Reviews – Live

Children of Bodom/The Black Dahlia Murder/Skeletonwitch @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, October 1, 2009

If there’s one band that fully deserves a “victory lap” tour, it’s Children of Bodom, who after a good dozen years plying their distinct brand of melodic extreme metal, is finally experiencing some significant success in North America. For most fans who live in the smaller centres, they best they could manage before was to catch Alexi Laiho and his booze-fueled band of flashy Finns as part of a package tour, be it the Unholy Alliance or Gigantour, which usually meant a measly eight or nine songs, maximum, and when a band has six studio albums under their belts, it’s tough to get some variety. So the venue was packed with fans hoping to get a huge dose of the old stuff, and that’s exactly what Bodom gave them.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop on the CoB/BDM/Skeletonwitch tour.

DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, September 25, 2009

About once a year we here in Saskabush are treated to a little variety by a reputable band that actually likes to sing every once in a while, and it’s always remarkable to witness the turnout. There’s a definite hunger for the melodic stuff out here, and judging by the big, lively crowd that packed the Odeon on this gorgeous early autumn night, yours truly wasn’t the only one who thought the double-bill of Guitar Heroes DragonForce and Finnish stars Sonata Arctica was a welcome deviation from the norm. Decked out in t-shirts that would otherwise be greeted with scorn at underground metal shows, these folks were out to get their wank on in a big way, and by night’s end, they sure got what they wanted.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop of the current DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn show – even after his promised reviewer’s pass wasn’t left at the door. Read the rest of this article to see if he got his $37 worth.

Down/Voivod @ Kool Haus, Toronto ON, Sept 18, 2009

With considerably less than a packed house at The Kool Haus, Down took no notice, and put on one hell of a show for the rabid Down fans that were in attendance. Despite the small mountain of contraband booze (among other substances) that piled up outside the entrance, the crowd were treeated to a set list that would make any long time fan of the band drool, including a wide range of songs from their 1995 debut scattered with selections from their two more recent albums.

Adam Wills and Sean Palmerston discuss last Friday’s Toronto performances by Down and Voivod

Nadja/Picastro @ the Tranzac, Toronto, ON, September 11, 2009

The lack of visual stimulation didn’t stop the audience from listing with rapt attention to the audio stimulation. They played what I believe was three songs (sometimes it’s a bit hard to tell when it’s an almost constant barrage of noise). I was pleasantly surprised how well the music translated into the live setting as I always wonder with this type of music, as on occasion it doesn’t work.

In Flames/Killswitch Engage/Protest the Hero/Between the Buried and Me @ Prairieland, Saskatoon, SK, September 13, 2009

Despite the fact that co-headliner In Flames was playing last on this night, the unforgiving concrete floor was packed with bodies in the moments before Killswitch took the stage, and the joint practically exploded when the five dudes kicked into the tasteful melodic metalcore of “My Last Serenade”, Jones and his rather flamboyant counterpart, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, leading the charge.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop on the current In Flames/Killswitch Engage tour. Howard Jones, we hope you are feeling better now!

Motorhead/Reverend Horton Heat/Nashville Pussy @ The House Of Blues, Boston, MA., September 6th, 2009

As fitting as all three bands were to the evening’s lineup, the honest-to-England truth was that there was only ONE band which could unite every Bostonian degenerate ‘n dreg on this evening. “Hello, we are Motorhead, and we play rock ‘n roll,” was the rallying cry, and no sooner was it uttered by bass assassin Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister then the capacity crowd went absolutely—and predictably—bananas.

(Photo Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007)