- Posted on October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am
Last night’s concert was great. The headliners might have been Dragonforce, but Sonata Arctica could have been the main event for as great as their performance was. Not only were they highly energetic but they looked like they were having a hell of a lot of fun on stage and the crowd was right there with them. After a fake-out playing the intro of Total Eclipse of the Heart, they played Full Moon. Full Moon has a similar sounding intro but it’s a ton more awesome because it’s about the girlfriend of a werewolf with the chorus being: “She should not lock the open door, run-away run-away run-away, Fullmoon is on the sky and He’s not a man anymore, She sees the change in him but can’t, run-away, run-away, run-away”. This was likely the highlight of the night for me as Full Moon is one of my favorites. When they finished their forty minute set and encore song, the audience was still chanting for more.
While Sonata Artica was billed as the only opener, Taking Dawn kicked off the evening. The audience was pretty dead when they took the stage and I suspected it was going to stay that way for their entire performance as the crowd didn’t even reply to their “Hello Chicago.” The lack of crowd response didn’t stop them; their enthusiasm was through the roof and they were giving it their all. I’ve seen few bands spend that much energy trying to engage an audience this dead but it paid off for them. After about two songs, they started getting the love. When their first album releases in January, I’m going to give them a second listen.
While listening to Sonta Arctica, I pulled a guy up who fell down in the mosh pit. This being the normal culture to prevent trampling, I wasn’t expecting this guy with a baseball cap to get in my face and called me explicatives. He then proceeded to shove his way towards the front waving a CD and a Sharpie. I write him off and am please when he doesn’t get his CD signed.
Later, during Dragonforce’s set-up, I see him standing a few feet away pissing off and talking at everyone nearby him, I poked the guy in front on me and asked him what’s the deal. I asked him because he had the unfortunate position of being directly behind the guy and being subjected to the guy’s conversations. So I get the full scoop which is beyond ridiculous. The CD that the guy is waving around is a copy of an old Sega game called Dragonforce, and this guy’s been insisting that the band picked their name because of the game (a fan of Dragonforce declared this false while eavesdropping). If this wasn’t bad enough, he was telling everyone that the reason he was trying to get the signature was so that he could sell it on ebay. But wait! there’s more and it only gets more nuts. The guy’s got the super annoying nasally voice and he’s standing around telling people that he’s making friends while in the same breath he’s calling all of the people there poser metal heads (keep in mind he’s not the least bit metal and he mistook Sonata Arctica for Dragonforce already). He would also pull out a copy of Machiavelli from his Border’s sack and write a website on a page. He would then rip out that page and hand them to people. If this wasn’t funny enough he also had a can of Axe deodorant in his Border’s sack. He would rather visibly smell himself and those near him, declare loudly that he didn’t want to smell because there’s girls, and then spray himself and those nearby.
This guy had the full set-up time before Dragonforce to completely alienated himself from the crowd and he made the most of it. By the time Dragonforce took the stage, he had pissed everyone off enough that there was a full blown plan to get him back in the mosh pit and get his CD smashed. Thirty seconds after Dragonforce took the stage, the crowd around him exploded and the guy was swept into the pit. This time instead of lending him a hand, three people were low punching him in the sides; too low to be caught by guards. Another movement managed to get the CD knocked to the ground. The CD was the last straw and the guy started taking swings back. His high and sweeping punches caught the attention of the guards. Even though the guards were already walking towards him, everyone took the extra effort to point directly at him. I’m not even sure a whole song was finished before he was tossed out.
I’ve already admitted that I wasn’t there for Dragonforce, but they were better than both Dio and I were expecting. While they are primarily classified as “power” metal, their tempos were definitely fast enough to also be called “speed,” a typical selling point for me. They were high energy and fun to watch. Their guitar solos were plentiful but not overdone and were appropriately awesome. I also have to give props to the purple pimp hat with the leopard print hat band and green tee that read “I’m sorry I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.” Dio’s requested a CD and I will be adding it to my iPod.
- Posted on July 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Sunday’s Mayhem Festival delivered just what the name promised. These shots were taken during God Forbid’s performance. While not my favorite music at the show, they did an excellent job of engaging the crowd.
Dirge Within (the band listed as “Jagermeister Band” on the schedule) is a Chicago band and worth a second listen. Their debut album, ‘Force Fed Lies’, is due out on September 1st but they are offering a free download of the title track today on their Myspace.
While hunting down Dirge Within, I also stumbled on this free Metal Mayhem Compilation download. They ask you to sign up for a mailing list but currently you can skip that step and download it here and save your inbox some spam. I don’t know if it is worth downloading yet as I have not had a chance to listen to it, but it’s free and it has a track from Darkest Hour who was decent at the Summer Slaughter Tour that recently came through Chicago.