Monday, September 5, 2011

The Agonist, Blackguard, Alestorm, Kamelot - 8/27/11 at Jaxx, Springfield, VA

We braved Hurricane Irene to go see this show and I'm glad we did. Actually the hurricane wasn't that bad - we were so far inland that all we got was a lot of rain, a little wind, a few downed branches and a lot of flying leaves.

We got there near the end of The Agonist's set, in time to hear "Thank You Pain" and one other song. The Agonist is a death metal band, which sounds like you take Arch Enemy style vocals over really fast, thrashy guitars. Their vocalist is pretty amazing, but they lack something in the guitars - more melodies or epic riffs. But they sounded better live - really heavy, and Alissa's clean singing voice (which I don't like as much as her growls) seemed deeper and more fitting with the music. I would probably have enjoyed the set although I don't know if I would have gone on the floor.

Blackguard, a self-described "epic metal" band from Montreal, was next. (This is the first time I've heard a band refer to themselves as "epic metal." I guess it's a new genre for those bands that just sound EPIC without really fitting into death, power, symphonic or folk metal?) I was pretty pumped from their headlining show three days before, although S. and I were a little worried that they would play the same exact set. (They almost did. They didn't play "Fear of All Flesh" this time, that was the only difference.) They did play "Sarissas" again and this time the pit was awesome. The crowd was a little lax though - for the first few songs, they didn't start to mosh until Paul (vocalist) gave the signal. S.said they sounded better at the headline show; I didn't notice any difference. I think I was too busy moshing, and thinking about folk pits, to critique their sound - perhaps not something I should admit on a music review blog! But I am honest to a fault :D

Then came Alestorm, which topped Amon Amarth as the best concert experience I've ever had. Alestorm is what I would call a "pirate metal" band from Scotland. They use a lot of jig-like melodies but are also VERY heavy. To my glee, the singer looked just like he does in the video for "Keelhauled" - frizzly black hair and a ragged white shirt, the image of a pirate. Their performance was excellent - they didn't suffer from the problem a lot of folk and melodic metal bands have, which is that the heaviness drowns out the melodies. Their melodies came out loud and clear, even in the heaviest segments. But the best part of the experience was the crowd. Wild crazy pits for nearly every song. Jigging and headbanging together in a line for "Nancy the Tavern Wench" and "Captain Morgan's Revenge." I even almost got S. into the pit for "Wenches and Mead" and saw (and participated in) a fair bit of jigging in the pit. My watch broke and I got thrown face first onto the floor (by someone that was trying to help me up from a fall just before that no less XD) but it was worth it. Until I go to Wacken or see someone like Megadeth up close, this holds the title of BEST SHOW EVER.

(Side note: Sometime during this concert, I figured out how to mosh with minimal pain from my epic long hair. Luckily, it tends to get stuck between people rather than on people - so when it gets stuck, what I have to do is stop, wait a moment for the people to move apart again and then I can continue. mwahaha.)

"Rum" video. It's not very clear but only one I can find from this show :( I was somewhere in the middle for this song but you can't really make anything out. It's funny how mosh pits look so slow on video, when they feel so crazy at the time XD

I was pretty wiped out after Alestorm, but somehow I stayed standing during Kamelot. They were great, even with Fabio Leone from Rhapsody of Fire as the singer (their singer Roy Khan left the band earlier this year). Anyone who is wondering whether seeing the show is worth it without Roy, I would say YES! Definitely go. You will not be disappointed. Fabio has an amazing voice. (Caveat, though: I haven't followed Kamelot that closely, so the difference wasn't as noticeable to me as perhaps a more diehard fan.) But S., who has listened to Kamelot a lot more, also approved of Fabio. They also had a few special guests including Simone Simons of Epica and the singer from Amaranth.

All right. This is about a week later and I'm finally recovered from the this concert (although a little sore from industrial club dancing two nights ago). Next concert coming up will also be killerrrrr because it is Arch Enemy, DevilDriver, Skeletonwitch and CHTHONIC this Thursday at Ram's Head Live, Baltimore. CHTHONICCCCCC!!!!!

There should also be a book review soon because I have finished reading Tuomas Karhumieli...But when will I have time to type it up???

1 comment: