It was a really long trip from the capital city, Caracas, to Maracay, another important city of Venezuela. After 16 years of musical career, Dark Tranquillity for the first time played live in Venezuela. People from all around the country gathered in this city of boredoom to concentrate in an acoustic shell for almost 12 hours; they had been traveling for almost 2 days to get to Maracay on sunday. Maracay is just another hot city in this tropical country, the heat was just unbearable at any time.
The Concert was expected to start at 7:00 pm, but as usual, here in Venezuela, they say an hour and it's 3 hours later. Outside the shell, waiting, in line you could hear that they were testing the drumset, guitars, amps and keyboards at 6:00 pm. Also waiting in line, it started to rain a little bit. Really dark clouds were moving around the city. After waiting outside for 6 hours, and sometimes under the rain, finally the line started to move, at 9:00 pm we got into the shell. It was in a open place, the only roof available was on stage (obviously not for the crowd) and under the roof of "Dimmu Burger" (Yes, "Burger").
At 9:30 pm, the rain was heavier, so they had to stop for some minutes the preparations for the opening bands. After the rain stopped they mopped and settled everything. Adh Seidh was the band to start the show, and hell what a horrible band. Black Metal was what they were trying to play. They were just a horrible imitation of Cradle and Dimmu. You could hear the copied riffs and gurutal voices of Dani. The Cello was just like if didn´t existed. The female vocalist, trying to imitate Jezabel, was a reason to leave the place for a moment and just listen to the noise of the city. It was horrible, when the male vocalist (that was tired by the fifth song, no projection, no preparation to sing for more than 15 min) finally said they were leaving, people got up and clapped for the good news, (including myself).
Then we had to wait 45 more minutes for the second band, Emptiness. They were better than the first band but no what I wanted to see in a concert of Dark Tranquillity. More Death Metal, Melodic Death Metal to be exact, this was the second time I saw them live, in Divine Empire they were just as annoying as this show too. The vocalist didn´t even introduced the band (disrespect to the audience) like if we all know who they are. They played 5 songs as far as I remember, the presentation of the band was mediocre, the positions of the members was a mix and a total disaster. I can only recognize two true talents: the drummer and the rhytmic guitar. The guitar solos were clean and without a hearable mistake. There was a moment in the third song they all got lost for almost 15 seconds. Finally after hearing bad jokes and stupid comments from the vocalist the band finally ended with a song that was "better" than the others. Those 2 bands must be proud to open the show for Dark Tranquillity, but I, and more people were embarrased.
After this, I moved from the back of the crowd where I was sitting and I walked to the front. It was midnight now. After hearing " one, one, one, up, UP, This one, no, not that one, this one!" in Spanish and in English for 45 minutes with every single microphone in stage, guitar and amps, lights went on, The crowd started to yell, Mikael Stanne was the first one to run side to side on stage, then Michael Nicklasson with arms opened yelling, Anders Jivarp walked straight to the drumset, Martin Brändström walked with no emotion just looking forward to where the keyboards were, Niklas Sundin and Martin Henriksson entered looking at the crowd yelling something and looking fo their respectives guitars. People were just elated, the exciment was amazing they started playing "The One Brooding Warning" in that song people started to get violent because of the exciment, the security guys were holding back people away from the stage (6 guys plus a rope and some little plastic tubes, for God´s sake that does not even hold sheeps!).
At the end of the first song, Mikael said with a really nice tone to the crowd to please step back, to step away from the stage, the crowd did as so. Then in the second song, madness was released. The moshpit was too big and they pushed straight to the stage, the ropes broke and the plastic tubes too, people jumped into stage and pulled Mikael and Niklas while they were playing. Security act right away (different from what I expected, I thought they were just going to beat the crap out of the people too near and up in the stage, no, this time they used large quantities of pepper spray). Mikael even inhaled the pepper spray. When I saw that the ropes broke I instantly stepped away from the stage as far as I could, (I didn´t want to get beaten again like my last concert). For more that a tried to step back I inhaled pepper spray. After the chaos was a bit calmed, Mikael warned the people to calm down or they were going to leave.
People stepped back again, and for the last time we got warned (obedient public, huh?) Never again someone jumped to stage (except one imbecile that jumped on like 5 songs before the concert was over, he got pushed of the stage so brutally by security, and the crowd that was supossed to hold his fall, steped aside and the guy stamped his face against the concrete floor, then the people around kicked the guy until he ran away. A way to demonstrate obedience). Dark Tranquillity seemed that was having as much fun as we did, in fact; more. They were enjoining every song, every riff, every chorus, every clap, every solo, every girl that screamed "fuck me Mikael", every guy that yelled "Dark Tranquillity rules". They played at leat, 22 songs, that out of those 5 were from "Character". These songs the crowd didn´t sing along with Mikael because not everyone had heard the album, but the songs from "Damage Done" "Projector" Where sung so loud, and it was so good. I sang every song I could remember, We sang every "eeeh ooohh" that Mikael asked us to do, when Michael moved his arms along with the music the crowd screamed and yelled, when Niklas and Martin did solos it was pure energy.
At 2:45 am Mikael said that they were suppossed to leave, but they didn´t want to, they played 7 more songs. While one of those 7 songs was starting, I got dizzy while I drank soda (no, I didn´t like those beers they had) I couldn´t swallow nor breathe well (Damn pepper spray!) I ran to the back, where there was no people, while Dark Tranquillity played "Still Moving Sinews" I had to stay on the back untill the end of the concert (Damn!) At the end of the concert although people were tired, we still wanted more. But they had been playing for 3 and a half hours. In the last song, Mikael and Michael grabbed hands (Venezuelan people do not miss a chance to make fun out of it!)They said goodbay with a promise of coming back, thanking us for being an excellent public (despite the problem with the pepper spray).
Then Mikael Stanne walked near the public touching hands, Michael too. Anders, finally got out of his monstrous drumset and walked to the public (Really, damn pepper spray!) Niklas in the exciment jumped to the public, what a mess, people didn´t want to let him go back to the stage, security had to pulled him up, so as Mikael. The band dissmised at 3:17 am and I was in the back, breathing really deep for not to pass out, my neck was completely destroyed I had to hold my head with one hand while trying to drink water. I had no voice, no energy, but this concert was worth the trip from my city, waiting, getting wet, bearing the heat, horrible bands, the sweat of other people, the pushing and pulling and hiting from the moshpits. Dark Tranquillity is excellent in concert and I will never forget it, the night I saw an incredible band from Sweden playing live in My Home Country.