The Unholy Trinity in Paris
|Event:||Paradise Lost: 20th Anniversary|
|Written by:||Darkside Momo|
Paradise Lost: 20th Anniversary by Darkside Momo (30)
Sold out a month ago, this quite exceptional bill called 'The Unholy Trinity' stopped here in Paris for a show in the Bataclan venue. This is the first of two shows planned for the 20th anniversary of Paradise Lost, and the opening bands they chose are no other than the rest of the 'Peaceville Three', namely Anathema and My Dying Bride. Yes, we're speaking of the three progenitors of the British doom/death metal.
The Bataclan is a cosy venue, with a good security crew who know how to react to a metal crowd (that's not the case everywhere here in France, trust me). However the sound was not always great, especially on the balconies it seems. There were also mixing problems, as with My Dying Bride's drums which were really too loud at first. But, all in all, it wasn't that terrible when you were in front of the stage.
7 p.m., it's time to start with Anathema. As always, they gave everything, even more than usual. For those of you who haven't seen Anathema yet because they're not that metal now, I'll just say that: go see them on stage and change your mind! All songs are much more powerful and intense (except maybe for such antiques like Sleepless), and of course the emotions are magnified. Like when many, many fans sing One Last Goodbye… The band even let the fans do all the singing on the last parts of the song!
At the very start of their set, Vinnie stated that, for this special show, they would play a song from each of their albums; of course the crowd happily cheered in response. But did they? Fact is, no, because there where no songs from A Fine Day To Exit… However, it's sure the setlist was good, if somewhat classical; it's also worth noting that the songs sounded more like the Hindsight versions that like the original ones, most notably on Angelica and A Natural Disaster. On this last song, Lee Douglas finished the singing all alone, with no other instruments, and she is impressive, really confident now.
And so, a really good show from a band that gave everything, and the audience responded in kind. A proof? Danny Cavanagh, at the very end of their set, jumped in the photographers' pit, and went crowdsurfing a bit! This astonished (and pleased) everyone, even Vinnie who said 'Oh, la vache !' (translate by 'oh fuck!' or 'oh my God!').
A Natural Disaster
One Last Goodbye
A Dying Wish
Shroud Of False
Next came My Dying Bride. There was a real contrast here with Anathema, the mood suddenly going much more heavy, dark, and tragic. With all musicians not moving much, the show was as always in Aaron Sainthorpe's hands. And well, what else to say that he was equal to himself, acting like in a tragedy, living his songs and somehow being an incarnation of all the suffering he speaks about? Because of this, and of the slow and heavy kind of metal they play, My Dying Bride live is definitely a 'take it or leave it' affair. Of course, most people in the audience here took it completely, hypnotised, mesmerised by Aaron.
Of course, the other musicians did their part here, especially Katy, the new keyboardist/violinist, who is much more at ease now, and I don't think she made any mistakes (at Hellfest, her first show, she did one or two). And the lights were just great, nicely chosen to complement the different moods.
For those who saw them at Hellfest, the setlist (or at least three quarters of it) didn't hold any surprises. But then, after The Snow In My Hand, Aaron said that they would now play the very first song they ever wrote together. So we were in for a startling piece of really heavy death metal: Vast Choirs. That sure was a brutal change, and a good surprise !
Here In The Throat
The Songless Bird
From Darkest Skies
And I Walked With Them
The Cry Of Mankind
The Snow In My Hand
The Dreadful Hours
And finally… The headliner Paradise Lost, who delivered a quite classical show. Powerful, good, as PL as you can get, but we certainly expected something a bit more original…
However it wasn't completely devoid of surprises. The first one was Greg Mackintosh's attitude: I never saw him so happy to play! He was singing all along, cheering the crowd, and indeed smiling a lot of times. This was even more visible, when you saw Nick Holmes just next to him, who was as aloof as usual.
The next surprises were in the setlist. While quite classical itself, with many anthems (who said As I Die?) and no songs from the Host, Believe In Nothing or Lost Paradise albums, it featured two rarities: Remembrance (from Icon) and Elusive Cure (from Draconian Times). It was really, really nice, but I could have used a few more rare songs like these!
While I really enjoyed their show (Greg Mackintosh's contagious enthusiasm certainly helped), there were two little problems. First, the new drummer (I didn't get his name) made a few mistakes. To his credit, he only had less than a month to learn all the songs. The second little thing that bothered me were the lights: past the first three songs (when 'official' photographers are in their pit) the lights were really scarce and not that well timed (and this also explains why I have so few PL pics).
Never For The Damned
Ash And Debris
Say Just Words
The Last Time
N.B.: Embers Fire wasn't played, but it was originally planned. On the setlist the song is named, but there are stickers on the name to hide it.
Sadly, there were no real surprises this evening, no musicians playing with other bands for example. It would have been great, for example Lee Douglas could have sung on Erased or Gothic, that would have been much more interesting than simple samples. Apart from this, this evening was a good one, as the three bands played good shows to a (of course) really receptive audience.
||Written on 05.10.2008 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.|
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