Stratovarius -- Baltimore, MD -- September 23rd, 2009
This was an interesting night. First of all, we drove 3 hours each way for this show, which was relatively pain-free but still quite long. Stratovarius have this VIP thing they do where people get in early for a Meet + Greet and such, and it was incredibly disorganized and led to the rest of us getting let in about 45 minutes late, which no one was happy about. Instead of the 7:30 or 8 start-time I expected, the first of two local support bands didn't come on until 8:30, and they sucked. It was a bunch of kids who sounded incredibly sloppy, like they shouldn't be playing shows for another couple of years. Wouldn't have been SO bad if it wasn't so loud. The second band had their shit together a bit more, but still just weren't very good.
Eventually, around 10PM, Pagans Mind took the stage to a dismal crowd of no more than 100-150 people, but they fucking ruled. The one thing that struck me as so great about this band is that they are one of the few bands I've heard that are able to capture their definitive sound in the live environment. Their performance had a shit-ton of energy, mostly coming from frontman Nils K Rue. The whole band was pretty much spot-on performance-wise, and the crowd loved them. Honestly, they were much better than Stratovarius.
Pagan's Mind Setlist:
04.Hallo Spaceboy (David Bowie cover)
07.Through Osiris' Eyes
Stratovarius came on around 11PM to a very small and tired crowd, and I think this really hurt their performance. It kind of seemed to me like the band got out there, so how many people were there, and just kind of half-assed the performance. It almost kind of seemed like we were just watching them rehearse or something. Kotipelto sounded pretty off, Jens fucked around a lot, and the rhythm section just didn't sound that tight. The new guy, Mattias though, was fantastic. I'm assuming that's because he feels he needs to play his ass off every night in order to earn the respect of the audience. Song like "Speed of light" never sounded as good with Tolkki playing. The band were at least fun and entertaining, though at times it just seemed like they were dragging stuff out, like the big-endings of songs and such. A few of the shorter, more uptempo numbers were really enjoyable, but overall it was just kind of a weak performance, the band sounded a bit off, and the crowd was just dismal, as I said. All in all, it wasn't BAD, and certainly would have come off better had Pagan's Mind not played before them, but I was expecting a little more.
02.Hunting High and low
03.Speed of light
04.Kiss of Judas
06.A Million lightyears Away
10.Forever Is Today
After the show, we were able to meet, talk to, and take pictures with all the Pagans Mind guys, who were so incredibly cool, and for that, I applaud them. I might post pictures later.