Watain, In Solitude, Tribulation - Rickshaw Theater, Vancouver, BC - 22 Oct 2013
|Event:||Watain: The Wild Hunt North American Tour 2013|
|Written by:||D.T. Metal|
Watain, In Solitude, Tribulation - Rickshaw Theater, Vancouver, Canada - 22 Oct 2013 by D.T. Metal (59)
It started in Denver, led me to Seattle before crossing the (überstupid) border into Canada and ended, back on US soil, in Portland, Oregon. "The Wild Hunt" is done; great success, tons of fun, lots of memories and luckily I didn't catch the "Uppsala Flu" like some of my travel companions. Watain, In Solitude AND Tribulation on one bill? Holy (or unholy?) crap, now this sure was a line-up to my liking.
Denver, CO, and for it being the middle of October, it was actually a nice day, sunshine and all. Tribulation thought so as well and after dropping their gear off at the venue, they had a little stroll through the streets of downtown. Touring bands very rarely get the opportunity to actually do some sightseeing, kudos to them for doing so since this was their first ever North American tour as well. "Spinal Tap" moment - the gig was at the Marquis Theater but they dropped their gear off at the Summit Music Hall - priceless. No big deal, the venues are two blocks apart.
Anyway, Tribulation were by far the biggest surprise to everyone, regardless of venue, and the crowd response to them was phenomenal. The guys told me that they really appreciate the North American audience. Quote from Johannes Andersson (bass/vocals): "When we play at home, people usually show up late to see the headliner. Here, we arrive at a venue and there are already fans lined up, hours before doors, and they get right up front, rocking out with us". Very true statement and I did hear only praise for the Swedes afterwards.
Even though the band has been around for quite some time now, they only have two full-length albums under their belt, so it was to no surprise that the set-list contained mostly songs off their 2013 release The Formulas Of Death. Those familiar with the album do probably agree that Tribulation changed their style with this one. While it still has a somewhat death'ish undertone, it's nowhere as brutal as their 2009 debut The Horror and I actually like their new material somewhat better. Judge for yourself, buy the thing, or if you are a cheapskate, at least check it out on YouTube. Regardless, they kicked ass and a little birdie told me that they will be back in North America sooner rather than later.
SETLIST: (not in order - out of memory)
When The Sky Is Black With Devils
Beyond The Horror
Wanderer In The Outer Darkness
In Solitude - wow - again, just in case you don't know what I meant - wow. Well, that about sums it up, moving on. Kidding aside, those dudes are getting better and better each time I see them. I still remember the first time I saw them, back in 2011 when my buddy Kirk was in town with Down. That very distinctive intro (listen here: taken from Sister Irene O'Connor Fire of Gods Love) made its way into the backstage area and everyone said: "go and check them out, they are really good".
Upon walking toward the stage, I saw this kid by the stone wall in the Summit Music Hall and I thought he might be taking the pointy edge off his guitar pick … nahhh - there he was, Pelle, with this fury little fox scarf around his neck and he was rubbing his knuckles on the wall until they were bloody. My first thought was: oh great, another scene band out of Sweden, but to my surprise, or better yet pleasure, they blew me away that night. Fast forward to October 2013 and gone is the fox around his neck, it's now neatly attached to a drum riser, the intro is still entrancing and In Solitude didn't just step it up a notch, nope, they are on top of their game.
The band just released their third full length album, Sister, and even with the limited playing time, they managed to play three songs off the new piece and all were received very, very well by the audience. I don't know if it is the smell of the burning incent which brings me back to a time long gone, but nevertheless, the music In Solitude is playing just does something to my "nostalgic" meter. Don't get me wrong, they still shred hard and heavy, but with soul per se.
Hearing the rolling guitars in "Sister" live is awesome to say the least and "Lavender" (both songs are from their new album) has a somewhat Seventies vibe too it. I am even venturing that far as that the whole Sister album is much more "mellow" than 2011's The World. The Flesh. The Devil. While both albums have their strengths, I really dig their new one; it's heavy metal with a twist.
Well, a band has to progress, as a band itself and musically, to make a difference within the sea of their given genre. I believe In Solitude did just that and I am already looking forward to their return.
SETLIST: (not in order and maybe not complete)
To Her Darkness
A Buried Sun
We Were Never Here
Watain was once again headlining over here; as a matter of fact, last year's Decibel Magazine Tour (featuring Behemoth as the closer) was the only time I have seen them in a support slot on a tour in North America. So needless to say I was more than ready and stocked to hear a longer set from the Swedes. Touring in support of their newest opus, The Wild Hunt, Watain forwent their usual stage props (where prior permitted) and instead brought a whole different set-up this time around. In all fairness, this statement pertains to the shows I have been too; I know in some cities the 'ol pig or goat heads were used.
Anyways, Watain did step up their production this time around. The "altar" was still used, alongside two cauldrons and the upside down cross props in the front of the stage, but the tall three pronged devils forks and the logo banners were omitted on this run. Instead the stage was flanked by two large (and tall) displays which housed several "objects" close to the band and their beliefs - let's keep it at that. Depending on the decision of the fire marshal in each city, the band was allowed to use fire on stage. Sometimes they were only allowed to use candles on the altar (in Denver) but at other venues we got the whole shebang.
The Denver show, even though pre-sales were not that promising, actually turned out to be really good and the Seattle show was a mad house as well. It's always nice returning to Studio Seven and the hospitality of the owners and their staff is kick-ass. Drunk as a skunk would be an understatement - feeling like crap the next day on our way to Vancouver, BC. Unfortunately, Watain's bassist Alvaro could not make the trek into the "Great White North" because of …. oh Canada once again.
In prior years, the turn-around time for a Chilean national to obtain a working visa for Canada was about 2 days. Well, apparently the Canucks decided this was way too short and now the procedure takes some 30 plus days - of course unbeknown to anybody involved. Crap, but at least the Vancouver fans got to see Erik on bass at the Rickshaw Theater and I looked forward to this as well. Gee, the last time I saw him on bass was in 2008 I believe and Alvaro was actually playing guitar during that tour. Wow, time flies.
Speaking of guitar, once again, their regular dude Set was not allowed to enter the United States and the band was forced to use a touring guitarist. While I did enjoy watching Selim (The Devil's Blood) on their last two tours, I was extremely pleased with their choice this time around; Degial's axe-crusher Hampus. Dear lord (or satan, or goat, or … whatever rocks your boat) - the dude can shred; nice! Unfortunately he didn't finish the tour since Degial was preparing for their own stint in Europe, so In Solitude's Gottfrid took over for the last couple of days.
Performance wise Watain did not disappoint and mixed the old with the new songs quite well. Big surprise in Seattle was that they played, which was a last minute decision, "Casus Luciferi", since I saw the set-list before hand and it was NOT on there. Sweet. They managed to play 5 songs off the new album The Wild Hunt and I was positively surprised that the title track made it into their set-list. With it being one of the slower and doom'ish songs on the album I didn't know how the "elitists" would react to it, but everyone seemed to like it just as much as I do. If I remember right the only song Watain played off their 2000 debut album Rabid Death's Curse was "On Horns Impaled", but I could be mistaken.
In all it was a great tour, awesome line-up, and each band gave their 110% every night. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, the tour is over, but have no fear - they all WILL return so make a point of attending one of their shows in a city near you.
SETLIST: (to the best of my memory and def out of order)
Storm Of The Antichrist
Casus Luciferi (in Seattle)
The Wild Hunt
All That May Bleed
Sworn To The Dark
On Horns Impaled
The Serpent's Chalice
Written on 02.11.2013 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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