REAL GONE GOES OUT: Lamb of God – Wembley Arena, London 3/11/2018

When Lamb of God headlined a cold January night at the Brixton Academy in 2014, their performance bordered on woeful. Bad sound, a short setlist and a lot of time spent talking between songs resulted in a massive disappointment. With hindsight, the night’s opening act wiped the floor with them. In an energetic half-hour slot, Huntress, fronted by the spirited Jill Janus, showed a lot of energy and a willingness to please the audience, obviously being more than aware of how hard it is to be a relatively unknown support band. After the revelation that Jill took her own life in August 2018, that set is now a memory to treasure. Lamb of God’s, not so much.

Wembley Arena is packed to the rafters this evening. The night’s event – headlined by Slayer, but also featuring Obituary, Anthrax and Lamb of God – is a metal fan’s dream. Obituary have shown themselves to be true professionals even as underdogs, and Anthrax – stalwarts of 80s thrash – have put on a really fun support slot, showing why they’ve retained their legendary status.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: Smashing Pumpkins – Wembley Arena, London 16/10/2018

Some gigs come with a huge amount of pre-night excitement. The Smashing Pumpkins’ first – and only – UK date on their 2018 ‘Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour’ is one of those times. Firstly, the tour is the first in decades to feature founding guitarist James Iha. In addition, Billy Corgan has already promised “a show like [the fans] have never seen before”. To say there’s a lot riding on the night is a huge understatement. Can the rejuvenated Pumpkins pull off the near impossible? Can they make the soulless environment of the Wembley SSE Arena feel friendly and justify the cost of a hugely expensive ticket?

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