Gig Report by Chris Martin (Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Pardon me while I get a little personal here. If you want to get to the crux of the biscuit (the review this time and not the apostrophe) skip ahead to the next section, otherwise proceed as usual…OK, now that we’re alone I’ve got to say I have the greatest girlfriend ever. Without getting too “into her bidness,” suffice it to say she has some pretty severe issues with her back. Some days she can barely move, others the pain is tolerable. She has been an incredible help to me during my injury time (I’ve been hurt since May if you haven’t been keeping track) and I’m not the easiest of patients to deal with, I think. I’m a hardhead (as well as a metalhead) and hate relying on others to do shit for me that I should be capable of doing for myself. Well, this past Thursday (and really back on Tuesday from the Down review if you read that) she was in such bad shape she simply wasn’t able to do much. However she made it perfectly clear that I was going to go to the show. I’ve not driven since prior to September 5th when my surgery was. I told her I would do the best I could and she told me I wasn’t ready and that she would just drive me and lay down in the backseat while I was in the show. I told her absolutely not, I just wouldn’t go to the show. She said like hell you aren’t! You’re not only “working” this show but you want to go and I want you to be there so we’re going and that’s that. When I say “working” I mean that it’s an assignment and typically entails some sort of freebie (ie. Guest listed.) So against what I knew was right, I did what I was told. I wanted to put that out there mostly to say thanks to her. After so many years of dealing with heartache and bullshit, it’s kind of nice having someone sacrifice themselves for me. Everyone knows I would, and have done it, for anyone I consider friend or family, or even those that blur the line of the two.
So we arrive at Tremont about twenty minutes before the doors are to open. AJ is getting herself nestled into the backseat of the car and I crutch my big ass up to the line formed already at the door and wait…and wait…and wait. All of a sudden the doors burst open and there is the unmistakable sound of live music being performed. Local thrash band Necrobomb were on the bill as the opener for the Teutonic Terror Tour featuring Kreator, Accept, and Swallow the Sun. I had seen conflicting information about their set time; it was either 6:30 (prior to the doors opening) or 7:00 (when the doors were scheduled to open.) So without much of a crowd (the line was moving so slowly) Necrobomb put on their show. I wasn’t there to see them, but I’m always open to checking out local bands. From what I could hear they sounded like they weren’t bad. I thought this was pretty shitty though, having them start before anyone was even really allowed in beyond VIP ticket holders and guest list people for the band. AJ told me later she overheard them talking about how shitty it was (we were able to park inside the fence where the bands parked thanks to our handicap sticker AJ has for her back problems.) I’m not really sure what their thinking was in doing this in regards to Tremont. At any rate, I didn’t get to see them at all, but what I heard, not bad. I finally got inside shortly after their set ended.
As I mentioned above, I was “working” this show, so I was to be on the guest list for Swallow the Sun, Finnish band that has been around since 2001, thanks to their PR people and My Global Mind for getting this worked out. Unlike the last time, this went much smoother as my name was actually on the list this time. I went straight to their merch table in hopes of meeting some of the band, but when I introduced myself I realized they were already getting themselves ready to play. The merch seller said they would be going on in about ten minutes so I made my way into the stage area and got a good spot up front. There weren’t a whole lot of people there at this point. Apparently there were some technical difficulties in getting them set up so they were a little late. However, they took stage once it was resolved, and really blew me away. I was already impressed with their sound having heard and reviewed their latest CD Emerald Forest and The Blackbird, but they were even better live. They had such a clear, crisp sound, and musically were very tight as some of their passages are quite intricate.
They play an interesting mix of Doom/Gothic and Death metal, interplaying quiet pieces with their heavier stuff. When the band took the stage there was very little applause for them, which I thought sucked, but by the end of their 20 minutes the crowd was very receptive to them. There’s just no way you couldn’t get drawn in by their mesmerizing sound. I was hoping to be able to say some positive stuff about them, since that was “why” I was there (wouldn’t have been good to get in free only to tell them they sucked.) My only concern prior to their show was that sometimes that doom type of style doesn’t translate well live. I love doom metal, and there are some bands I loved on album, but once I saw them live was very disappointed by them. Not the case with Swallow the Sun. They made writing this review quite easy. I had wanted to try and catch up with some of the members, but beyond some thumb’s ups from the guitarists as they were side stage post show and a quick hand shake and an extension of my appreciation to keyboardist Aleksi Munter, it was not to be.
Next up were the legendary German metal band Accept. I told AJ that between sets I would check on her and see if she was feeling better to come inside or if it had gotten worse and she needed to leave. She said it was about the same, but since it was a cooler day it wasn’t too bad lying in the car. She did tell me she could hear the music outside just fine though so at least she got to listen to the bands. Accept is a band I have loved since I first heard the song “Up To the Limit” on the Hear ‘N’ Aid tape I had ages ago. I really loved it, but was hard pressed to find any of their albums were I was living at the time. I somehow came into possession of their live album Kaizoku-Ban, but that’s the only one I had for a long time. I have managed to obtain all of their albums though, and have been a huge fan of theirs through the years. Yet they were never a band on my immediate list of bands I expected to see live so when Tremont had this show listed on their calendar I knew there would be very little keeping me from going. Despite the fact that original singer Udo Dirkscheinder is no longer with them, they have found a more than capable singer in ex-TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo.
The last two albums the band has recorded with him are some of their best music they have done in years. Though I was inside more or less alone I did strike up a conversation with some fellow Accept fans upfront (as well as running into a guy I’ve known for ages through our love of KISS Doug who posted on his Facebook status that if you were a metal fan and in or around this area and not at the show you were a Nickleback fan, so I’m extra glad AJ was able to get me to the show.) As soon as the band took the stage (the opening strains of “Hung, Drawn, and Quartered” started out through the PA, then the band picked it up without missing a beat,) I knew I was in for an outstanding performance. Sonically, this was one of the best sounding bands I have seen live. The mix was perfect, the performances were spot on, and the band looked great and appeared to be having an absolute blast playing for us. Though Tremont isn’t what you would call a large venue, the band played like they were playing at Madison Square Garden, and sounded just as vibrant and energized like a new band with something to prove, yet were obviously consummate veterans of the world of metal. I had an absolute blast taking in their performance, and though I did have to sit out a few songs, I was still jamming out from my seat. Mark Tornillo handled the classic Accept tunes like “Restless and Wild,” “Balls To the Wall,” and “Up To the Limit” just as easily as the songs he recorded. His voice fit the tunes perfectly. Wolf Hoffman is such a monster guitarist as well. I knew he was brilliant, but his abilities truly shine live. It was also nice seeing him and other remaining original member bassist Peter Baltes having such a good time. Though this was the last night of the tour, if you ever see Accept listed at your local concert venue, you must see them!
Just a little bit into their set I got a text from my buddy Mike from Final Curse saying he was there. He came over to where I was for a little bit, but he disappeared again. We reconnected just before the show ended and he went out with me to check on AJ again. He didn’t believe me when I told her she was there. She said she was feeling some better, but still not up for going inside. Since Kreator was the last band, and I had seen them before I told her if she needed to leave just text and I would leave even if they weren’t done. She said she should be fine. Mike and I went back towards the club because one of the Tremont staff asked for us not to hang out back around the buses, which was fine. We caught up on things, ran into the Avalon Steel twins, a couple of other folks I see regularly at shows including John, then headed back inside. Since I didn’t spend any money on tickets I bought a couple of shirts, then we made our way over to our spots again.
Kreator took the stage and destroyed the place with such ferocity. I saw them back in 2007 with Exodus and was very impressed with them (it was my first time,) but they were even better this time. There wasn’t a single song in their list that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, and they kept the energy going that Accept started in me going strong (though again I had to sit out a few songs.) Tremont never really filled up like it had a few nights before for Down (and it wasn’t as big a crowd that night as I had anticipated) the crowd was greatly reduced from Accept to Kreator. I guess since the bands are essentially totally removed from the other musically that would explain that, and as was discussed with my new-found Accept fans, it was shocking that Accept didn’t end the show as it made more sense they would be more known in the area than Kreator. But even if the numbers had dwindled some, they still got a great reception, and had a pretty decent pit going. If you’re a fan of this band and not seen them live, do yourself a favor and rectify that if and when they come to your area.
Much like at the Down show, the crowd gave me great respect and courtesy, and Jeff Clayton was working the door again, and I made a point to shake his hand this time. Despite the odd packaging of this tour musically speaking, in the end it worked out perfectly. I was satisfied with all three bands, and crutched away a happy, if tired, man having crossed off another favorite band of mine from the list of bands to see live, even if Accept wasn’t even on that list. So glad they came to this area, and I hope that with the response they got they’ll keep coming back. So until next time my peep’s: Too many things happened today. Too many words I don’t wanna say. I wanna be cool but the heat’s coming up. I’m ready to kill ’cause enough is enough.