Phil Demmel – Vio-lence and former Machine Head guitarist – joined Lamb of God onstage during their Friday set at Aftershock Festival, marking the first time ever the Virginia metal heavyweights have performed with three guitarists at once.
Demmel – who is familiar with playing Lamb of God material after filling in for guitarist Willie Adler on their recent European tour – emerged to the stage for the last song on the set, Redneck, from the band’s 2006 album, Sacrament.
“We’re gonna bring a friend of ours out,” frontman Randy Blythe told the crowd, introducing Demmel. “He’s from the Bay Area. He’s played with us once or twice. He’ll play with us on this last song… We’re going full Lynyrd Skynyrd – three motherfucking guitars for the first time ever, right here at Aftershock.”
In pro-shot footage from the event, Demmel can be seen walking onto the stage with his Polka Dot-finished Jackson King V signature guitar, while Blythe implores the crowd to generate two massive circle pits. Watch it below.
In a new post on social media, Demmel shares a photo of himself hugging guitarist Mark Morton and drummer Art Cruz, thanking the band for accommodating him in its accompanying caption.
“I’ve had many life memories made onstage and last night was another,” he writes. “Thanks to Lamb of God for having me onstage at the local Aftershock Festival last night. It [was] the only chance for my son to see me perform with them and they were the ever-gracious hosts.”
He adds, jokingly: “Although it looks like I just accepted a marriage proposal from Mark Morton, I’m probably thanking him (and Art Cruz) for saving me from being torched [by] the pyro cues I didn’t ask about! All top dudes on top of their game. The Demmel Dudes are forever gracious.”
Phil Demmel has acted as a fill-in musician for Lamb of God on numerous occasions this year, not only during their recent European tour. The guitarist also took Willie Adler’s place when the band performed on the ShipRocked cruise in January, and in May for the Canada leg of their Metal Tour of the Year with Megadeth.
Last year, Demmel stepped in for Dave Linsk at Overkill’s first show since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an August interview with Guitar World, Demmel spoke about Vio-lence’s latest EP, Let the World Burn.
“So many bands make these 70-minute-long records that are almost impossible to sit through,” he said. “I wanted to do five really good songs that were like rapid punches to the face and then get out and leave listeners wanting more.”
Last week, Lamb of God released their highly anticipated ninth studio album, Omens. True to form, it’s packed to the rafters with Phrygian-flavored riffing antics, with highlights including Nevermore, Omens and Ditch.