Arch Enemy In Calgary - Sep 19, 2011
|Event:||Arch Enemy: North American Khaos Tour 2011|
|Written by:||Doc Godin|
Arch Enemy in Calgary Sep 19, 2011 by Doc Godin (12)
When Arch Enemy hits town, you know it's going to be a sweet show. Very few bands can consistently hit the same towns on such a frequent basis, and still manage to bring in a sizable crowd like Arch Enemy do. The shows are just built well from the ground up; you've got a confident headliner, a reliably solid direct support (Exodus last year, Devildriver this year), and some opening bands actually worth showing up early for (Arsis last year, Chthonic & Skeletonwitch this year.)
...TL;DR version: Always a good time.
As with most Arch Enemy shows, there's always at least one opener worth turning your head for. Last year it was Arsis, this year it's Chthonic. Though probably not what you'd consider the highlight of the evening (unless it was the band you specifically came to see), they still managed to pull in a respectable crowd for an opening act. With nothing but a few light changes for stage effects, the band managed to put on a fairly engaging performance. In any other venue it would have been absolutely killer. However, shows are about 60% performance, 40% crowd energy. The hall size being what it is left too much breathing room to be anything too explosive. Good none the less.
Much like Toxic Holocaust or Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch's music is of the stripped-down visceral variety that's built to stomp in some asses live. As with those other two bands, they're a band which also loses power in a hall too big. Let's not be mistaken, the performance was damn near flawless, the 2 new tracks fitting seamlessly into the rest of set, but experience is everything. Skeletonwitch is definitely an up-close-and-personal style band, best when there's minimal oxygen and the concept of personal hygiene is left at the door. For those pampered wusses out their who enjoy their personal space and not breathing in someone else' beer sweats, this would have been an ideal show.
Now here's a band that are professionals when it comes to stage work. When you buy tickets to a show with Devildriver, you know their going to put both ass cheeks into the performance. The shows was 100% kickass in the sense that A) the performance was fantastic, as usual, and B) the crowd was ecstatic. Unfortunately, when it comes to professionals, the result is frequently predictable. A person who is either a big fan of the group, or seeing them live for the first time should feel blown away by a performance like this. However, if you are a casual fan, and survived a Devildriver pit or two before, chances are it all seems pretty routine by now.
Like Devildriver, Arch Enemy are professionals when it comes to putting on a great show; you pay $20-$40 for a ticket, you get $50-$80 worth of great metal fun. Unlike Devildriver, these Swedes always manage to impress even someone as horribly jaded and easily bored as myself. What is it? Who the hell knows. It's like watching Braveheart, no matter how many times you've seen it, that one scene where Mel Gibson is giving that epic speech before going off to ruin peoples shit always manages to put a slight tingle up your spine. Arch Enemy should always be considered a live act first and foremost. Case in point? Even the songs off of the latest album Khaos Legions sounded absolutely righteous here, despite being an album that seemed to only bring yawns from across the board. "No Gods, No Masters" was actually one of the high points of the evening. 4th time in 6 years experiencing Arch Enemy live, and I have yet to be left unimpressed.
Photos courtesy of Emily Harris
||Written on 10.10.2011 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.|
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