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Live Concert Report: Windhand And Un

Late in 2018 I began toying with the idea of going to the 2019 Brutal Assault Festival. I was excited by each announcement of new bands being added to the bill, and when Windhand was added I was thrilled. However, once the running order was released just prior to the festival itself, I was saddened to see that Windhand was playing at the exact same time as Kampfar. Windhand was playing on a new stage that was very difficult to get to and from, and they are from the USA so I figured I may have more chances to see them in the future. I elected to go see Kampfar and was not disappointed, but I have still regretted not seeing Windhand ever since. Until now.

I was visiting my daughter in Portland a few weeks ago and drove past the Aladdin Theater in her neighborhood. Alas, Windhand was on the marquee, and I decided that a return trip to Portland was in order.

windhand Aladdin theater

Un, a doom metal band from Seattle--not to be confused with the other 5+ bands with the same name, opened the evening with just two songs. I believe one lasted for over 10 minutes and the other clocked in at about 20 minutes.

un Aladdin theater

There is a wide spectrum of doom metal out there, and only some of it works for me when I’m sober and not at a live show. Much of the rest will touch my nerves correctly only in a live and/or properly intoxicated state. The slower stuff (funeral doom, etc.) is of the latter category, and Un lean that way. The more varied types, with some uptempo passages and changes of pace, are my preferred versions.

un Aladdin theater

I thoroughly enjoyed Un. Beyond the music, one reason was that—unlike some opening acts—the headliner and/or venue gave them decent lighting that changed. A funeral doom band playing in unaltering darkness is only interesting for so long. That was not the case here.

The guy next to me leaned over and asked “Who are these guys? I could totally trance out on them.” I can absolutely see where he was coming from.

windhand Aladdin theater


Windhand, likewise, had pleasantly surprising lighting that was altered for each song. The shadows of the band members on the Aladdin Theater walls was also a trip for those not too close to the stage to miss the effect.

windhand Aladdin theater

This was my first time at the Aladdin, and I was impressed. There was no photo pit, and things appeared fairly packed down front, so I never went near the stage. However, the front row of the balcony was absolute bliss. One could take in everything without the distractions of the crowd. For music in the realm of Windhand, this was perfect and quite meditative.

windhand Aladdin theater

This was an evening I will not soon forget, and Windhand was well worth the wait. I hope it isn’t the only time I am able to experience them live.

windhand Aladdin theater

I’ll be posting more photos from this evening over the coming months here.

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