Last Saturday I was lucky I had tickets for the Arch Enemy concert that was going to be held in Madrid because it was sold out days before the event. When I get near the concert hall La Riviera at around five o’clock, there were a lot of people waiting in line already. Nevermind, I could get a good place inside the hall to not lose a detail of the show.
With the hall half full of people, the Ucranian band Jinjer where the first one to play in front of a public that showed their enthusiasm, so I guess many of them were fans or knew the band before. That wasn’t my case, since I’d never listened to them, and didn’t know them except for some photo I saw before going to the concert. The members of Jinjer went on stage with a clothing style that made me think of metalcore, and I wasn’t wrong in my guess. After the first chords, the vocalist, Tatiana Shmailyuk, jumped on stage dressed in such a striking way that contrasted with the other members of the band. She was wearing a brilliant, silvery body that seemed covered with sequins, all very futuristic. About the performance, it was clear that they have guts, despites they was the less veteran band playing. Tatiana vocals were really good, both guturals and clean, although their sound wasn’t very good and all the instruments melted a bit. About the music, well, they play a mixture of nu-metal, metalcore and groove, and I don’t like at all the first two ones, but that’s just my personal opinion. Some of their riffting remind me a lot of Korn, and the melodies where catchy enough, but not memorable. I still enjoyed their show, but it didn’t beat the level of the rest of the bands.
After Jinjer, it was the turn of Tribulation, a band that was, for me, the true revelation of the concert. I had listened previously to Tribulation and thought it was such an interesting and original band with lots of creativity. When I saw them live, they left me speachless. They got on a stage full of smoke, with low lights, dressed in tight and black clothes and with their face covered by corpse paint. Their sound was really good, far better than Jinjer, and all that mixed with their music, a blackened goth metal and their performance on stage, their gestures and movements were absolutely great. Plus, on the stage they seemed to be really enjoying every single note. I felt a little bad for them as the public didn’t seem to excited with their show, at least not as much as with Wintersun or Jinjer, but I guess you have to be into their vibe in order to like them. I was, definitely.
Some time ago, I tried to imagine how a power melodeath band would sound with a smile on my face. It turns out it exists and their name is Wintersun. As soon as the background music in the hall went silent and Wintersun went on stage, the public went mad and everybody started to cry out their name at the same time. I have to recognize that the show was impeccable and they had quality on all four sides, but I don’t like their style at all. Jari Mäenpää acted like a real showman, constantly interacting with the public, telling them to show horns, clap hands, sing, etc., and he even made a couple of jokes, and his vocals were just incredible. He left the public cheerful enough for what was coming next.
And, finally, almost exactly at 21:20, Set Flame to the Night started to sound and Arch Enemy jumped into the stage playing their new album’s single, The World Is Yours. Chaos took over the hall and people near me started pogo dancing, so I had to moved back a bit to leave them enough space. I had seen previously some Arch Enemy concerts and I knew exactly what to expect, even I knew the set list but, although there was no surprise factor as in the case of Tribulation, I still enjoyed the show a lot. They played for about an hour and forty five minutes and mainly songs from their last album, that I hadn’t listened to much since I wrote here my thoughts on it (no will to innovate), War Eternal, and eight or nine songs from previous albums, but the more famous ones. Alissa was as charismatic as ever, delivering a performance full of power, and her growls live were even better than in the records. Sound quality and clarity was great in the hall, and the best moments for me were when they played the last song, the unforgettable Nemesis, also As The Pages Burn, my favorite song out of War Eternal, and the calm moments like Snow Bound.
So, it was a great concert and we could enjoyed four amazing bands during five hours full of great surprises, as Tribulation was for me. I’m eager for the next metal show I can put my foot into… I’ll let you know 😉