Manning Bar, Sydney
May 20th, 2016
Supported by: Rise of Avernus
You know that feeling you had when you were going to your first ever concert? That odd giddy feeling mixed with excitement and eagerness? Well, I thought I’d never feel that again, but waiting in the poorly managed line at the Manning Bar on Friday, I was wrong. Seeing that throng of metal plated boots and black clothing just made me all the more enthusiastic to get inside and get amongst the crowd. When I eventually did, it wasn’t long before the supporting band took the stage and showed just how well a great homegrown performance can get a crowd riled up.
Now before we begin, I wasn’t even aware Rise of Avernus were opening but Jesus am I happy they were. Walking on stage garbed in these heavy looking leather coats and this brutal looking black body paint I was almost ready to pop. Their first number awed me but each song seemingly got heavier and darker (and somehow faster) I couldn’t help but smile and headbang in pure unadulterated joy as they tore through their set. I must mention though, that the lighting of the venue at this point was a little off, rendering much of their stage show inert, as I’m sure it would’ve looked a lot better if everything was shrouded in darkness. Nonetheless, the band was tight as I’ve ever seen them and more brutal than I remember, making up for the lighting foible by their drummer’s performance alone, who was simultaneously the happiest and most theatrical man I’ve ever seen.
After a short interval,and my crazily mounting excitement, the eerie and poetic introduction to Eluveitie’s latest album, Origins filled the speakers and the band filled the stage, promptly launching into epic track ‘King’. Glanzmann’s vocals found their place within ‘Nil’ as they needed adjustments but once rectified they were resplendent; throaty, harsh and even better than the album releases. The mosh pit truly opened up as ‘Thousandfold’ began, Sisti’s flute sounding so much more deep and masterful live than I could ever have imagined. The strong folk overtones of all these songs lent their energy to the crowd, who were perpetually (attempting) to sing along and Irish dance moshing, which is a sight to see let me tell you.
We were all treated to something very special as ‘The Call of the Mountains’ was played, Anna Murphy decided to sing it in their native tongue, Swiss German, making it all the more emotional as the song went on and the chorus soared throughout the venue. The linguistic wonders didn’t end there though, as the amazing vocal track ‘Scorched Earth’ was bestowed upon the crowd, being sung in Gaulish and kicking off the start of the acoustic section that the band had added to their set. Even playing a new song ‘Grannus’ from their proposed new acoustic album, which was fucking awesome by the way.
Transitioning from the acoustic numbers, they got back into their metal boots and unleashed ‘Jezaig’ on the crowd followed by a few of their heavier numbers, much to crowds ardent delight. Fan favourite ‘Siraxta’ was another high point, eliciting another circle pit and zealous fist pumping from the floor, but as soon as my personal favourite (and seemingly a lot of other peoples) ’The Siege’ began to play, war of only the scale that Eluveitie sing about seemed to erupt. The moshers feeding off the energy of Anna Murphy screaming in unison with Glanzmann whilst the godly riff of Salzmann wove it’s way through the venue making that song and the subsequent ‘Havoc’ a true highlight of the night.
Once the band walked offstage I was struck at how much time had passed, nearly two hours that felt like only half that, due to the ludicrous amounts of fun not only I, but the whole venue was having. Of course. amidst thunderous roars of an encore the band made their way on stage and after a short introduction began to play ‘Inis Mona’ much to the wailing happiness of the fans. This song really lets Sutter show of his skill on the drum kit, blasting through the verses giving us a thundering drum solo I shall not soon forget. Once the lights came on though, Eluveitie didn’t leave us, they bowed and flung their paraphernalia into the hands of their adoring fans and pledged to return, though not as they are now.
Whilst this was hands down the most enjoyable show I’ve been to all year (sorry King Parrot) there was one thing that I couldn’t help but notice. The tension among the band and the odd dislocation between the members was very evident, which is a given, seeing their situation but at times it did detract from the whole spectacle of the show. Numerous times there seemed to disputes of a sort between Glanzmann and violinist, Ansperger which was saddening to see. Despite that (and my ruined leg, thanks moshpit) it was easily one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, period. It was just fun, which I think a lot of bands miss out on when performing these days. Not only that but the two hour run time allowed Eluveitie to pull from even their earliest albums, showing off their progression, skill and epic catalogue. I also saw a guy headbang with a flute and electric bagpipes, which I can safely say no other band will utilise, so that was pretty fucking cool. Although I still have absolutely no idea what the fuck a hurdy-gurdy is!
- Slania’s Song
- The Call of the Mountains
- From Darkness
- Carry the Torch
- Kingdom Come Undone
- Scorched Earth
- The Cauldron of Renascence
- A Rose for Epona (Acoustic)
- The Siege
- Inis Mona— Dylonov Tomasivich