Amon Amazing

0

Well, WordPress sucks dick. I just wrote a whole review of the show and it didn’t save my draft. So here it is again.

Aside from having a blast with IZM, I was set to have another blast with the Amon Amarth show in Israel.

On July 27, my husband removed the baby car seat from the back of the car, we picked up three of our Jerusalem metalhead friends, and dived into the so-humid-it’s-virtually-a-pool weather of Tel Aviv. The venue was small for the likes of Amon Amarth, but was bigger than I expected. The size of the stage and the way the crowd piled up all the way to the edge of it indicated that there would likely be no pyro-techs.

DSC03481

In a previous post, I wrote that there is no way that the band could reproduce the awesomemess of their Wacken performance, and I was right. But I also wrote that they would still deliver a kickass show, and I was right about that too.

The two performances cannot be compared – we’re talking about a gigantic stage in the open air with tens of thousands of German metalheads thrashing around, versus a small scale show, a small stage in a closed venue, with around 1100 people crammed inside, drenched in sweat.

But it’s Amon Amarth we’re talking about and they deliver. Johan’s vocals are second to none, the guitars and the melodies reproduced EXACTLY as they are in the records, with no stupid alterations of the solos as many artists tend to do in their live shows, no useless longass speeches between songs – only blasts of song after song after song, that kept me headbanging till my neck went limp, and screaming till my throat became all bloody.

I was delirious with joy. Every once in a while, when a song ended or began, I found myself laughing hysterically out of sheer pleasure. I was screaming, pumping fists, throwing up metal horns, and headbanging myself silly. I noticed a girl standing in front of me, looking back at me every once in a while with an expression that said “what the fuck are you doing?”

Well, to answer your question, I AM HEADBANGING MY BRAINS OUT, BITACH! How is it that you’re NOT?! Are you hearing this?!

So yes, Amon Amarth has that effect on me. And no lack of fireworks, or presence of a roof, or so much sweat on my face that my hair stuck to it, could ever change that.

DSC03479

The best thing about it, as my husband said, was the fact that after such a long time of being out of the metal scene, we were finally back in. With my pregnancy and the birth of our daughter, we couldn’t afford to have a night of good old sweaty screamy thrashy metal show like we’re used to. We attempted to go to metal shows and metal nights when I was pregnant, but I kept being paranoid about the cigarette smoke and the loud music that could harm my baby. And we simply could not enjoy the show. And now we’re back, and we went back into it with a live version Pursuit of the Vikings. Fucking A!

Peace, love and metalheads forever!

Advertisements

Vikings Take Over the Holy Land

0

FB_IMG_1490283784349Amon Amarth is coming to Israel.

Read it again.

AMON AMARTH IS COMING TO ISRAEL!!

When I got the Facebook invite to the show, I thought it was yet another group that WANTS Amon Amarth to come. Just like there is a Rammstein one and plenty of others I’m sure. But then I saw a time and place and thought it must be a tribute. But no one would come to a tribute concert of Amon Amarth. Tributes are usually for bands that would draw a bigass crowd like Death, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Slayer, Motorhead…

So when it finally hit me that this is for real – the real band, an actual show, in my country – I nearly cried. My husband was sleeping, my daughter was dozing on my lap, so I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted to do which was to jump to my feet and scream.

I bought the tickets right then and there. On July 27, Amon Amarth tears the holy fuck out of the Israeli stage.

I try to keep my expectations low because a. a confirmed show does not necessarily mean a confirmed show. Cancellations abound in Israel. And b. there is no way that this show will be better or even remotely as good as the Amon Amarth show I saw at Wacken. The atmosphere of a metal festival, tens of thousands of amazing metalheads, a giant stage in the open air – all of this will be lacking in the Israeli show. From what I understand, the venue they chose is one that holds no more than a thousand people. The Israeli metalhead crowd is cool but there won’t be many. And finally, an Amon Amarth show that is not in the open air will undoubtedly diminish the ultimate experience of an Amon Amarth show. I hope that at least the stage will be big enough to accommodate the usual decor – the front of a Viking ship, wooden dragons blowing smoke, etc. I also hope explosions and pyrotechs will be possible in such a venue and such a stage, because when Johan will scream “FIRE!” on the chorus of Asator, it just wouldn’t be the same without simultaneous pillars of fire exploding from the stage.

So I keep my expectations low. I don’t want a repeat of the Arch Enemy show in Israel. Although it was a killer show, it was nowhere near as good as when I saw them live in Montreal. I think that the first time you see a band live is always the best time. I think it’s also because of the excitement of seeing one of your favorite bands live for the first time ever. So any second, third or fourth time you see them live pales in comparison.

I’m still excited for the show though. Just like I know that it wouldn’t be as amazing as their Wacken performance, I also know that they will still deliver a killer show. Amon Amarth can’t do it any other way.

Aside from that, I still fantasize about an Industrial fest in Israel, featuring my three favorite industrial rock bands, Disturbed, Rammstein and Marilyn Manson. Not that it’ll ever happen, but a girl can still dream. Wouldn’t it be totally fucking awesome? I’ve never seen any of these bands live, so I can only imagine how I would react if it actually did happen. I’d be like:

“Disturbed? Oh my god!”
“Rammstein? HOLY SHIT!!”
“Marilyn Manson??” *gasp* *faint*

But yeah, that’s definitely a long shot.

But dude, AMON AMARTH IS COMING TO ISRAEL!

Peace, love and ODIN!!!!!!!!

DIY Month – Day 20: Quickie Zine

1

I spent this weekend at my parents’ house in Be’er Sheva again so I didn’t get a chance to post about any of the activities I did. So again, I’ll be writing three consecutive posts today.

On Thursday, I was planning on going to a punk show at the Thrash Hole. My boyfriend and I often go to metal shows, so a punk night seemed like a good change of scene. So the quickie zine I made really had to be a quick one. I finally wrote issue 2 of End of Words.

It’s 12 pages filled with complete and absolute nonsense. My boyfriend tried to read it and his brain nearly split into two trying to make sense of it. But that’s the point of the End of Words. The power of nonsense splitting your brain.

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of it. So that will be all for now. But soon, I’ll post it in the “zines” tab, under the End of Words.

A word about the punk night

There were three bands on the bill. We made it a little late and missed the first one who sounded like a pretty decent girl band, called Marmara Streisand. We got there just as they were playing the last song. They were cool, they had some violin incorporated in their punk tunes, and girl vocals always shred.

Then came a guy punk band and I had to get the fuck out of there because the moshing got really violent. The band is called something along the lines of “The Department of Choking Police Officers.” The music was good, though I had to enjoy it from the outside.

And after that, the night ended with a band that I think has no name. It was made up of girls again, and though I enjoyed the parts where there was some actual music, most of the show consisted of even more nonsense than I had written in my zine earlier that evening. All four girls were pissed drunk, forgot most of the melody and the lyrics to the songs, so  that none of the songs had any clear beginning nor end. And although careless unprofessionalism is what usually characterizes many of the really good punk shows, this was just stupid. At least, if you’re gonna be unprofessional, play some unprofessional music, don’t just stand around bragging about stuff that nobody understands.

Whatever.

Another thing is that many of the punk bands that come to Jerusalem come from Tel Aviv, and as a result, the scene is saturated with way too much extreme leftist propaganda and anti-Zionism than is healthy for me. But I think that being in the punk scene in Jerusalem is good every once in a while. I still enjoy the music to a certain extent.

Peace, love and nonsense.

Update (December 24, 2012)

You can now view the photos of the quickie zine I made. See issue 2 in End of Words.

Cover Page

Khaos Over Tel Aviv

0

Arch Enemy’s performance in Tel Aviv last night was something else. With all the planning and organizing and preparing both strategically and emotionally, I still found myself with a great need for flexibility due to some events I wasn’t entirely prepared for.

The first concern was whether there would be traffic, and if we’ll be late – There wasn’t and we weren’t.

The second concern was if it’ll take us a long time to find the venue. Yet, we found it quite easily. “Follow the black pile,” said my boyfriend, referring to the scattered crowds of metalheads along the way.

Another concern was the weather. I was expecting the worst – being stuck outside waiting in line in the freezing, pouring rain. Though it was pretty cold, it wasn’t raining and we were quite alright.

When we finally made it inside, it was a much bigger venue than what I expected. There were also a few levels and platforms with railings around the stage. We found a decent spot on the left side of the stage on the second platform, right behind the railing. The platform was high enough so that we don’t have to do any contortionist acrobatics to see what goes on onstage. And the railing was low enough for me to be able to headbang, and it also proved to be quite useful for hanging our coats and the t-shirts we bought.

The stage was rather small, but I guess since this is Tel Aviv and not Montreal, and this was Reading 3 and not the Medley, that was to be expected. There wasn’t an enormous crowd, which was good, because I like to be able to breathe during a concert.

The first disappointment came early on. I had a back and forth email conversation with Angela about meeting the band backstage before the show. I gave her my cell number because it was my understanding that I would get a text message from her at around 9:00 and someone would come meet us near the merch area to take us backstage. That didn’t happen. Though we got there on time, I got no text message, and I found out later that night that the dude did come to the merch area where we were waiting, but didn’t see us, obviously, because he didn’t know what we look like.

When Chaos of Nazareth, the opening band, came onstage, I was well within my third stage of disappointment – desperation. I looked to the curtain of the backstage and saw a guy that looked like part of the tour management team. I went up to him, and screamed at the top of my lungs so he can hear me: “Can you tell Angela that Hadass is here?”

He went to check backstage and when he came back, he told me I’m too late, and that the band started warming up to go onstage. Now, if my email conversation with Angela would have been any different, it wouldn’t have been too upsetting. But she made it clear that meeting the band after the show would most likely not be possible, due to schedule matters.

My boyfriend tried to cheer me up, but I was still disappointed.

The inner child was livid. But she kept her passive-aggressive demeanor in the quiet way to which she is accustomed before exploding.

“You know,” she finally said, speaking mostly to herself than to me. “This is Arch Enemy’s first goddamn show in Israel. You’re about to get infused with a highly toxic amount of pure fucking metal right into your skull. The metal demon is at the doorstep of your brain. And here you are moping around because you won’t see the band backstage.”

She scoffed, but she slumped her shoulders and hung her head. The inner dialogue continued.

“Imagine if it would be the other way around,” she mused. “What if you were to see them backstage, and for some reason, you wouldn’t see them onstage. Would that have been worth it?”

The reply was immediate, “Fuck NO!”

“So swallow your bitter fruit. It was a misunderstanding. It didn’t work out, big fucking deal. Now let the metal demon in.”

And in it went. And when Arch Enemy took the stage, the demon thrashed me like a ragdoll. I didn’t fight it. The inner child reveled in the black and red metal aura radiating from the stage, and she savored every flip, every swivel, every snap and twist of the neck.

The show started at 10:30 and ended at 11:50. Arch Enemy played many songs from Wages of Sin and Khaos Legions, and a couple from Rise of the Tyrant, Doomsday Machine and Anthems of Rebellion.

At Graspop, Arch Enemy didn’t play any songs from Root of All Evil, but I thought it was because their festival set lasted 50 minutes and they had to keep the list of their tunes to a strict minimum. But last night, they ended the show without so much as a mention of that record. Though I was disappointed about that too, I was absolutely ecstatic that some of my favorite Arch Enemy songs did make the cut. The songs they played were:

Yesterday Is Dead and Gone
Revolution Begins
Ravenous
Enemy Within
My Apocalypse
Bloodstained Cross
Taking Back My Soul
(Daniel’s drum solo)
Under Black Flags We March
Dead Eyes See No Future
(Chris’s guitar solo)
(Michael’s guitar solo – Intermezzo Liberte)
Burning Angel
Dead Bury Their Dead
We Will Rise
Snow Bound
Encore: Nemesis
Fields of Desolation outro

I never thought Enemy Within, Dead Bury Their Dead and Burning Angel would make an appearance, but when the intro of each song began, the metal demon reclaimed its all-encompassing presence and my headbanging resumed with utmost violence. I screamed the lyrics to all the songs even if I could feel my throat being torn to shreds. There were times I pulled at my hair, pulled at my shirt, pounded my chest with my fists, arched my back and screamed at the sky. Following the show, I asked my inner child, “Did this really happen?”

“No,” she replied. “Here is what actually happened.” And she replayed a more violent, more bloody version of events than I could recall, followed by her evil little rebel smile.

My cousin joined us after the show. He was standing in the front row and scored a setlist, Michael’s pic and a handshake from Daniel. We hung around a little longer, waiting for the crowd to disperse. Meanwhile, I was looking to the backstage curtain every now and again, trying to debate whether or not I should give it another shot.

Finally, I saw the dude that spoke to me during the Chaos of Nazareth set, and decided to go for it. Worst that could happen, he says no and I have to settle with the one picture I have with Angela from Montreal.

“I just want to say hi, and I’ll be out of there,” I pleaded.

He went backstage and came back with a semi-positive answer.

“You can go in,” he said. “But only you. Nobody else.”

“So they can’t come with me?” I pointed at my boyfriend and my cousin.

“No, just you,” he insisted.

I turned to them and said “Sorry, guys!” And followed the guy behind the curtain.

After another 10 or 15 minutes of waiting, I was finally taken to the band’s dressing room. They were standing around drinking coffee, looking a bit ravaged and sweaty, sporting the good old we-just-kicked-a-bunch-of-ass-at-the-hardcore-metal-show-we-just-played look. I smiled My inner child smiled right through me, stretching my dystrophied jaw muscles as far as they’ll go.

I took a few pictures, got a few signatures and a few hugs, delivered Angela and Daniel the letters that my cousin asked me to give to them, and spoke to Angela a little. I don’t quite recall what I said, but I remember she told me she might be performing at Hellfest. And with Black Sabbath and King Diamond set to play there too, that’s a triple-chippy-chip-churrah for your ass. It totally made my night and compensated for any mishap before the show, any song they didn’t play during the show, and any neck-stiffness I experienced after the show and am still experiencing now.

After the backstage visit, I joined my group of metalheads outside and we went to eat. We got back home at the nice and ripe hour of 3:30 a.m. and I fell asleep with such a resounding snore to raise the dead. What an appropriate way to end the night.

And now the pictures (and a video) for your viewing enjoyment!