’t the original band. A few of them still went and they are glad that they did. The fans were all amazed at how good the show and setlist were. Their lineup of songs and tributes to the Abbott brothers was touching for everyone. Especially when they covered “Planet Caravan” by Black Sabbath.
One of the key things I noticed during the show was Phil’s intent to make it known what song they were playing next and how grateful he was to be touring again and recognizing that they have fans there from when they started to a young age. No matter the age everyone feels connected by their music. That is one thing I notice in general from heavy metal artist and their fans. There is respect among them.
The crowd went crazy when they played “5 Minutes Alone.” There were some great mosh pits going on from what I could see. There were also people who just moved to the music and didn’t need to be in the mosh pits and not enjoy their time. I will say that I am more of a fan now that I saw them live than I was before. The albums don’t do a live performance justice.
They then had some great pyrotechnics that was amazing! It would consume the Pantera letters and burst from side to side. If you were decently close you could feel the heat. They played “Walk,” and that was amazing! Hearing that song live has so much feeling in it. It’s a strong song on the album and seeing it live, was again something I never thought I would see.
I would definitely suggest anyone to check them out if they can. I know a lot of people that went to the concert that weren’t die-hard fans and they came out with a different tune.
Regular People (Conceit)
In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)
1. A New Level
2. Mouth for War
3. Strength Beyond Strength
4. Becoming (with “Throes of Rejection” outro)
5. I’m Broken (with “By Demons Be Driven” outro)
6. Suicide Note Pt. II
7. 5 Minutes Alone
8. This Love
9. Fucking Hostile
10. Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath cover)
12. Domination / Hollow
13. Cowboys From Hell
15. Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit