It's been three long years since I last went to Rock City so not only was I looking forward to returning to the hallowed ground, a staple in many a bands touring schedule, but I finally manage to catch Turisas live! How have I not managed before I hear you ask? I honestly have no idea; they even played Download festival this year!
Anyhoo, A pleasant surprise to see the support acts on this short tour, Astrohenge and Revoker! I first caught the former in a little pub in Shoredich about four or so years ago and I was mightily impressed back then, so how were they tonight? Bloomin awesome I tell ya!
Astrohenge are an instrumental outfit leaning in the progressive end of the scale but with large doses of Heavy Metal and underlying tones of doom. Building a wall of sound flows effortlessly from their energy and the four peace waste no time tearing up the stage.
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Revoker I have only heard of by name so, good to be introduced to something new. The southern rockers from Wales stood tall and strong and you know what, for any band touring the UK, this is THE band to have as main support. Apart from the grade A quality of rock, their performance was just spot on; gearing the crowd up, hard and loud rockin, no messing about. I like this band!
As for Turisas, well, what can I say. The early show didn't bother anyone, they still had an hour and half to play with in which they performed nearly the entire new album, 'Turisas2013'! Blended with three tracks from Battle Metal and many others in between it was a perfect mix of old and new, each track as greatly received as the others. The band stated that usually everyone is drunk by the time they end with 'Battle Metal', so instead they would play it in the middle of the set so that everyone can remember it and not fall over drunk!
I have to say that the Rock City crowd was pretty exceptional tonight, the hall was not rammed but audience just went for it in every single track, moshing, fist pumping, cheering, axe waving - and donned in enough red and black paint and viking armour to raise a small rebellious army! Even the oddly placed dance music from 2000 before the show didn't deter this crowd, amusingly bopping along to 'I'm Horny'!
The light show was pretty well choreographed too, not just your average flashing on the beat, well constructed sequences fitting the mood of the tracks, well done!
My personal highlight being 'Greek Fire' from the new album, powerful, loud, fast and outright awesome, I'm really glad they included it. And of course, who doesn't love 'Rasputin', the bands encore, the crowd went wild at this extended version. I've gotta say, the band didn't once loose pace and I was mightily impressed with the live vocals from the band, the five part harmony choir was big enough to rival any Welsh men.
At one point I thought there was a backing track but it turned out that even the drummer sang at points too! The only let down was that the band got the audience to sing a drinking song at each venue, Rock City failed! But to be fair, we don't really have drinking songs in this country - maybe this ought to be rectified!
In conclusion, I give whole hearted top marks for the whole night as I'm left thirsty for more!