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Children Of Bodom Delivers A Shovel Knockout In Chicago

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Band Photo: Children of Bodom (?)

I hadn't seen Children of Bodom live since the band opened for Megadeth back in 2008, so of course I was anxious to see the group play again. The fact that Children of Bodom was playing with Devin Townsend and Septicflesh just made this show that much harder to overlook. Plus the fact that The House of Blues has a great location and is known for providing great sound quality sweetened the deal.

After meeting an interviewing Devin Townsend himself for an interview that will be posted shortly, as well as getting my Strapping Young Lad collection signed, I unfortunately had to deal with The House of Blues draconian security, which required me to leave the backstage area, get a ticket after being confirmed to be on the guest list, head to the back of the line and then reenter the venue. So I'd personally like the thank the management, box office, and security for helping the most impatient man you'll ever meet reenter a venue that he already had access to.

Thankfully this was only a mere hour-long inconvenience and I was able to enter the venue in time to see Septicflesh. While I actually enjoy Septicflesh's albums, their stage show needs a bit of work. It's too theatrical and artificial. The mic stand shaped like a Lovcraftian Eldrich Abomination as well as Spiros Antoniou's overly flamboyant stage presence crossed the line between enthralling and distracting for me. The band needs to tone things down a bit if it wants to be taken seriously, particularly in the North American market in which things are far less pretentious than the band's native Europe.

Other issues that I had with the band included only playing songs from the two most recent albums and the use of a DAT machine for the clean vocals. I don’t know why Sotiris Vagenas wasn't provided a second mic on stage but seeing him not even lip sync during the clean vocals made the set seem plastic. The absence of a live keyboardist was hard enough to overlook but the lack of live clean vocals made me feel uneasy. After fans saw through the artificiality of Dragonforce back in 2006 metal fans have demanded that bands have an organic live presence. Crossing the line further than Ashlee Simpson isn't the way to win people over in metal. A band as old as Septicflesh should know that by now.

The band will need to provide a more raw show during their next tour. I'm still a fan and I hope to see Septicflesh play again in the hope that they'll be able to redeem themselves. Its still one of the best death/doom bands ever and the best to not come out of the UK. It's just a shame that the band underwhelmed me.

Thankfully the rest of the show was excellent. I wasn't wowed by Obscura when I saw the act play with The Black Dahlia Murder, but the band's live show has improved tenfold within the course of a year. Each member's playing was tighter, the vocals were improved, and I finally understood why the band has gotten so much good press. My entire opinion of Obscura changed within an hour and I'm certainly going to check out its albums. Sadly I never purchased any of its music so I have no idea what the setlist was, but I enjoyed seeing them. Hopefully I'll get into the music a bit more between now and the next time Obscura is in town.

Even though I never saw Strapping Young Lad live back in the day, I was still happy to finally see Devin Townsend live. The man has a great stage presence and his stage banter is hysterical, including at one point mentioning randomly that his favorite animal is the unicorn on stage. Devin is such a prolific artist that there sadly wasn't enough time in his set to cover many of his best songs. As much as I enjoyed his set, I couldn't help but feel that it was nothing more than an appetizer for an inevitable headline tour. This only made me feel so much more upset that SYL rarely if ever headlined back in the day.

Finally, Children of Bodom took the stage which meant that for the first time in three years I was able to hear Henkka Sepalla's bass audibly. While Children of Bodom once again played nothing from “Something Wild,” the band is still a very impressive live force. The new material sounds great live, especially Shovel Knockout which will probably remain on the band's set for the foreseeable future. The band's detractors will always despise everything after Hatebreeder but as somebody who was only let down by one album that the band has done, I loved hearing the new songs.

I could go without three songs from "Are You Dead Yet?" but otherwise the set list was fantastic. More importantly, the band remembered to play songs from all but one of its albums, ensuring that all fans in the audience except for those cryogenically frozen since 1997 would be able to hear the band play something familiar. It's sad to see so many “Bloddrunk” songs leave the band's set after only one album and the ending of “Children of Bodom” getting cut off but I was happy with the emphasis on tracks from “Hate Crew Deathroll.” Also, hearing “Downfall” live never gets old.

Every member of CoB is an excellent musician with a strong presence who are able to juggle technicality with theatrics, in particular Alexi Laiho. There’s a reason why he's considered to be a guitar legend which made it awesome to see Laiho play some of his most famous solos like the ones for “Needled 24/7” and “Follow the Reaper.” He's still one of the best guitarists alive today and seeing him play a club show allowed me to pay attention to his technique which I wasn’t able to do three years ago. The only flaw in his performance was his need to talk to Janne Wirman midsong on more than a few occasions. Other than that, Laiho had a great stage presence.

The hardest part of the show for me was leaving the venue. A band like Children of Bodom writes so many memorable songs that even a full headline set left me feeling unfulfilled. I'm hoping that CoB is able to return in 2012 for no other reason than the hope that I can hear some classic tracks like “Lake Bodom,” “Tie My Rope,” “Sixpounder” and “Children of Decadence.” If this tour hasn't come to your hometown yet, I'd recommend calling in sick for work.

Dasher10's avatar

Matt is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Illinois and a metalhead since 1999.

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11 Comments on "Children of Bodom At The House Of Blues"

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Anonymous Reader
1. proofreading i guess is hard for you writes:

Dasher, so many mistakes that needs to be corrected

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 7:29 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

2. Drum_Junkie writes:

^fail
Correction:
Proofreading, I guess, is hard for you.

Dasher, there are so many mistakes that need to be corrected.

In your title and incomplete sentence, I found five errors in punctuation or grammar. I trust Dashers' article has a better word/error ratio.

Dasher, I enjoyed the article. Devin Townsend is great live. I've seen SYL three times, and they never failed to impress.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 9:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. HKA>;Metal writes:

MASQUERADE ATLANTA TONIGHT. F Yeah.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 9:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. Children of Bodom at the Houe of Blues 7/6/2010 New writes:

post #1 is right. You should fix the title and some other things before posting. I also notice that you consistently have typos in many other articles as well.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 10:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

5. R10 writes:

Fvckin english proffessors,eh? Its a simple show review,not a fvckin term paper. I had no trouble reading the review. Good job dasher. I always have trouble with the usage of there,their,they're. I guess i dont get to chafed at simple mistakes,unless there glaringly obvious.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 11:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. BM writes:

Tonight is right in Atlanta, hell yeah !!

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 3:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. liver rott writes:

to Drum_Junkie and the other one...
did you guys know that vocal sounds and this 'text" is nothing more than a tool to express ideas so one knows what the other means. Its ridiculous that we let society tells us what is right or wrong on how we talk. what matters is this person got his point across enough for us to understand. those who like to feel smart by talking down others on their grammar is not very metal.

"all hail conformity of society and government!"

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 3:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
silvermountains's avatar

Member

8. silvermountains writes:

I really hoped this tour coulda had more dates, I saw Bodom twice with there BLS run, Too bad they didn't make it out to colorado with such a powerful line up.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 4:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

9. Drum_Junkie writes:

liver rott: I only responded to the hypocrisy of the first post. Why criticize someone's grammar if you're not proficient in it yourself? I have no beef with the article itself, as I said in my original comment. Had post #1 not said anything, neither would have I.

And yes, society does tend to establish norms for communication. But, in the wrong context, things lead to misunderstanding.
For instance:
a.) Today, I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse.
b.) today i had to help my uncle jack off a horse
Big difference.

# Jul 8, 2011 @ 5:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rex_84's avatar

Writer

10. Rex_84 writes:

Drum Junkie, your example only works in the written form. If read aloud, that sentence would sound nasty with a capitalized or lower case "Jack." I understand your point, though. Grammar rules exist to help us communicate our ideas effectively. I don't feel that Dasher made so many errors that he couldn't effectively convey his ideas. Errors happen, I wish my articles were error-proof, but they aren't. Oh well...

# Jul 12, 2011 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

11. Drum_Junkie writes:

Rex_84:

We all make mistakes. I thought Dashers' article was just fine.
I didn't have any issues reading it, but I guess Post #1 wanted to criticise, so I thought I'd help the troll out a bit. ;)

I've enjoyed your article and concert reviews as well.
In the odd chance that you're ever up in the Tulsa area for a show, hit me up in the forums beforehand.
I'll try to meet you at the show and buy you a beer or two.

\m/

# Jul 12, 2011 @ 4:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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