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When I met Andy, Peter and Helmut (Mely, local support act that night) in sizzling midday heat, it was only the beginning of a huge logistic operation. Andy´s plan was to gather four small buses and 20-30 people for a transport from Carinthia to Salzburg to watch the Moonsorrow show.
We arrived at Salzburg after some hours of driving and managed to find Rockhouse first, a quite interesting location with a brick-arcade hall as concert venue. We dragged the equipment behind the stage where Debauchery just had their soundcheck. The other buses arrived, a bus door opened, and what first fell out was a bottle of alcohol, right afterwards the passengers, literally. Most of them seemed to have a drop too much already.
Around 8 it was time for Mely to get in front of their crowd. Singer Andy, who obviously felt in his element, guitarist Peter (with hair that every woman envies), keyboarder Martin, Bass player Daniel and drummer Helmut started performing. Their interesting mix of keyboard tunes and guitar riffs, let´s call it Gothic Rock, appealed to the crowd. They had excellent sound during their Rockhouse debut; you could easily see their stage experience, e. g. last year on main stage of Metalcamp. Asking people from the audience later, if they knew Mely, the reply usually was “Those guys with Lady In Black?” This Uriah Heep cover has always been part of their show. This time it was only after 30 min when they had to make room for Debauchery.
Debauchery offered bloody butcher Metal that was not quite the right sound for the crowd that night. Nevertheless they performed their blood Metal program professionally with head banging factor 10 for all those who did not happen to sit at the bar. It seemed that most people just waited for Swallow The Sun and Moonsorrow.
Swallow the Sun filled the hall again like a magnet, and it was the first time for me to see them live. Their music is not quite my taste, a bit too much Doom for me. But live they were absolutely convincing, therefore I have to listen to their recent record “Hope” again, because it seems that as recording it sounds much more boring. And this adjective unfortunately fits singer Mikko who seemed a bit unmotivated when he delivered his lyrics. No poses, no emotions – that was not necessarily bad for the music, the fans were still excited, but the overall picture suffered slightly.
Moonsorrow was the band eagerly awaited. Fans rushed from the bar back into the hall not to miss a single moment. When the Finns started their show people began to dance, fans at the front waved flags and cheered on top of their lungs. The Moonsorrow sound was perfect, no wonder, the Rockhouse guys know their job. I like to listen to this kind of music also at home, this show could convince me completely, and I guess this will be the general response to this tour. You hardly ever hear real long tracks live, but those Pagan Metal guys played one from the new album "Hävitetty" that caused a miniature moshpit in front of the stage. The fans even managed to keep it going for 10 minutes, a little pause, and then they seemed to have gathered enough energy to start all over again, wasting away their last strength. Ville, who had been at the bar before the show until the very last moment, summed it up: “It´s fucking hot.” But also their show had to end, and fans left the venue with a big smile.
Afterwards Mely managed to gather all their people, and the buses left with us in pole position. However, we did not really know the way, so we created in Salzburg a sort of car polonaise :)
Later I got a message from Andy: “@Chris: Summary: 2 radar traps, 1 x video toll without being equipped for it, 3 Buses totally messed up ... when do we do it again? We are ready! *LOL*“ This is what I call attitude :)
Christian Girstmair, transl. Klaudia Weber
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