Arch Enemy At MacEwan Hall (02.02.2010) Calgary, Canada
|Event:||Arch Enemy + Exodus + Arsis|
|Written by:||Doc Godin|
Arch Enemy At MacEwan Hall - 02/02/2010 by Doc Godin (15)
The first band of the night was a charming little Fall Out Boy tribute band by the name of Mutiny Within. Despite being told otherwise by the 20 fans in the audience (probably relatives of the band, or possibly people hired by Roadrunner records to give the band some appearance of value), I'm still convinced their music was written by Fall Out Boy or Alexisonfire or My Chemical Romance or 30 Kisses To Sunrise (ok, that last one was made up, very convincing though, right?) Even when a band is playing some form of music I don't particularly understand, I generally turn to the audience to see how they're reacting, to judge if they are effectively entertaining the crowd or whatnot. The few people that showed up early to beat the line-ups or for some inconceivable reason couldn't find anything better to do seemed as unimpressed as I was. This was just mind-numbingly generic metalcore, which to most people over the age of 14, it's like prison rape for your ears. Bands like these are what is going to eventually drive this particular journalist to necessary heavy drinking and subsequently an early grave. If I ever have children and for some particular reason turn out to be a violently abusive father, it seems blaming this band would probably be the most logical course of action.
Both Arch Enemy and Exodus have stopped through Calgary quite frequently over the past few years, so for many, Arsis was the most anticipated on the bill. They went on stage, did their jobs well, and finished. Unfortunately there wasn't that much more to the set. The hardcore fans seemed quite satisfied with the performance, though there wasn't any extra push to convince the unfamiliar people in the audience of what a truly great band they are. The best way to describe the performance would be "safe" - no room for failure, but also nothing incredibly memorable about the performance itself. I suppose an act like that makes for an appropriate opener.
This was probably the only set of the night I would consider a disappointment. Mutiny Within? Well, no one was expecting much out of them, so no let down there. Arsis? Did well, met some expectations, didn't set a high bar for the night, but were still enjoyable. Now Exodus, I had seen this band once before in a smaller nightclub and the performance (although very similar) lost it's intensity in a larger venue such as MacEwan Hall. High energy thrash like Exodus needs to be as in-your-face as possible in order to achieve the true fury of their music, in a large room with plenty of breathing space something just didn't connect. Once again, the diehard fans in the audience would probably swear it in as the best performance of the night (as unreasonable fans of any band do), but the entire atmosphere was just far too tame for a band like Exodus.
Say what you will about this band, they know how to put on a great show, no questions asked. There was certainly no blowing the headliners off the stage this night. While unlike many other shows where the headliners get the edge of extra stage-set effects, Arch Enemy did it with no more than the other 3 bands did (save for maybe a spot light or two). As per the usual Arch Enemy headlining set, there was solo performances by Michael, Christopher and Daniel, just to remind everyone that they are in fact better than you at whatever instrument you so choose to play. To top it all off the set list was a definite crowd pleaser, all the anthems which warranted chanting along & fist pumping were played. Bitch all you want about the band not playing the unknown number which happens to be your favourite, concerts are about atmosphere, and there's no better atmosphere for a show than a thousand people all chanting in unison. Great performance, end of story.
*Photos courtesy of James Frayn Wilks
||Written on 19.02.2010 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.|
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