Amorphis -- San Francisco, CA -- March 5th, 2005
SUPPORT: Beyond The Embrace, Into Eternity, Single Bullet Theory
VENUE: The Pound -- San Francisco, CA
DATE: Saturday, March 5th, 2005
ATTENDED W/: Bouville, Lokia
GEAR WORN: Megadeth Hoodie Over A L/S Dio Holy Shirt
MERCH PURCHASED: None
MOSHING REPORT: None
PICTURES: [ur=http://www.metalsetlists.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=4&c=8]Click Here[/url]
EDDIES AWARDED: 9.00
REVIEWED: March 6th, 2005
My cold persists, although I’m definitely on the upswing. I need 48 hours liberty from real life to lick this once and for all.
For weeks, Bouville had been yipping about Amorphis at the Pound. I said I would go. Why not? Amorphis who? Bueller? Two hours before I was supposed to pick him up, I rang his cell with the backhanded intent of ejecting but we argued about Elvis instead. Forty fives minutes of complaining and railing against those who do not recognize the greatness of the King put me in a more metal frame of mind. Fuck you if you have even the slightest shit to speak against my man Elvis. I also needed another concert to knock Queensryche off the top of The Permanent Record, my collection of concert reviews.
By the time we met Lokia in the parking lot, Single Bullet Theory had already finished their set. The Pound was only about half full and really didn’t improve much throughout the night.
Into Eternity was the first band of the night for us. They played the same six song set from Los Angeles:
Point of Uncertainty
Distant Pale Future
Embraced by Desolation
Beginning of the End
I really tried to hate these guys. The singer sounded very off-key at times during Splintered Visions, so they were taking the express lane to my shit list. Their melodic vocals over single note hardcore-like harshness nearly flushed away all hope. That is, until I pulled my head out of my ass and recognized how hard these guys were trying. The guitarists, the bass player, the drummer -- everyone was working the crowd as if they were the lead singer. Into Eternity completely sold their music while performing it. I love that from a band! Toward the end, the band saluted Bay Area thrash favorites like Death Angel, Exodus.. even Metallica “back in the day.” Hot damn, these guys had their shit together! I’m going to fetch their latest album to hear more and support them. Elysium Dream was probably my favorite song of the six.
During the transition, Bouville ventured off to the kitchen of the Pound like a stray dog scrounging a restaurant’s alleyway garbage cans. He proudly told Lokia and me that we could get onion rings, three for a dollar, and a bacon-cheese burger with fries for five. Lokia and I both just shook our heads at him.
Beyond The Embrace was next, and I successfully managed to hate them. Truthfully, they were not that bad but I didn’t get into their music. I found it difficult for my personal headbanging tastes. They would start to play something cool and then move on. ADD told Bouville that Beyond The Embrace sounded like Shadows Fall. That’s a fair assessment, so I’m passing it on.
Most of the Pound cleared the floor for the pisser or smoke breaks, so Bouville and I walked up to center rail. Leaning over a monitor, Bouville copied the set list into my black notebook. After a couple of minutes, one guy abandoned his center-[I]center[/I] rail spot, and I took his place. Center stage had three monitors. I was in front of the middle one; Bouville, the left one; a young twentysomething kid with a Finnish flag, the right one. The pit crush never came. In fact, I experienced more jostling at Dream Theater at the Warfield last year. Despite having the best location in the house, I stayed really for Bouville because it’s always better to have a buddy with you on the rail.
Amorphis quietly came on stage and I left the building in a very different way. Because I didn’t know their albums at all and couldn’t understand their growling vocalist, I locked onto Amorphis’ rhythms. I spent most of the concert with my eyes closed either violently swaying or outright headbanging. So much metal relegates bass players to bottom-fishing the roots of chords but Amorphis’ bass player was constantly doing his own thing, adding incredible flavor to already cool music. At times, I would switch over to the drummer and let him carry my momentum forward. The rhythm folks really made the concert for me.
For the first time during my metal spasms, I felt my hair flopping around. That sounds really stupid and insignificant to most people. Those who have voluntarily kept their hair shorter than most enlisted folks might appreciate this new, simple pleasure. Why am I growing it out? Son, that’s classified.
During the first encore, I practically fucking lost it. My left hand touched a stage monitor for grounding. My right arm threw horns so hard, so straight and true. I furiously headbanged for several seconds with all my might to the point of a dizzy euphoria and near-unconsciousness. It was all very existential.
Bouville’s performance matched that of the vocalist at times. The singer let him growl into his mic several times. I escaped my own cocoon once to find Bouville embracing the guy’s shoulder, singing the last portion of a song with him, growling brothers to the very end.
I found it very difficult to understand the lead growler, but then again the only growler I can understand is Angela from Arch Enemy. As growlers go, I thought the guy did well because his voice became part of the music and atmosphere.
The set list from San Francisco as follows:
Goddess (Of the Sad Man)
Far from the Sun
On Rich and Poor
Day of your Beliefs
Sign from the North Side
Black Winter Day
Amorphis wins their Eddies almost by default. They managed to take me from not wanting to be there at all to a mystical metal place. And no, drugs were not involved. They were just that good. Amorphis did it without gimmicks, backdrops, or other accoutrement. My bass teacher often speaks a natural rhythm that we all possess. Mine was completely in sync with Amorphis’ last night. 9 Eddies. Well done, Amorphis!
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