Another guest post from my friend Gryphyn Bloodheart, about the concert we went to, at the small local venue BackBooth. The band lineup for the show was (in order of performance) Empyrean, Suidakra, Alestorm, and Tyr.
"Look out Johan! Heri Joensen is in town!
And I did, in the very end, get a kiss from him -- just a peck on the cheek, but still, I was giddy over it. I don't know if he hesitated at my request because he's married, or because he saw the monster in the pit with the matching facepaint and fearfully assumed I belonged to him. (Though Heri's kinda buff -- he might be able to take my boyfriend.)Okay, okay, I'll shut up about my obsessive infatuations long enough to talk about the actual music... *sigh* Okay, so Empyrean opened strong, and had a good set, though I thought it rather short. Mind, the whole show felt rather short but I'll get to that more in a bit. I would probably like Empyrean a lot more if it weren't for the vocals. Granted, I have to give him kudos for playing while sick, but I don't like his vocal style, and the band could have carried on without him because their music is great by itself. Aside from the vocals, it's good prog, and Vincent is a fucking monster on that bass! On the last song, he literally looked like he was playing while fucking possessed!
Suidakra bothered me a little when they came on, because I found it a little tacky that almost all of them were wearing their own merchandise. Maybe it's just me, but I find it tacky when bands wear their own stuff while performing. I'd really rather see them wearing band names they love besides themselves. All in all, they were okay, but I wasn't entirely moved by them. They're supposed to be Celtic folk metal from Germany, but sometimes I can hardly hear what makes their music "Celtic folk", besides maybe some of the lyrics.
Alestorm came on, two playing bare-chested, the other in a kilt looking much like a good ol' Scotsman. Man, Scots are tiny! It'd take three of them to match a single Faroese! Anyway, they performed greats like "Captain Morgan's Revenge", "Wenches and Mead", and "Nancy the Tavern Wench", and played them well despite some technical difficulties, so I was quite pleased. By this time I was up at the front, and every time Chris wanted us to pump our fists and chant "HEY HEY HEY!", I was afraid I might HIT HIM. It was also during this performance that the guy next to me, who was pumping his fists quite fanatically, clocked me in the back of the head with his elbow when I was coming up from headbanging.Then Tyr came on. Immediately I noticed what a nice ass Heri has -- SORRY! SORRY! MUSIC! MUSIC! -- Anyway, they performed great in the beginning, but about the middle of the show the guitarist came unplugged suddenly and had to stumble a bit to correct the problem in mid-song. Turned out the plug was a bit loose and would shake out with the vibrations of the stage. A guy at the front with me kept lunging onto the stage to secure the plug to help out, which seemed to work. Until Heri's mic kept cutting out during the songs, which he was visibly pissed about. Heri also kept walking up to the stage right in front of where I was to strut his guitar work. He was so close I could have grabbed his junk if I really wanted to be inappropriate, so it was kind of like getting a lap dance. He did this several times, and when he turned around to stand back behind the mic, I got to see his cute butt again. XD About halfway through the show I stopped headbanging and just got mesmerized by Heri, and how sexy he looked in that leather and the -- FUCK! THE MUSIC! THE MUSIC! -- Anyway, any awesomeness missing from their performance was less about TÝR's inadequacies, and more about equipment failures and a lousy venue. This was my first time at Backbooth, so my first impression was that, like the Dungeon, it would be a very personal, close performance. Unfortunately, it just felt like it was too insufficient for the act. I really would like to see these guys at Firestone or House of Blues instead -- it would definitely be more respectable. One thing I will say I didn't like about their performance; they played an awful lot of songs in Faroese. While a lot of their songs ARE in Faroese, I think they should have catered to their audience and played more of their English songs, which they do have plenty of. They should have limited the Faroese songs to one or two. While it is arguable that one might miss a lot of great songs that way, I like singing along with the band and knowing what they're talking about. As much as I'd love to learn Faroese or any other Scandinavian language, it's not a likely learning project in the near future. To their credit, I will say I love the sound of Faroese when sung, even if I can't read it, and it does add to the overall folky feel of the music to hear them barding away in their native tongue. And, to be fair, even in the Faroese songs, there were some folks who were singing along.
And the show should have been longer. When Tyr left the stage, it felt rather sudden, and we kept chanting for an encore. But, alas, the lights rose and they did not return even to toss us a fucking pick. Perhaps they'd become too frustrated with the inadequacies of the show, or perhaps they were annoyed by the noise coming from the club next door. Whatever it was, the ending was disappointing. Vengefully, I scavenged a drumstick from the stage and threatened to whack them with it til they came back to play "The Hammer of Thor" for me. At least they were hanging around the venue for a while after their performance, so we all had a chance to ogle them, get signatures, chat in German, and steal kisses.
I really can't lay blame on the bands for the problems with the performances; honestly, Backbooth just sucks. They can't keep a mic running, and the dicks next door play crappy music, and also I can't parallel park to save my life. Ultimately, I was pleased with the bands and just displeased with Backbooth."