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Other Gigs

Discussion in 'Amorphis (Unofficial)' started by tuonelan, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    I'll start things off for the reviews of non-Amo shows...

    Quick write-up of the Deceiver of the Gods Tour featuring Amon Amarth, Enslaved, and Skeletonwitch at The Wiltern in Los Angeles (videos not mine).

    We always love going to the Wiltern for a show. It's a restored Art Deco movie theater that is clean and professional; a good mid-size venue in Los Angeles with excellent sound. Usually parking is expensive, but we found a space with a parking meter about a block away that only had a couple street people near it and decided to risk that over spending half of what we spent on the ticket to park at the garage next to the theater.

    We got there an hour before the doors opened and the line was already wrapped around the corner of the block, so we decided to grab something to eat. The area around the Wiltern is a mix of asian and higher end American food. It's Koreatown, and I'm sure the asian food is fantastic, but we weren't going to risk the MSG headache and did not want to sit down for too long, so we grabbed juice and flatbread at a fast food place and then wandered over to stand in line…now half way down a second side of the block.

    You can get an idea of what the show will be like from the crowd outside, and in this case we were stuck in line between two bros who were pounding cheap beers out of plastic bags and hiding plastic packets of cheap schnapps in their wallets and a couple of guys from a local band who had apparently seen every US metal band ever, but had never seen Amon Amarth and did not know who Enslaved were. 80% of the shirts in the crowd were AA shirts, and most of them were from the last two albums. There were some youngsters in kuttes – one even had an Amorphis patch and a bunch of people playing it safe with Maiden or Priest shirts. There were precious few bearded metal hipsters with high-concept sludge metal bands on their shirts. Mostly you got the idea that it was an old school, blue collar metal crowd that was there to go nuts for Amon Amarth.

    Security was light. We got a quick frisk down, but no wanding for metal. They had already checked the line for wallet chains and spiked wristbands and they were not interested in trying to figure out where everyone was smuggling in their pot. Once inside, the merch did not look all that tempting, so we headed in and grabbed a corner spot against a railing just far enough back to see the whole stage and ensure an unobstructed view of everything. The theater was about half full even before the first act – pretty good for an LA show – and the pit up front was already packed. You could feel the buzz. This was not going to be a blasé LA crowd full of jaded rich kids. It was just crusty enough that you knew people were there to get buzzed and work up a sweat.

    Skeletonwitch came on right on time and cranked right into an up-tempo set of blackened thrash with a fantasy-tinged horror movie vibe:



    They put on a 9 song, 30 minute set with short banter in between songs that reminded me a bit of Rotten Sound in feel even if they sounded nothing alike. It was just that same sort of hard working attitude that wanted to cram as much into a starting set as they could while warming things up for the bands coming after them. The moment their set was over they were helping the crew to bust down their gear and get Enslaved on as quickly as they could. Gotta respect that.

    Bonus moment…it was Enslaved's last show on the tour so part way through one of Skeletonwitch's songs, Grutle, Ice Dale, and Herbrand showed up on stage wearing red pigtails made of yarn – tour prank.

    Enslaved started out with a strong contrast in styles to Skeletonwitch, opening their set with the stately Death in the Eyes of Dawn…Grutle offering the crowd a runic benediction as he walked onstage.

    Enslaved took the opposite tack from Skeletonwitch, playing only 6 songs over their 45 minute set, but concentrating on epic tunes with a lot of movement and contrast, leaning heavily on the mythic and esoteric themes to blend with the feel of the tour. The big break from this strategy coming second to last when they shifted into straight up old school black metal and played Allfa∂r O∂inn off of their demo:

    Death in the Eyes of Dawn, Ruun, Ethica Odini, Riitiir, Allfa∂r O∂inn, Isa

    No footage from this show yet on YouTube, but it looked and sounded a lot like this set from earlier in the tour. Grutle was his raging, growling self, Herbrand sounded great on the cleans, and Ice Dale looked like a sirtless guitar action figure. The big difference is that Johan Hegg showed up in-between Ethica Odini and Riitiir wearing a bandoleer full of test tube shots and shared a drink with the band on stage while toasting the audience. :kickass:



    I liked their decision to play longer songs. It made the set feel more relaxed, almost like they were headlining, rather than like they were rushing to make room for someone else. I'd have loved another 20 minutes, but felt like they made a good impression on a crowd that, as a whole, did not know them or their material. The crowd never lost patience despite the fact that they were clearly saving energy for the cartoon viking mayhem still to come.

    I have no idea what the changeover of sets looked like between Enslaved and Amon Amarth because as soon as the set was done the curtain dropped. We knew what this meant because we had seen the Wiltern's Facebook page, but most of the crowd did not know what was coming…



    The dragonboat had landed.

    If you have ever been to an Amon Amarth show, you know what the rest of the concert looked like. Lots of running about the stage and furious headbanging while Johan Hegg looks like the largest, most friendly pillager ever. The set was loud and you could feel the double bass pounding you in the chest as they ripped through one number after the other for an hour-and-a-half set. The dragon ship and the stage breathed out fog that glowed blue or red, depending on the song. The crowd was clearly into it the whole way through, singing along, chanting, clapping and yelling even on the new material. The venue did not allow moshing, but a few defied the ire of security to crowd surf and everyone else made due with jumping up and down like maniacs and pumping their horns furiously.

    We called it quits before the encore, trying to beat the stumbling drunks to our car for a safe drive home, but we'd seen them play both numbers from the encore the last time they were in town, so it was no great loss for us.

    Today we are both sore from headbanging and throwing horns, dehydrated and scratchy throated from all the smoke, legal and otherwise :Smokin:, but we are both entirely satisfied with how the show turned out. Well worth the ticket price. :headbang:
     
    #1 tuonelan, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    Sounds like a great night (I hate you).
    Also, damn, Allfǫðr Oðinn. That must've been a killer. I heard they were playing it a lot when they supported RIITIIR, but still...

    Eh, I hope one day they'll come over to these parts and play a full set.
     
  3. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    Fuck yeah. I so want to see these guys again, and NOT just because of topless Ice Dale. :p Thanks for the great report!

    So California allows smoking in public buildings but moshing is illegal? You guys are weird. :headbang::Smokedev:
     
  4. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    Well, no one ever died from smoking.
     
  5. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    California does not allow smoking in public buildings, but I've never been to a concert here that did not have its share of indoor smoking, or of people smuggling in pot. With 1800 screaming metalheads, half of whom are drunk, the bouncers have to pick their battles, and by the time they get into the middle of a crowd you can bet that there will be no lit smokes in sight. Also, people did still try to mosh, but the security guys would shut it down before it ever got too big. Nothing like the absolutely insane circle pits I've seen at other venues for Lamb of God or Slayer or even the last time I saw AA at the House of Blues on Sunset.

    Hadn't been to a show in about a year. It was good to get out and see some live metal again, and especially good to catch these bands at a sold out show that got the royal treatment from everyone involved. Had not seen Enslaved since 2009 when they came over in support of Opeth and were playing songs off of Vertebrae (To the Coast, Fusion of Sense and Earth, Ruun, As Fire Swept Clean the Earth, Ground, The Watcher, Isa). That was also a pretty epic show despite the club being boiling hot and grubby. That was the show that cemented my love of Enslaved.
     
  6. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    I see. ;) Over here the anti-smoking laws are strictly enforced - even at outdoor festivals you are not allowed to smoke anywhere near the stage - and pot is completely out of the question (unfortunately, as I just thought at the Ulver gig a couple of weeks ago...). Crowdsurfing is forbidden everywhere, too, but moshing is the norm, albeit in less aggressive forms. At club shows it rarely amounts to more than individual headbanging and perhaps a small pit, depending on the band. Circle pits, wall of death and the like are more of a festival thing and even there I've heard American artists complain about Finnish audiences being lame. Well, probably we are, blame it on northern melancholy and all that. [Viewed from a more positive angle, it may also have a thing or two to do with the fact that in our country metal is considered serious music for educated adults and it's not necessarily a good idea to get drunk and raise hell if you have to go to work the next morning.] Given that the Amon Amarth gig a couple of months ago was on a Monday evening, the crowd was surprisingly active, but I'm sure it was no comparison to the Wiltern, much less the House of Blues.
     
  7. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Here's a representative sample of what I'm talking about:



    Can't remember if I was at this show or the LoG show the following year, but it was pretty much the same show either way. We stayed back closer to the sound booth to keep away from the craziness, which is possible in a mid-size venue like The Grove. At the smaller clubs in Hollywood the difference between being in the pit and at the back of the crowd might be two to three people. Finnish Metal Tour at the Key Club a couple years ago was like that. The floor was one big pit with a ring of people three deep around the edge braced to keep the pit contained. I spent the entirety of both Finntroll's and Ensiferum's set keeping the people behind me from being flattened and preventing the crazies in front of me from hurtling into a stair rail head first when they lost balance.
     
    #7 tuonelan, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  8. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    I've been once in a mosh on a hip-hop concert :p

    To be honest though, that particular mosh doesn't seem very dangerous, but if it's breaking rules, than I guess it is a bit much.
    I've never got so scared in my life as when I went to this underground black/thrash fest. Man, seeing, and participating in those moshes. I've been in all kinds of shit, from those merry Celtic punk variants (which are the best ever) to fistfighting hardcore gigs, but that particular show got embedded in my memory as a particularly brutal one. Quite a number of people got in a life-threatening situation, including me, to say at least.

    I've been avoiding moshing for quite some time now. I like it, a lot, but it just lost its feel. Kicking and fighting with people you don't know during songs you don't know isn't a best way to enjoy yourself.

    Still, I think banning mosh pits is a bad thing. I understand the problems behind it, but it's really natural to this heavier side of music, if you ask me.
    But admittedly, it can be a very bad thing sometimes.
     
  9. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    That one wasn't too dangerous as long as everyone stays on their feet: no railings or barriers nearby to fly into. Still, pretty typical of the active crowds.

    The scariest ones I've seen were at a Slayer show, but that was because the people in it were either big Mexican-Americans or muscled up dudes with white power prison tats. Got out of there double time.
     
  10. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    Given that the Slayer gigs have a reputation of notorious mosh pits, it's no wonder.
    Still, I would've been shit scared myself.

    I've never been to a huge concert/fest with a big mosh - except some punk concerts, but those weren't dangerous really. I have a trouble with little, crowded spaces though. It makes me feel really uneasy.
     
  11. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Full Enslaved set from Wiltern:

     
    #11 tuonelan, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  12. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    :worship:
     
  13. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah. There was a sea of iPhones up front during their set. I figured someone would upload something.
     
  14. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    Too bad, my lap top doesn't support videos that long.
    I assume the quality is great?
     
  15. xptrinity

    xptrinity Spammer

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    Paradise Lost will be playing in the Roman amphitheatre in Plovdiv on Sept. 20 with a classical orchestra. The performance will be shot for a DVD.
    AWESOMENESS! :kickass::kickass::kickass:
     
  16. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    You lucky bastards.
     
  17. xptrinity

    xptrinity Spammer

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    You can always come over. Plovdiv is not that far from Sofia.
     
  18. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Should be a stunning gig with that ampitheater as a backdrop.
     
  19. papajohnny

    papajohnny Member

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    Well...maybe.
    Sep is too far to say anything for sure.
     
  20. xptrinity

    xptrinity Spammer

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    It's gonna be really great. I can hardly contain myself - the two favourite bands of mine in six months. Couldn't get any better than this :D
    I am considering buying the expensive tickets for the central front rows.
    But let's see what Sept. 19 has to offer - should be announced fairly soon. As someone already put it, very appropriately - now we need a My Dying Bride gig at the amphitheatre with the symphonic orchestra and we'll fulfill the legend.

    Will keep you posted on the ticket sales. The amphitheatre has several thousand seats (about 4000 I think, but I stand corrected) and there's more than six months till then, so I guess it's gonna take a while till (if) they sell out.
     

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