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Sold out like Karlsruhe and Munich before, the Eastpak Antidote Tour made a stop at the Live Music Hall in Cologne. Some "oldschool" fans of Dark Tranquillity and Soilwork might´ve been wondering about the "strange" running order, since they had to play as 2nd and 3rd. "Aren´t Dark Tranquillity much older, why do they have to play directly after such a newcomer band?!" But the answer was quite easy. The headliner position in each country was affected by the CD sales. Those with higher sales played later. And when it comes to that, Caliban were obviously top here in Germany. In Spain or Italy for example Dark Tranquillity was headlining the package.
Well, the advantage of such a tour is, even if some might not have enjoyed it entirely, that in an era of sinking CD sales figures and sparsely visited concerts, a package like this simply attracts a whole new fanbase. Some Sonic Syndicate or Caliban fans maybe would never check out Dark Tranquillity or Soilwork - and vice versa. Who knows... maybe quite a lot of people have discovered a new band this evening.
one of the Newcomer bands of the year, played already on the bigger drumkit, due to their recording of the gig for a live DVD. Thus the band was pretty motived and presented a very energetic gig. The audience was going off the rails as well. The guys and the girl could play in front of a well filled hall right from the beginning, which surely can´t be taken for granted if you´re the first band to play. The temperatures where increasing rapidly.
came, saw and conquered. No wonder, that it was that easy for them, since especially fronter Mikael Stanne is surely one of the most sympathetic guys. Grinning, being in a damn good mood and with great vocals he and the other guys presented songs from the actual album "Fiction" as well as a classic like "The Wonders At Your Feet" or even oldschool stuff from "The Gallery". I guess it wouldn´t have mattered anyway what they played, everyone was in a great mood. Lots of people were singing along and clapping. Great!
Now the last Swedish band came on stage and from the first second on, there was no doubt that this gig would be at least as good as the gigs before. Just like DT before, Soilwork made everyone go crazy, sing along, headbang and stuff like that with ease. Especially Mr Björn "Speed" Strid made a very positive impression on me, since I didn´t like his vocals on the gigs before. Somehow he had problems with the alternation of clean vocals and growls. But here it was pretty obvious that he had improved a lot. No problems with the higher passages, nice transition to growling, wonderful! The guys definitely had a lot of fun on stage and so did the audience. Especially the bassist surely made some people grin with his sexy hip action. ;-)
Some fans of Soilwork or Dark Tranquillity had already left before Caliban entered stage, but I have to say that they played a pretty good gig, even if this music is not really my cup of tea. Very energetic, and already after the third song they wanted the audience to do a Wall of Death, which was quite impressive. "Nobody got hurt?! Great, that´s how it should be!", said the vocalist and then they fired the next songs into the audience.
Close to midnight the concert was already over... pretty early. But after that most people had to realize that Metal and Metalcore bands can play together pretty well without problems. I would´ve hoped for another "pure Metal-package", but I can´t really complain about the gigs today! Every band convinced in their own way.