Sunday, 9 February 2014

Tesseract, The Safety Fire, Intervals - Bibelot Dordrecht 8 February 2014

While Putin opened his Olympic Games I declared the concert season for opened one day later. The first show was already hard, since I had to choose. I could go to either Clive Nolan and his rock opera The Alchemist in de Boerderij or I could check out four young tech metal acts. Instead of playing safe and go yet again to de Boerderij I decided to choose for the younger bands. Although I had no music of them yet, I listened to large bits by all of them on the internet. All four sounded promising and I was sure that this would be the more interesting option to me.

Before giving short comments to the shows I saw, I am following the steps of the great metal antropologist Sam Dunn and shall share several observations I made in de Bibelot (first time for me in het Energiehuis and a very nice place indeed, but you must love walking stairs to get to the main stage). So I went to see some representatives of Djent. This style is very close to Progressive metal to me, but the differences between the audiences is remarkably big. The first obvious point was that I seemed to be a fairly old Djent-leman. While Progpower atracts an average aged audience between 30-60 here I saw many students and few people well over 30. First conclusion is that we should merge these audiences, since I am sure both can learn many great bands in the overlap. A second point was the music inbetween shows, which could hardly be heard. A missed chance, since I would love to be the DJ and introduce this djent audience to some classic Watchtower, Fates Warning, Zero Hour, Cynic, Atheist or newer Memento Waltz, Linear Sphere music. Coming to the audience again, without willing to be this crumpy old man, who decided that we do not need to wear a black heavy metal T-shirt while going to a show nowadays? There I was proudly spreading the Psychotic Waltz logo, noticing that some 60-70 percent would be walking around in any color you like, but black. Another indication of fashion is that beer orders seemed slow to me, music was not available by the bands (sold out, out of press, or just not there) and T-shirts were sold out in the small sizes. In the old days anyone with 1.50 meters already asked for extra large, which pissed me off with 2.00 meters finding XL to be sold out. Recently I learned how this works from a young colleague while we drunk enough to earn a free beer Tee and he asked for medium size. People do fitness and like to show their body. Well the only body concern we had in the eighties was how much beer it could hold without falling down (and that was a lot). Closing the observational part I also guess people spend actually money on a haircut rather frequently nowadays, which counted for both bands and audience.

But let the music do the talking and did I have a great evening. First on starting 15 minutes early was  Canadian band Intervals. Their drummer seems to have created some buzz, but I pretty much liked the guitar playing as well. Great tech metal, short set and no CD to buy. They will release an album 4 March though, I shall make sure to get my copy. Then came The Safety Fire, As I walked around the stairs I watched the first half from above. With a vocalist whose looks reminded me of Blur, we got a very energetic set and the audience (almost full house by now) responded accordingly. English attitude mixed with great playing deserved checking out their last CD, which was sold out. They did sell many T-shirts of which many were not black to please public taste.

Next up was second English band Tesseract. I expected a lot from them since on Youtube they already sounded nice and Prog magazine had them very high on the annual 2013 poll. Well to go short they were even much better from what I expected. Great band, great songs, good playing and decent (number x) vocalist. The difference was that this band actually looked a heavy metal band and assumably during the older songs their bass player added some grunts to up the sound. If I was in doubt on my choice for shows, this set convinced me completely and I shall not miss the next time they visit Holland. After this highlight I made a consideration of family life and all and decided to leave. Actual headliner Protest the Hero, sounded nice on the net as well and as they were the only band selling their last CD I got a copy, making it home at a decent time.

This morning the CD convinced that I probably missed another good show, so that would have made it four out of four. I already corrected the frustration of no CD's to sell and ordered today CD's from Tesseract and The Safety Fire. Yesterday I also got more convinced that Progpower should actually add one Djent band to the line up (Tesseract would be nice) as well as one Technical Death Metal band, just to attract younger people. Times they are a changing, but we do not need to worry. I saw the future and the future looked good.

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