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The Paris terrorist attacks in November left many a band in the unenviable position of determining how to proceed as they continued to tour Europe in a very unstable climate. Lamb of God were one of the bands on tour in Europe at the time of the event and while they initially attempted to carry on, they ran into some safety concerns at one show that eventually led them to pulling the plug on the remaining dates of their run. Though Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe tackled their reasoning for exiting their tour in a lengthy missive, the exact nature of the threat the band faced was not known, until drummer Chris Adler explained the situation on DC 101’s Elliot in the Morning show.
Last year, Blythe had stated that his band was not in the business of canceling shows and that it was the rare occasion that they would do so. In this case, something occurred to make the band question the safety of not only themselves but their crew and the audience members. “At that moment, it no longer felt like the right thing to do anymore, not at all. It did not feel like the right thing to still stand on stage and tell people ‘Don’t worry about it — come on in and enjoy yourselves. There’s no need for concern,’” stated Blythe. “It did not feel like the right thing — not for myself, not for the people I employ, and not for our fans. Things had quickly changed — it felt foolish, it felt irresponsible, and it felt potentially very, very dangerous.”
In his chat with Elliot in the Morning, Adler elaborated more on the situation that caused their concern. He explained, “We played a show in Germany and then came over to Tilburg, Holland. And when we got to Tilburg, we learned that… not only… We already knew about the Paris attack, but when we got to Tilburg, we realized that the same night we had played in Germany, about two hundred miles away, was the planned attack of a stadium there; there was an ambulance full of explosives that they found.”
He went on to add, “We got to Tilburg and there was a specific security concern at the venue, where the venue security found two grown men outside taking pictures for hours of the facility and where the buses were parked and where the trucks were parked. And as they approached them to ask what was going on, the two guys ran as fast as they could, jumped on their bikes and took off.”
The drummer says when they got to the venue, security informed them of the situation, stating that they didn’t have any credible evidence of an attack, but had planned to beef up security just in case. “What really made the decision for us was not that we were scared, not that we were intimidated to play, but the fact that we know now that something … we’ve been given information that something was amiss,” says Adler. “So if we go ahead with this and somebody breaks in and does something horrible, more than likely the band will be able to run off the back of the stage and out the back door and we’ll be fine. But we’re putting our crew in danger, we’re putting everybody that’s bought tickets in danger, and they have no idea that they could be hurt or coming into this event, that something could be going on. So it felt very irresponsible for us to go ahead with the show, knowing that something wasn’t quite right.”
The drummer concludes, “It doesn’t mean that something was going to happen — we have no idea — but just knowing … Had we played the show and something had happened, we’d never forgive ourselves.”
Lamb of God are currently off the road, but do have one major thing on the horizon. The band earned a Grammy nomination for their song “512” for Best Metal Performance. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 15 and the band will find out if they won.
‘Dark Days’: A Conversation With Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe
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