In the title I put the bands in order of appearance, which is at the same time for me the order of interest and CD's owned. So I was going to Utrecht for the support bands, which did make an input on my mindset for staying late. More on that later, first some comments on Tivoli. This huge building has been built around the old Vredenburg and is famous for being delivered way over budget. With this financial problem it seemed to me they want to earn back part of the loss on the visitors. Garderobe at EUR 1,50 and the cheapest beer at EUR 3,70 is above any other place I frequent. The beer might be slightly larger than usual, but in a student city it seems expansive. Further Pandora must be Holland's highest concert hall. Being on the top floor, we needed to climb 4 escalators, after which still a pair of stairs were needed to make it to the hall and another two for the balconies. On a clear day you must be able to see the sea from up there. Down at the entrance signs were also slightly confusing to some. The Doobie Brothers played the same evening in the Main Hall. With my bold and old head queueing up several DB fans started standing behind me. Well everyone dressed in Black should have given it away to them, but I pointed more than a few to the right entrance. I did arrive early as the main purpose of my visit was Sinistro, so 19:00 I was in for a 19:30 start.
Sinistro coming on and the first thing noticeable, was that the bassist F, did not come along on tour. When Patricia came on and started singing, noone could hear a thing. So the first two minutes the show was handicapped. But when this was solved all started to flow. I do have their albums Semente and Cidade. Last year LOUD, Portugal's leading metal magazine voted Semente the best national CD of 2016. I can agree with that as the style of Sinistro is original and different from everything else. They play doom metal, but the vocals in Portuguese from Patricia add something very own to their music. And if on CD this is already different, live on stage it became even better. The whole show was accompanied by movies on a big screen. On stage all the attention was drawn towards Patricia Andrade. Her dramatic presentation reminded me at times of a ADHD little sister of Devon Graves (Psychotic Waltz). Love it when people dance macabre completely out of it. While Patricia drew all attention, the band was tight as well even as a quartet. The set opened with Partida, Relíquia had their videoclip on screen and a new song was played hereafter. This new song is from their next album Sangua Cássia (out 5 January). The set ended with the best: Cidade (parte 2). The EP Cidade contains two songs of over ten minutes and describes Lisboa. With the images of the city on the background I was taken back to Lisbon indeed. Opening the evening they only got 30 minutes, but this half hour made my trip already worthwhile. Pity that now almost at the end of the tour their merch was only available in small sizes.
During the break I found with Ton, Olga, Willem and Christian that we always can agree to disagree on preferences, even if we like very similar music. Pallbearer were on next and where I liked the CD, the others only pre-listened bits and were not overly impressed yet. Actually it was the same LOUD magazine that put me on track of Pallbearer. During an interview earlier this year my interest was awoken, which eventually resulted in listening to and buying their last album Heartless of the internet. Finding my spot in the hall I noticed that the band after the first song also asked for some adaptations on the sound. Somehow it all came over less clear than on the album. Still I liked their performance, where I do not think they played all too many songs from Heartless as I did not recognize most. The wall of doom, with two guitars, bass and drums sounded good and the voices took care of variation between clear and occassional grunts. While not as overwhelming on stage as Sinsitro they did give us a good show and definitely deserve a longer set as well. It was at this moment that I realized I might have preferred to see Sinistro and Pallbearer alone in a smaller setting like Baroeg and both with a (much) longer set. Doom it was with Pallbearer, but in the accesible format easy on first hearing. Seemed a good band to me.
And then the evening would be closed by Paradise Lost. I do not have any of their music. I saw them during the years on festivals of which I remember Via Rock 1994 and Bospop 2001. They play music I actually like, but somehow never took the time to delve into. Now I already decided not to make it a late evening and I just wanted to see the opening songs for getting a flavour. Impressions were of a tight and loud band. Between the songs not that much differences and a strong performance. Yet I also remembered Dutch Doom Days Sunday, where the two headliners (Saturnus and Clouds) managed to completely suck me into their shows, which was not the case tonight. I guess this also has to do, with form and willingness. I mean if I start seeing a show, doubting how long it will last for me, you never really get into it. So after a few songs from the balcony and a glimpse from in the hall I left Pandora for a Sate kroket at the station and an early train home on a cold November evening. A good evening it was.