Following an engaging and insightful interview with Olof and Elize (keep an eye on the site for it coming soon!) it was time for the main event and with three quality bands on the bill, the room began filling up nicely before the first band took to the stage.
Openers Santa Cruz (8/10) kicked off proceedings and although their recent self-titled album did leave a little to be desired, their performance proved that you should never judge a band based on one element alone. Their performance had a lot of energy and they were visually engaging band that put a lot into putting on a good show, with a good amount of movement about the stage. They worked the crowd well and got a great reception, so it was a job well done from the four piece!
Main support came from Engel (8/10). Having previously seen this band way back in 2007 supporting Atreyu and being suitably impressed, I went into this set with high hopes and they absolutely didn’t disappoint. Like Santa Cruz, they were also visually engaging and in particular, their frontman Mikael was powerful and dominating, making commandeering the crowd look like child’s play! There was this magnificently chunky sound to the music, giving it a lot of meat and body, and the set as a whole was massively tight, with the band moving as one sole unit rather than individuals. Absolutely great stuff.
The atmosphere was electric as Amaranthe (9/10) took to the stage and as they launched into opening song Digital World, the room just came alive. One of the best things about Amaranthe is the fact that although some may say that having three vocalists is overkill, each singer brings something different to the mix and adds their own unique spin to the mix. Indeed, at times it’s almost difficult to know where to look because each vocalist is engaging with their performances – and that’s before you even take into account the instrumentalists!
One of the songs it was particularly great to witness live was the wildly catchy Electroheart. It’s one of those songs that will have you bouncing around the room as you listen to it on CD and needless to say, in a live environment it was just as energetic, if not more so, and there was plenty of people dancing, punching the air and singing along to the powerful delivery of the song. Another highlight of the set was their performance of Amaranthine, where female vocalist Elize requested that the crowd sang along if they knew the words – and the roof was practically lifted when the chorus kicked in – the sound of everyone singing in unison was almost deafening and it was a magical moment to be a part of!
A really nice part of the night was when the band acknowledged a young fan in the audience and invited her up onstage to say hi to everyone, which was downright sweet of them. However not too long later, when the band came back onstage for their encore, bassist Johan was speaking to the crowd and was goaded into downing two pints of beer before going into a bit of a stand-up comedy routine (which was absolutely hilarious) that included him telling the crowd after the show he was going to get “absolutely wasted and piss his pants” – a wonderful example to set to the young fan, I’m sure 😉
The band rounded up their set with Drop Dead Cynical and The Nexus and once again, the room came alive – everyone in the crowd knew that it would be their last chance to get involved and made it count. It was just an all-round atmospheric and magical performance from the six piece – if this band is playing near you, then make sure you go and check them out!