My dear metal heads, I must confess that my attendance at this show was purely one of greed. One where my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I was already booked to cover another show that evening, and when I was given the opportunity to shoot this show as well, I grabbed the photo pass and leapt into the pit. I knew I wouldn't have time to recount the evening's happenings – which is a shame – but in I went all the same. So, here is a quick rundown of the evening, in short sentences.
Threat Signal were up first. They are metal. They are Canadian. They cursed a lot and wanted the audience to mosh. The singer spoke to the audience as if his band were the headliner on the Monsters of Rock tour in 1989. He screamed, of course, but he also sang clean vocals. It sounded awfully commercial. The bassist provided screamo-styled tortured vocals for contrast. The drummer played double kick A LOT. The guitarists spun their hair. All the instruments had more strings than they should have. The band played 6 or 7 songs in a half hour set.
Then it was Revocation. They are metal. They are from Boston. The singer might be a tough guy. He wore Sambas like all the other tough guys I know in Boston. The band was aggressive. They wanted the audience to be aggressive too. They suggested that everyone "battle in the pit of mosh." For another song the singer asked everyone to think of fallen Vikings, Valhalla, and drinking from chalices. That song was called "Across Forests and Fjords." They didn't sound like Viking metal though. Everyone in the band provided sick-throat vocals. The singer introduced songs in that same style. He is also the lead guitarist. He might have just come from another time when finger-tapping was still hip and new. His guitar tone was decidedly non-metal at times. "Curious," I thought. Later, he explained a song was about ancient demons coming back to Earth for the audience to get wasted with, and how the audience could have sex with the hot she-demons. Most of the audience liked that idea. The guy next to me thought the song was about something else.
Eluveitie came next. They're Celtic metal. But they're from Switzerland. There were eight people on stage. Let's count them: 1-guitar, 2-tin whistle, 3-violin, 4-drums, 5-vocals, 6-hurdy gurdy, 7-bass, 8-guitar. Did I say "hurdy gurdy" back there? Yes I did. But you couldn't hear it in the mix. The singer had a rip in the crotch of his blue jeans, and had dreadlocks. He had his own tin whistle he'd play too. The other tin whistle guy had a secret bag pipe that he got out for the final song, "Inis Mona." I couldn't understand the lyrics, but maybe that's because they're in the dead language of Gaulish. I did understand him when he asked the audience not to mosh, but to part and create a "wall of death." He told the audience that the drummer (whose name is "Merlin") would start the song off, then the audience members would rush at each other at full speed. He then shouted, "This has to look like fucking Braveheart." It didn't. I couldn't catch most of the nuance in the band's material, but it was awfully good.
Children of Bodom headlined. They're from Finland. They are also metal. They started ten minutes before I was supposed to be at the other show. I saw their singer; he is short. He wore eyeliner, nail polish, and a Journey t-shirt. He shreds a lot on a very pointy guitar named for him. I saw their keyboard player, he had a decorative bra on his keyboard stand. I saw the other guys too. They had long hair. I had to leave before the singer said anything to the crowd. And before the band finished its third song. I saw the band before. I think I liked them. But that was 9 years ago so I can't be sure.