yesterday dark tranquillity played at the "a day at the border" festival in milan. though the gig was announced just a few days earlier, the band found a lot of support from the public waiting for them there. having arrived at the site a little later than predicted, the band barely had time to check that all of them were there before their set started. after a few seconds of uncertainty due to the token malfunctioning of the microphone, everything went absolutely smooth sound-wise, to the point that i feel like saying this is actually the best performance i have heard from the band, thanks to some really wonderful output. without wasting a single second, dark tranquillity went through a pretty tight, heavy set of eight children's faves: the sun fired blanks the treason wall punish my heaven monochromatic stains damage done the wonders at your feet zodijackyl light final resistance the response from the crowd was amazing: there were no more than a couple of hundred people standing in front of the stage - more were just sitting on the chairs all around this domed building where the whole festival took place - but they were all jumping and singing along as if they had been awaiting for ages to see that very show... and they couldn't even know dt were to play there until tuesday! mikael was his typical energetic self, jumping around on stage as if this was the happiest thing anyone could be doing - i might venture for him it is - and soliciting excited cries from the crowd whenever he got near to those who were closer to the stage. after the show he also reached a thin barrier separating the crowd from the backstage and shook hands and signed autographs then and there: many a metalhead commented (to me, your faithful moderator in diguise ) that he was the most easy-going and friendly guy in the scene, as noone else even considered spending so much time with the fans right after a gig. niklas found a new love for headbanging, wearing his unbraided hair a little longer than usual and duetting with martin h whenever the guitars were coming to the front in a song. yet another thing i've noticed was the impressive work anders does on drums on those fast songs like zodijackyl light: i was personally wishing my drummer friends could be there to see him. the songs were all perfectly performed, without any new trick added from the last tour (yes, the abrupt stop on zodijackyl light is still there), as there was hardly time to go through the whole set in the 30' allowed to the band. it seems like it's a constant of the latest performances, though, that the voice is sometimes swallowed by the other instruments. after hearing the same effect in a couple of places i'm starting to think it might not have to do with the venue but with the sounds the band chooses to employ... definitely something to watch out for in the future. after the gig a very strict and annoying security had half the band going through pains just to certify to half of the world that yes, we were with them and allowed to hang out in their area. after bereaucracy got sorted through, though, we had the best of time in ages just sitting there drinking (free!) beer and chatting. just two things perturbed the pleasant atmosphere: the heat+sun (how's your head, warwick? ) and the mosquitoes, who totally destroyed me while leaving mikael absolutely undisturbed... now don't you people say i wouldn't give my blood for this band. anyway, we stayed there through the whole afternoon and evening. i've especially liked chatting with bandmembers i seldom have a chance to talk with (hi martin b and martin h ), and niklas ought to have on his camera some very embarrassing pictures of me and mikael being... a tad enthusiastic about each other's company. at some point i guess the band was to leave for an aftershow party in a nearby club, but my allergy, the mosquitoes and the fact that i had to drive for a couple of hours in the night just to get home suggested it'd be better for me to leave the party, and so i did. next report: july, spain. rahvin.