Black clouds gathered over Aelo Tour 2010. Figuratively and literally. Out of 10 gigs scheduled for Poland, 4 were cancelled due to obvious reasons. The other ones, in turn, were under question thanks to volcanic ashes produced in a beautifully named place - Eyjafjöll. Massive Music, the booking & promotional agency, seriously hesitated whether to cancel the tour.
"e;We were close to canceling whole tour, for we had already reprinted the tickets three times, because of the mourning and the funeral. When it turned out that also this time their flight was not sure, we had serious concerns whether there was anything we could do. The bands, as well as the stuff, had been waiting for the decision, the bus had been ready to go for 3 days."e;
At last, the tour happened, its first stop after 35-hour journey from Athens being MegaClub at Katowice. I was not in a hurry on my way from Kraków (greetings for the nice traffic policemen in Dąbrowa Górnicza) – for a concert in this country can not start at due time sharp.
This one did – and that's for what the organizer earns bravos.
For the sounding, in turn – he earns bashing. Though they say it is just a MegaClub's charm.
The first band to appear on stage on Żelazna street was Strandhogg from Poznań. The most black-metal band this evening, slightly covered in corpsepaints, did not attract a huge audience. In front of the stage it was quite loosely, not to say – empty. Nevertheless, I liked it. The music was not complicated, aggressive, evil – just as a good black should be.
A moment later, after a quite fast equipment change, Naumachia played. I had been expecting the most sublime music of that night – unfortunately, I was disappointed. After the first, promising track, the rest (all of which were called 'the last ones') were all the same. I guess fans loved it. All I can remember from this gig is the song Centurion.
The biggest surprise of the event was the native, from-the-backyard, Crionics. Guys weren't lucky enough to get a good audio engineer, but the music defends itself. And that – it was the best of all evening. A dose of energetic sounds and steady rhythms made body swing positively. A group of people by the stage were swinging a bit more, and during the whole gig. The show was star-like, indeed – fancy Behemoth's dresses, music with a touch of Emperor's sound. For me there was one more big plus – the lightning. One barely notices it, to me, however, as a photographer, the value of the lightning was colossal.
Another shift – and a true musical roller drove onto the stage. Lost Soul run over the audience, crushing bones (with a massive sound) and ears (with an overdone sounding). Yes, I know it's metal. And you can play it only in one possible way - play it fuckin' loud!. Well, but don't overkill. However, to the inexhaustible group by the stage it made no difference. While I was watching guys from Wrocław, associations with Decapitated during Sauron's times came to my mind. A vast dose of deadly noise by the end, during 216, complemented the concert. The supports, thou there were four of them, passed quite fast, giving the floor to the Greeks. They appeared shortly after 10p.m. accompanied by Tyler Bates' 300 tune. Can't argue – the entrance was spectacular. The show begun with Aelo (how could it be different?), which put the audience in the exact mood for what was to come. It was by then, that MegaClub got crowded and it turned out that more than a few people came to the show. On the other hand, it was still less than you could expect taking fans coming from cancelled cities into consideration. The gig was dominated by tracks from Aelo (but I found Demonon Vrosis missing), but I guess it was not a surprise since the tour was named by the album. To me, the great absent of the evening was A Dead Poem – it's old warhorse, I get it, but one track could have appeared, just for propriety. Played as the only encore Non Serviam was a positive accent. The audience knew what's that about and the song gained a warm reaction. Again, audio-guy earns bashing for the lack of micro during the main star performance. When a sound breaks during Johnny's from the backyard gig, it's forgivable. But you could try a bit harder and don't come a cropper in front of a band that travelled 2,000km in a bus and has a 20-year stage experience. Just my thought....
Summa summarum – the concert was good. Not more, not less. From a band at this level you could expect more than 80 mins of playing (most of which was from one, their last record). Supports were for fans, in my opinion they could have been picked more accurately. Sounding – a minus. Beer – a minus (at the bar they poured it away 'cause the foam'). Ticket's price – a big plus. Let's admit: these days, for 35PLN, you can see only Johnny's from the backyard band.
Let me invite you to the Radio's website, too, where you can check out the concert's gallery.