Saturday, January 14, 2006

Maroon / Obituary / Samael gig

I was wondering about these bands playing together when I first heard
about the concert (Brian's Secret Santa gift to me - cheers dude!).
Obituary have been around since the early 90's and have always held
media interest and a dedicated fan base, but their popularity peaked
in 1993 with the release of "World Demise". Should have called it
"Career Demise", as their slow and gradual slide to album obscurity

Contrast this with Samael, a band who have been around for just as
long (maybe longer), but who have been steadily growing in popularity
all the time and who (almost certainly) out-sell Obituary by quite a
bit these days. But, despite their more recent popularity and album
sales, they have never been as popular as Obituary were at their peak.

Who, then, would the crowds turn up to see and, moreover, who would be
headlining between the two?

When we arrived the doors had opened around 30 minutes before (7pm
open), so the place was filling up nicely. It was nice to see the
Temple Bar Music Hall again, scene of the Marduk and Immortal gig's I
attended five years back. As expected, Maroon came out first and were
actually very good. The fact that their singer can hold a note that
isn't a growl or scream was quickly noted by Brian - high praise as he
isn't much for death metal these days. The rest of the band did their
best to get into form, but it's hard to be the warm-up act cause you
know everyone is waiting for someone else other than you on stage
(that and they only got 30 minutes air-time).

Nevertheless they played well and did impress me - I would pay to see
them play a gig or two on their own. If this was the worst of the
three bands to play, Brian and I were in for a treat!

Next up was Samael. Fairly do's I guess - most people around me seemed
to be in death metal garb with Obituary insignia/logo's. It was quite
obvious by now that most of the fans weren't here for Samael or

Not that it stopped Samael from rocking! Their vocalist (attired in
black, baggy Japanese Samurai trousers and burgundy shirt that looked
like someone had glued it to him it was so tight) did a very good job
of keeping the audience entertained. They played a good mix of music
from their inception over a decade ago to tracks from their latest
album, giving everyone something to be happy about.

As the pit's numbers swelled, it was obvious from the many people
still standing at the back of the room that even Samael and their most
popular songs wasn't going to get everyone moshing.
After about an hour of music they called it a day. I was happy as the
first two acts had been great, so I had high expectations of Obituary
(although everyone else seemed to have these expectations long before
the doors had opened!).

After a quick pint break, Brian and I made our way back into the main
arena and straight to the center-front (where we had been pretty much
all evening). And didn't we appreciate it when Obituary finally

I can't remember much about the pit after the first blow to the head,
but Brian did leave the gig with a clear footprint stamped into his
chest so that gives you an idea of what the place was like for the
first while. And just as it was calming down, Obituary decide to play
"Kill For Me" and run it straight into "Solid State" - two of their
most popular songs. And again I'm hit on the head. So that's why
metallers have long hair - it's padding for the mosh pit!

Time and time again, Obituary managed to prove on stage what they
haven't been able to prove on an album for some 10 years now - that
death metal can be varied, exciting and that they know what people
want. With a drum solo, 2 encores and about 50 people on their way to
A&E, Obituary decide to call it a day and the lights come on again -
the first non-black thing that I'd seen since Obituary started

Overall this gig was more than worth it - all three bands (even the
warm-up act) were of much better quality than you would expect. I
would have to give:

Maroon 3.5 out of Maroon 5 (though they'd probably do better if they
were at a Maroon-only gig).

Samael 4 on the rockstar scale (they should have played a black metal
or goth gig instead, where the fans would have appreciated them more.

Obituary 5 stitches out of 5 (unable to live up to their name,
Obituary proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with
when playing live.

[Review by KA]



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