Monday, March 8, 2010

Rockin' Out: Kreator/Voivod/Nachtmystium @ Nokia Theatre 03/06/10

This past Saturday or Night #2 of what had come to be known as "Metal Weekend", focused around the Kreator/Voivod/Nachtmystium/Evile/Lazarus A.D. show at Nokia Theatre. Having already been blown away by Kix the night before, I was a little tired, but rapidly got more energy as showtime approached. Having seen Kreator live before, I knew full well that they would not disappoint and I was also excited to see Voivod and Nachtmystium as they are both bands that I am a big fan of, but had yet to see live. I have heard great things about both Evile and Lazarus A.D., but they unfortunately were going on way too early for my liking and the prospect of getting to Nokia Theatre 90 minutes earlier than already planned and paying $8 for beers the whole time was not very enticing.

First up was American black metallers Nachtmystium. Their album Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1 is not only one of the most interesting black metal albums I've heard in a while, but simply one of the most interesting metal albums period. My main problem with black metal is that there seems to be a lot of perceived rules about what the sound can be and I find most of the bands that stick to those rules to be rather boring. Fortunately, there seems to be a strong wave of bands pushing the boundaries of the genre and Nachtmystium is definitely at the forefront of that movement. The band only played for 30 minutes and by the time it felt like they were really ramped up, it was time for them to go. That being said, 30 minutes was better than nothing at all and I'd love to see this band headlining at some point, so I can hear a full set. It'd be interesting to see if they would get saxophones and other instruments involved in the live setting like they did on their last record, the aforementioned Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1.

Next up was the legendary Voivod. When I originally heard about this tour I was pretty excited at the prospect of seeing Voivod not only because they are frickin' Voivod, but because I thought Jason Newsted (Metallica, Flotsam and Jetsam) might be playing bass with them. Unfortunately, he is not doing this tour, but that wasn't a deal breaker for me. Now, I am definitely a fan of Voivod, but I'll admit to being pretty late to the game on this band. I haven't spent years listening to their albums religiously, so I'm not intimately familiar with their catalog. I do own 5 of their albums and like them all, so figured the show would be enjoyable. And what I saw of their set was definitely enjoyable even though the singer, Snake looked like he had been drinking as much as I had before they hit the stage. I did have to leave about 15 minutes into their set to relieve myself and refresh my beer and wound up getting sidetracked on my travels from the bathroom to the bar when I bumped into a bunch of people I knew. Shame on them for not being inside watching Voivod in the first place, but I have no one to blame but myself for opting to be a social butterfly and missing most of Voivod's set. I did at least catch their last song which was their excellent cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine". I'm not beating myself up too much for missing the bulk of their set though as I will actually get the opportunity to see them again this Saturday at the Scion Rock Fest in Columbus, OH. What I saw on Saturday was great and I look forward to (hopefully) catching a full set this upcoming Saturday.

Closing out the night was the mighty Kreator. Kreator is essentially the German version of Slayer and that either sounds awesome to you or terrible. I personally find it awesome and have for years ever since I was turned onto their classic 1989 album Extreme Aggression. What is interesting about Kreator is that their best efforts (in my opinion) have been their most recent material. Violent Revolution, Enemy Of God and Hordes Of Chaos were all released between 2001 and 2009 and all of them absolutely destroy which is an impressive feat for a band that released their first album 25 years ago.

At the ripe old age of 34, I am not much for maneuvering my way through mosh pits to get close to the stage anymore, but I got fired up enough during Kreator's set to do just that. My glasses were kicked off and momentarily lost on the floor at one point and my Blackberry was kicked out of my hand while I was trying to take one of the above pictures, but both were recovered unharmed, so no regrets about trying to pretend like I was a kid again. The band blazed through a set of classic material and newer stuff and since they don't have any ballads per se, it was just relentless.

Side note, at some point before my journey to the stage during Kreator's set, I did have a hilarious debate with an acquaintance of mine about what the t-shirt that the drummer of Kreator was wearing said. It was an acronym for something. He swore up and down that the last letter was "K", but I was convinced it was "R". He asked a few people around us and they all agreed with him, but I was undeterred in my stance that it was indeed a "R". I'm hoping a picture of the drummer pops up in a concert review on a metal website sometime this week with a nice clear pic of him, so I can either a) gloat when I'm proved right or b) pretend like I don't remember the argument if I'm wrong.

For two nights in a row this weekend, I saw two bands that many people probably consider "past their prime" absolutely smoke bands more than half their age. I definitely consider this "Metal Weekend" a smashing success and hope to have many more this year!

Nachtymystium "Your True Enemy"

Voivod "Astronomy Domine"

Kreator "Enemy Of God"

Kreator "Pleasure To Kill"

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