On The Road With Swallow The Sun - North America Tour 2012

Event: Kreator + Accept: Teutonic Terror Attack Tour
Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: 02.10.2012

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Swallow The Sun - North America, September 2012 by D.T. Metal (23)
The "North American Teutonic Terror Attack - 2012" tour featured no other than Swallow The Sun as direct support for two German titans, Kreator and Accept. While the Finns had toured our country before [mainly with bands close to their own genre], I really didn't know how the headliner's fans would react to their material.

On assignment to cover Swallow The Sun, I actually took a little mini-vacation and flew out to the West-Coast; so this review is a little re-cap of three shows in all. And no, I did not fly across the country just to watch Swallow The Sun multiple times, but rather to visit with my buddies from Kreator for a couple days.

Englewood, CO - Gothic Theater


Pretty good venue; capacity of 1200 or so, but unfortunately attendance was not even close to that mark. Actually, a shame for such a great tour package, and I will almost bet that the two headliners will play at their "usual" venue [Bluebird Theater] next time around.

Quick rant on door times, and this actually happened more than once during this tour. The time on the ticket stub did not match the actual show time, hence, more often than not, Swallow The Sun started playing either right when doors opened, or like 15 minutes thereafter.

In Colorado we had a local opener; Denver's own Kill Syndicate. Odd choice, but those who already made their way into the club apparently thought this was a good fit. So, since people were already in the venue for Kill Syndicate, the Finns didn't have to play for an empty house, and everybody really got into their set.

Swallow The Sun pretty much played the same songs throughout the tour. "Emerald Forest And The Blackbird", "Hate, Lead The Way", "Psychopath's Lair", "Cathedral Walls" and "Swallow (Horror Pt.1)"; with the last not always being played. [because of one reason or another]

Since they were touring for and promoting their latest release, Emerald Forest And The Blackbird, it was no surprise that most of the songs played came from said album. And while I still like their older stuff maybe a smidge better, their new album sure is growing on me. Apparently not just me, since the crowd response was really good that night.



Seattle, WA - El Corazon


The show was originally booked at a bigger place [Showbox], but then changed a couple days after the tour announcement to the small and cramped El Corazon. Now don't get me wrong, not saying it's a bad venue, it's just a weird venue, divided into two sides. One room has the stage and all, while the other room has a bar, which is of course off limits to the under 21 crowd. In other words, if you want to enjoy an adult beverage during a show, you are shit out of luck and have to watch the stage on monitors in the bar area.

There was no local opener in Seattle, but by the time Swallow The Sun hit the stage, a sizable amount of people were already inside El Corazon. While most were standing in line to buy some merch, a few die-hards did occupy the area in front of the stage.

The band's driver and I were actually standing smack in the middle and guitarist Juha Raivio tried to make funny faces for us throughout most of their set. Hilarious! Keyboardist Aleksi Munter was just as vibrant as I remembered him, and even though he cut his hair, it didn't stop him from head-banging like the good 'ol days. Looks kinda weird, but hey, who am I to judge, the man had the time of his life on stage.

Since the new songs are really heavy [and notable] in regards of the keyboard, it was a real pleasure to watch Aleksi go to work on his instrument. And on that note, the same has to be said for the drum parts.

Kai Hahto, who also drums for Wintersun, did an outstanding job each and every time I watched Swallow The Sun. He is not just an awesome drummer, but also does double duty on this tour, as the drumtech for Kreator's beast, Ventor. [long story short; they had a tech; he got fired; Kai took over; the end]



Portland, OR - Roseland Theater


Since the drive from Seattle to Portland isn't all that long, we ended up partying way too much in Seattle; hence we had to sleep it off and therefore made it to Portland by late afternoon. A little too late for my taste, since I had an interview scheduled with the band.

I texted Aleksi and was informed that he and vocalist Mikko Kotamäki were sitting outside a bar, right next to Voodoo Doughnuts. Score, ... combine the interview with a trip to get some doughnuts so I thought not. Holy hell, that place was busy and I bet there were about 100 plus people in line to get into the store. Upon further review, we decided to have a beer with the guys instead and do the interview right then and there. [link will follow]

While we did socialize with the Swallow The Sun dudes the night prior, it was nice to just casually sit there and talk, not just [drunken] non-sense, but also music. Mikko, who also sings for Barren Earth, told us, that since Kreator is going to be part of the 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise, they will have to find a replacement for guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö for their upcoming tour in Europe. So, all you Barren Earth fans out there, keep your eyes open for a tour announcement.

And on that note, Swallow The Sun would really like to be part of the cruise as well; either Barge To Hell or 70000 Tons Of Metal, they don't care. I was specifically asked to let everybody know; flood the internet, the message boards, the forums and anything else you can think of, so that they might get asked to join the cruise. There, done my duty.



On with the gig. The Roseland Theater is actually really nice, with the main room upstairs and a smaller bar-type setting downstairs; thankfully the show was upstairs. Since ticket sales apparently weren't all that stellar here either, they divided the room with metal barricades; one side for the over 21 folks, the other side for the kiddos or those who didn't have a drink.

We did miss the local opener and by the time Swallow The Sun came on stage, the room had filled quite nicely. This was also the only date I actually brought my camera; so all pictures are from the Roseland Theater.

"Emerald Forest And The Blackbird" was once again the set opener and I don't know if Mikko felt melancholic that day, but somehow he sang the song with much more feeling than on prior dates.

When "Hate, Lead The Way" was played, I actually took a minute off from photographing to just plain rock out and head-bang. This is by far my favorite song off the new album and I am so glad Swallow The Sun decided to include this in their set-list.

Upon returning behind my lens, I noticed that bassist Matti "Horgath" Honkonen must have felt the same way, since he was rocking out as well. And not just Matti, but second guitarist Markus Jämsen had the time of his life as well. Shit, by the time the song was half way through, the entire room was cheering, clapping and head-banging with the band.



The more doomish "Psychopath's Lair" brought things back into perspective and a lot of fans did like this song from the bnads 2005 release Ghosts Of Loss. As soon as the intro to "Cathedral Walls" came out of the speakers it was time for me to leave the photo pit and enjoy the rest of the show from the audience.

While I still think this song is very radio friendly [for Swallow The Sun that is], it nevertheless kicks ass live. And to the old geezers that just came to watch Accept: check it out dudes, show some respect for a touring band and don't tell them to get off the stage and keep on chanting another band's name.

Unfortunately Swallow The Sun could not do their entire set this evening, but since I already saw them twice before, it really didn't matter to me.

All in all, this was a very nice trip and I can't wait for Swallow The Sun to come back over here. And before some of you will bitch for NOT writing something about Kreator or Accept patience grasshoppers this was a review JUST for the Finns; the Germans shall be next.


Thanks to Liz over at Earsplit PR for being ... well, just awesome as usual.
As well as to Taz for giving us VIP passes to all the shows.
And last but certainly not least, to the Swallow The Sun guys.
We had so much fun and can't wait for you dudes to return to our shores! KIPPIS



 



Written on 02.10.2012 by
D.T. Metal
Editor-in-Chief

Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
More articles by D.T. Metal ››




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Array - 03.10.2012 at 23:55  
Really nice stuff to read. Looking forward to the next episode (and the Nightwish in Denver, in case there's coming such thing).
BitterCOld - 04.10.2012 at 21:16  
Awesome report, love both Seattle and Portland, and yeah, there is NEVER a short line for voodoo.
D.T. Metal - 05.10.2012 at 17:27  
Written by Array on 03.10.2012 at 23:55

Really nice stuff to read. Looking forward to the next episode (and the Nightwish in Denver, in case there's coming such thing).

LOL,...yes its comming. Out of town for a wedding right now, so looks for it next week ;-)
Array - 05.10.2012 at 17:37  
Written by D.T. Metal on 05.10.2012 at 17:27

LOL,...yes its comming. Out of town for a wedding right now, so looks for it next week ;-)

The secret wedding of the Nightwish boys and a new vocalist?
WorpeX - 06.10.2012 at 01:44  
Saw the show in philly. Really only went to see StS (Stayed for Accept too, but left after them)! I was not disappointed! They had a great performance! My only really gripe is that the audience was not as large for them as I was hoping. Oh well. SWALLOW WAS FANTASTIC LIVE!!! Even the Thrash fans loved this one.

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