Kreator and Evile Pack Nokia Theater in New York City
Band Photo: Evile (?)
On March 6, 2010 I went to see Kreator perform at the Nokia Theater in New York City. I was very eager to see Evile, Voivod, and Kreator. I have been a fan of Kreator for some time now, but have only heard one album, “Extreme Aggression.” Evile is a band I was interested in seeing because I have their demo, but have yet to explore much outside of what is on their MySpace page. Voivod has been recommended to me by friends, but I’ve never taken the time to properly explore them. When I arrived at the venue, Lazarus A.D. started playing.
The energy from this band could be felt from the lobby. The crowd also felt it, as there was a sea of headbangers in front of the stage. This is something that doesn’t happen often at New York and New Jersey metal shows; usually there are people up front with their arms crossed or moshing regardless of who was playing. Neither of these things were happening here. The downfall of this band was really the vocalist. His scream seemed to be a bit monotone and just didn’t blend well with the music. For some songs the guitarist would provide backing vocals, which were better than the bassist/lead vocalist’s. The guitarist’s vocals also fit better with the music. Either way, I was able to get over the vocals and enjoy their set. As far as stage presence is concerned, the band moved around on stage headbanging, but the real energy came from the music. Lazarus A.D. made a great opening band that was better than many bands I’ve seen headline.
Next up was Evile. Why weren’t they headlining? They stole the show by far. By the time they came on stage, the venue was packed. I only wish they could have played more than a six song set. The band was extremely tight. They have songs at 300+ bpm and tons of time changes. I couldn’t believe they had them nailed. By their performance, I can tell they didn’t need to use any studio tricks when recording like many bands rely on these days. Not only did they play their songs with pinpoint accuracy, but they were also all over the place on stage. They showed as much energy on stage as they had in their music. When I looked up at singer Matt Drake I thought James Hetfield was making a guest appearance. The guy has nailed his stage presence. Furthermore, guitarist Ol Drake was a ninja. He was crouched low on the ground sneaking around the stage. His furiously fast guitar solos were spot on and delivered more energy to the mix. Not that he was doing anything that any shredder couldn’t do, but most of those guys don’t have the stage presence these guys do. The crowd, which at this point seemed to contain an age range of 13-50, went nuts. Mosh pits were formed, fists were pumped, and heads were banged. The pits were old school circle pits, which is awesome cause most New York City shows I’ve been to always have a few hardcore karate-kicking arm flailing kids who ruin it.
In between songs, Matt Drake asked the crowd, “How many people bought our album?” The crowd cheers. Then he goes on to ask, “how many people downloaded it?” The crowd has an even bigger reaction and Matt continues, “Yeah? So did I.” After their set I went to interview Evile and ended up missing Nachtmystium's entire set as a result.
Evile’s set list was as follows:
1. Infected Nations
2. We Who Are About to Die
3. Time No More
5. Bathe in Blood
6. Enter the Grave
After Evile’s amazing set I couldn’t even imagine what was going to happen with Voidvod. Unfortunately, the lack of energy from the band was a bit surprising. Though their music is a bit slower than previous bands, they could have done more on stage. Voidvod was pretty stationary except for the drummer, Michel Langevin, who was going apeshit on the drums. The energy this guy delivered in each hit was ridiculous. I only wish the rest of his band followed his lead. On top of that he was a really talented and fast drummer. Maybe they were just having an off night, but I found the band to not be as tight as the previous acts. The singer also sounded off. It was nice to see him move around the stage a bit and try to work the crowd, but it seemed like the crowd wasn’t responding much to his efforts. The set was a bit of a disappointment to me, but I still enjoyed their progressive thrashy music. Musically, they didn’t fit in with the rest of the bands’ faster music. The other bands were more focused and had a consistent drive in energy, while Voivod was more experimental. Another thing that really set them aside from the rest of the acts was their progressive breaks. Despite what they lacked in performance, I enjoyed their songs enough to want to listen to more of their music. In the end, they still accomplished their mission of winning over more fans.
Voivod’s setlist was as follows:
2. The Unknown Knows
3. Ripping Heads
6. Tribal Convictions
7. Global Warning
8. Missing Seq.
9. Astronomy Domine
After a break between bands, the headliner, Kreator took the stage. Kreator pulled out all the stops, as well as the fog machines. They were everything you’d expect from a band of their size: tight, high-energy, and lots of headbanging and stage movement. Kreator’s energy played off each other and as a result they seemed to enjoy playing together. For example, guitarist/vocalist Miland "Mille" Petrozza would go near the drummer, Jürgen "Ventor" Reil, headbang for a bit and make a connection with him and thus the audience. Both guitarists also would play together in an Iron Maiden like fashion and moved around the stage headbanging. Their only problem was that their songs sort of ran together. This could be attributed to the writing in the vocal lines. Nonetheless, it was awesome and enjoyable. The crowd response to Kreator was a sea of fists and of course lots of headbanging. Though there was a lot of unity amongst the crowd, during Evile’s set they were moshing more often and had more energy. It was nice to hear them play some songs from “Extreme Aggression,” but for the most part I didn’t know the music well enough. If I knew the songs better I would have enjoyed their set more, so hopefully they come around again.
Kreator’s setlist was as follows:
1. Choir Of The Damned
2. The Pestilence
3. Hordes Of Chaos
5. Enemy Of God
6. Impossible Brutality
7. Endless Pain
8. Pleasure To Kill
9. Terrible Certainty
10. Extreme Aggression
11. Coma Of Souls
12. Servant In Heaven - King In Hell
13. The Patriarch
14. Violent Revolution
15. Demon Prince
16. When The Sun Burns Red
17. Flag Of Hate - encore
18. Tormentor - encore
Having not been familiar with every band’s music, I found myself enjoying the show overall. It is rare that bands I’ve never heard before live capture my interest. Maybe it’s because thrash is what got me into metal, or maybe it’s because the bands are just awesome. Either way check out these bands’ music - you won’t regret it.
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