Evergrey -- Philadelphia, PA -- September 18th, 2011
Well, most of you on here should know by now that this was a colossal event for me. Evergrey have been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and I've been dying to see them live for about 7 years now. I've even had tickets to cancelled shows in the past. It's been one long, impatient wait for me, and this was honestly a pretty big life event for me. Aside from a Savatage reunion (which isn't going to happen) or Avantasia in the US (which isn't going to happen) - this is about as "monumental" as a concert could ever get for me anymore.
So, onto a quick breakdown of the day:
Got down into the city a little before 2 - I was supposed to have lunch with guitarist Marcus Jidell, but it fell through because the bus didn't even get to the venue til close to 3, and then they had all kinds of stuff to do. So me and my friends just ran and got some pizza and got back around 4. We were at the very front of the line, and fortunately apparently only 7 people bought VIP tickets - so we were able to go in and get a spot on the rail on the right side very easily.
There was a marathon of support on this show. This was the final show without Sabaton, and Blackguard doesn't join the tour til a bit later - but we had to endure two local support bands. The first was just absolutely terrible. Horrible music and they were horrible at playing it. The second was at least decent at what they were attempting, I just don't really care for their style, which was basically modern rock-ish stuff. The Absence were up next, and I went in with an optimistic attitude... and god damn if I didn't actually half-enjoy them. Musically their stuff is pretty much right up my alley, the guitar players are honestly fantastic - I just can't really get into the vocals at all. If this band has a singer instead of exclusively growls I'd be all over them. But nevertheless, they put on an entertaining show. Not bad. Powerglove was pretty much their typical incredibly stupid selves. I really hate this band, and that doesn't seem to have changed at all since the first time I saw them. It's like - I guess I understand why people like it, but I don't. It's partially because this music has absolutely zero nostalgic factor for me, and also partially because I honestly think they kinda suck at what they're doing. The songs just aren't arranged very well, and considering practically the whole band are Berkley graduates, I'm REALLY underwhelmed with their technical skills, mainly the guitarists. But yeah, fortunately every band's set was kept to 30 minutes (25 for the locals) and the change-overs were quick. So Evergrey actually came on at 9:30.
Turnout for the show was dismal, but honestly in the least depressing way possible. Honestly there were like 100 people there, which is even less than I was expecting - but they were actually generally all considerate people and truly knowledgeable and passionate fans. It was nice to leave a show for once and NOT have any complaints about the crowd, other than that it wasn't big enough.
Not too many things to say about the show, it was just incredible. The band threw one or two "surprises" our way. Apparently they dropped Nosferatu and added Mark of the Triangle in instead due to one of the VIP people's personal request for it. I'm not complaining, as I do prefer Mark, and I assume they'll just revert back to the "standard" set for the NYC show. Watching the Skies and Misled were certainly nice "unrequired" tracks, it was outstanding to get to see FIVE different In Search of Truth tracks in one night. Sadly the band chose not to play I'm Sorry, I'm guessing because of the dismal turnout and the fact that they usually rely heavily on the audience for that song. So hopefully the turnout will be considerably better in NYC so they'll do it there.
The band honestly sounded very, very tight - and aside from the sound just being too loud overall, it honestly was a very good-sounding, well-mixed show. Honestly I have no complaints from the technical end. Also, considering this was their fifth straight night with a show, Tom's voice sounded outstanding. The new members (especially Marcus Jidell) certainly pulled their weight and proved their worth. The lighting kinda sucked simply because it didn't ever seem like there was enough of it - but again, minor complaint really. The band were in great spirits despite the small turnout, and honestly gave their all despite the small crowd, and for that I am incredibly thankful. They could've just gone up and half-assed their way through a shortened set, but they gave us the real deal, completely from the heart.
At the end of the show, Tom threw me a guitar pick and I was able to get one of the setlists as well. Sadly I didn't get a chance to meet any of the guys, but that opportunity will hopefully come on Tuesday. Thus completes phase 1 of my epic Evergrey show saga! I'm incredibly hoarse, my body is very sore in so many ways, and my ears are ringing... but this was so worth any annoyance and all the time waiting. Honestly this was just incredible. Enough said.
01 Leave it Behind Us
02 The Masterplan
03 Rulers of the Mind
05 Solitude Within
06 Mark of the Triangle
07 As I Lie Here Bleeding
08 Monday Morning Apocalypse
10 Watching the Skies
13 When the Walls Go Down
14 Recreation Day
15 Broken Wings
16 A Touch of Blessing