13 February 2009
Cradle of Filth/Satyricon/Septic Flesh @ The Marquee 2/13/2009
Although there's nothing more ostensibly metal than seeing a metal show on Friday the thirteenth, I feel it also relevant to point out that were I to name this tour, I would name it based on the audience attending it and I would title it "The Androgynous, Obese, and Insecure Tour." Unfortunately, those things don't seem quite as metal to me. Let me also add a note that if you ever want to pick up metal chicks, a show like this one is not the place to do it...you'll probably end up picking up a guy, and he probably won't tell you because he likes it. Just saying.
As to the actual music...
Septic Flesh were the opener, and like most metal tours that come through the Marquee, a ton of people had showed up early and pumped up, and the band was able to get a lot of interaction normally reserved for only the hardest working bands with less effort. Initially, I was entirely underwhelmed by this band's music, but as I continued to listen, I realized that the music was in fact pretty good, except that the good part wasn't what was being played live. The band was playing to a backing track, as so many bands seem to do nowadays, but in this case it was to their great detriment, as the guitar, bass and drums were all fairly standard and, admittedly, rather boring, while the epic compositions on the backing track added depth and breadth to all of the live instruments and really filled out the sound. So what was the problem? Well, I can listen to my CDs nice and loud without paying money to do so (not that I pay to see concerts, but all the same...). If these guys added a live keys player, I think it would be to their benefit. Oh and of course he should also be front and center, because he makes the band in my opinion.
Satyricon are a semi-big name in the field of metal; they've put out a fair number of CDs, and the CDs have been generally more good than bad. I felt the vocalist didn't quite hold up his end (his voice wasn't very engaging and just seemed...dead), but the rest of the band was (thankfully) pretty solid and had interesting things going on. Oh, except for the girl on keys who probably spent more time headbanging than playing her instrument, and she didn't sing. I know I wasn't the only one questioning her purpose in the band given how low the keys were even when she was playing them...and she wasn't even hot.
Cradle of Filth were the headliner and I felt slight regret that I'd never listened to them before as it made the entire show bands I'd never heard...and normally music you've heard before sounds better because it's familiar (this is why all pop sounds the same and people still love it). All the same, I'd heard that Dani Filth is a beast of a vocalist and was anxious to hear what he could do, and to generally hear a band that is as popular as this one. Unfortunately, I was a bit let down by Dani. Not that he was bad, he was by far the best vocalist of the night, but he was over-hyped it seemed to me. The rest of the band, and the general song composition, wavered between good and forgettable. Beginning around Nymphetamine (about 2/3 through their set) they started to play more consistently good songs which was nice. Nymphetamine, as it turned out, was one of the better songs of the night, as well as the one that followed, while the encore was probably a step or two down. Though by the audience reaction my opinion may not have been shared by everyone.
Then again, if audience opinion is what truly matters, this review is null, as the crowd was quite into the music and having a great time, generic music or not. Then again, the audience was pretty drunk.