Los Angeles' church-owned Great Western Forum has canceled an upcoming concert appearance by hard rock act Lamb Of God because church leaders were offended by the group's previous name, Burn The Pries

Los Angeles' church-owned Great Western Forum has canceled an upcoming concert appearance by hard rock act Lamb Of God because church leaders were offended by the group's previous name, Burn The Priest.

"We do owe something to our congregants. A band formerly known as Burn The Priest caused us pause. We have to draw the line somewhere," said Marc Little, general counsel for the Faithful Central Bible Church, which owns the Forum, the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lamb Of God was set to appear April 9 with Slipknot as part of the Subliminal Verses Tour. In a statement on the band's Web site, drummer Chris Adler called the church's decision "a bit ridiculous." Slipknot and other acts in the tour are still scheduled to perform.

"If they had taken the time to look into what we do and who we are as a band, I don't think they would have made the same decision," Adler said. "They have made it clear that they do not want us because of our name, our show and our crowd. The word from the powers that be is that Lamb Of God is not the wholesome family fun that the good people of Los Angeles deserve."

The Richmond, Va.,-based band took the name Lamb Of God in 2000 after performing under the name Burn The Priest from 1994 to 1999. The earlier name was dropped because it "put us into a corner we didn't want to be in," Adler said. "So we went with something just as strange but, I guess, in the other way. So to have this kind of backlash is strange."

People have protested the band's name at concerts, although Adler says Lamb Of God has never been banned from a venue. But in light of recent events, including the nightclub shooting of Damageplan guitarist Darryl "Dimebag" Abbott, Adler said he wasn't too surprised by the decision.

"I really can't believe it. But maybe it's a new day in what we are finding out will be allowed and what will be censored," he said.

Lamb of God was excited about the Forum date because metal bands do not typically play such large venues. The band still intends to perform in Los Angeles and is fielding other offers. "There are plenty of venues that will welcome us," he said. "We're looking forward to [going] back out there and playing for the fans."

Faithful Central, which bought the Forum in 2000, is among a small but growing number of churches using sports and entertainment facilities as houses of worship.


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