Children of Bodom/Death Angel/Tyr
Halo of Blood Over North America
Charlotte, NC (3/19/14)
I had my gear packed and ready to head to the show, and I headed out at a pretty good time — enough time to give me about an hour window in case of traffic. In the southeast, it’s rare to have much traffic but you never know. It would be my luck to somehow run into standstill traffic caused by two semis smashing into each other and it ended up taking almost a full hour to move just one mile. And I was still an hour away from Charlotte — so I hoofed it and went 90 down the interstate. I slinked in just as Tyr started their second song. Not the most perfect timing ever, but it was good enough.
Tyr has continuously put out quality albums over the past few years. While Erik the Red will always be my favourite, I also feel that it’s stupid to expect they would be able to recapture that magic. And even though they aren’t the most energetic band ever, they’re still fun to watch. Given the short amount of time to play, they did end up choosing songs mostly from their latest release — Valkyrja. A good set overall and I wish I had been there for the beginning of the set, but I’ve seen them twice before so I wasn’t completely heartbroken. I still hope for a day that they will do an Erik the Red heavy set.
I’m not sure what the thought was behind the lineup for the tour, other than just really solid bands. But hey, who is going to complain about Death Angel? Even if you’re not the biggest fan, you gotta appreciate their work ethic and their love for what they do. They get out there and bust their asses and then spend ample time with fans after a show. They still feel very much a part of the scene and not as a band that has left the metal scene or something. It’s always disappointing to see bands begin to act like they are bigger and greater than the very people that made them. And that’s one big reason I love Death Angel. On top of that, their setlist always crushes. I’m a The Ultra-Violence guy myself, so I’m glad that there’s usually one track from that. I have yet to hear “Voracious Souls” though. I cry a little bit for that. But I’m glad these guys came back and started making music again. And it’s all been good!
I had some mixed feelings about Children of Bodom. I loved these guys back when Something Wild and Hatebreeder were released. Follow the Reaper wasn’t too far behind but I found that it took me longer to get into. Hate Crew Deathroll was a solid effort too and there are a lot of memorable tracks. And then they lost me…
I always assumed that after that, their fanbase waned and they were riding on their previous success. But you know what? They still put on a fun live show. And getting to hear “Silent Night, Bodom Night” always brings a smile to my face. In fact, they really balanced their setlist out. There were newer songs that I didn’t know (nor did I really care too much about them), and there were old favourites, some that I might not have heard in years at this point. But the most bizarre thing happened at the end of the show for me. While I got excited to hear “Downfall” and “Hate Me!” as closers, I noticed a small group near me just kind of standing there without showing much interest. I figured that was just their thing and that’s totally okay. Bodom came back out for one final song, “In Your Face,” a song I was unfamiliar with and really had no interest in even by the end of it. But that same group was losing their damn mind over it. And then I realized that the group was probably not even born when Something Wild came out. There’s no way the kids were beyond 17. And then I realized I was one of “old guys” at shows.