martes, agosto 18, 2009

Alternavigo 2009 + Moonspell en Pontevedra

7th: Scar Symmetry, Destruction, Dragonforce, Dark Tranquillity, Paradise Lost, UDO, Amon Amarth
8th: Angelus Apatrida, Ktulu, Stravaganzza, Skizoo, Hamlet, Los Suaves, Grave Digger
8th: Moonspell
Day: August, 7th & 8th 2009
Place: IFEVI - Vigo
Price: 30 € first presale / 60 € doors

*Note 1: “A tomar unas cervecitas” means "to have some small beers”
*Note 2: Like always, you can click over pics to see them bigger (at least the "enuma elis" signed)

Arrival to Vigo on thursday and after some tapas at night, we were prepared for the Alternavigo Festival second edition. Very unorganized until few days (even hours) before the concert, knowing just 4 days before that Grave Digger was the big band of the 8th August, knowing the schedules just 1 or 2 days before, and with almost zero promotion, this festival is coming for second time stablishing as the biggest Metal festival ever done in Galicia.
We were fearing this time people didn’t answer to the calling because of the low interest and few activity in concerts of metal fans in Galicia. Besides, this time bands were not so “old school” as that Alternavigo 2008 and that matter could play against the musical meeting.
It was one of the issues that I was more curious about: attendance.

Night of Thursday 6th August: tapas en Imperial + "A tomar unas cervecitas" (x4) en Porrón and Beer & Bones


17:00 – Scar Symmetry

Unluckily, our skirtmate Simon had the terrible lost of his granpa so he and his gf Angela had to leave on friday morning :(

Just arrived, and Scar Symmetry was already playing! We missed few seconds of Morphogenesis and that was great: it meant this time people from the organisation were very aware of the criticism in the last year about the complete chaos of the delaying (the last band, Cradle of Filth, played 2 hours after the forecast).
Scar Symmetry was having a quite ok sound, not the best -a bit low- but after we saw so many concerts in Galicia, it was ok for us. The loosing of Cristian Alvestam played against this band which had to take 2 singers to replace him. One was the “power metal voice” and the other was the “melodeath voice” (sometimes exchanging their roles) and they were ok, but I’d rather see Mr. Alvestam. I didn’t like their movementes too much: being 2, they could be more active and play more with the chance of having 2 independent throats. The main guitarist was too static, he was so concentrated about his fingers that he seemed to be giving a teaching class to us all the time.
First moshings, mainly between teenagers eager of metaaaaaaaaaaaaaal.
Correct concert.

18:15 – Destruction

Schedules were thoughtfully prepared, and Destruction came very soon. I have never liked too much this band. It is quite hard for me to stand one whole album, but isolated songs are ok. The triostarted with a bit low sound but later it was getting better. Moshing was much more active in the middle of the crowd and the concert was again ok. Public started to grow in number as well, and it started to be similar to the past year.

19:30 – Dragonforce

Yes, we thought.. it is time...“a tomar unas cervecitas”

We cannot understand why this band was playing after such classic as Destruction. Maybe the issue of appearing in that Guitar Hero stuff with “Through fires and flames” helped them to be more known. I have friends that the only metal music they know is Metallica or AC/DC and they knew this speedic power metal band… strange.
They made big part of the public to be more quiet after Destruction, and just some in front of them were cheering with the hands in the air. We just decided to sit in the middle after the first song because their music and attitude of smiling, jumping stupidly and cleaning the ground with the hair was a bit boring for our taste. Meanwhile we decided to watch them from one of the screens in the right side, talking, drinking, making jokes and sleeping a bit XD
The singer seemed to like to make people wet and didnt stop throwing water as far as he could. Ehmm oooook.... after the same speed-solo repeated in every song for 4th time, we decided to have a walk through the stands of shirts and CDs

21:00 Dark Tranquillity

After the dull of Dragonforce, by the way, with not very good sound in our position, then it came the madness of Dark Tranquillity. They did unquestionablythe best concert of all the Alternavigo 2009 (that includes 2008 as well). Again first with not very good sound but it was arranged a bit later, and public was expectant in the beginning, but soon we all became crazy with the magnificent show of the swedish band. We -our friends and me- were so into the music that took off the shirt and started moshing a bit, making headbanging and enjoying as much as they gave.
Maybe the only thing I could say against them is the setlist they had chosen, where there were no songs from the great “The mind’s eye” or “The gallery”, but I understand it’s difficult to choose when you have almost 20 years of story, and lots of very good songs.
They were the absolute winners.

22:30 Paradise Lost

Dark Tranquillity had a great sound and moved everyone in the place, and Paradise Lost had a difficult place in the schedule after them. And I guess that’s because they didn’t convince public too much. Besides, being a dark-rock-metal band after DT wouldn’t help. They played mostly the new stuff, and Nick Holmes didn’t make any hint for doing a growl, and I really believe old songs with clean voice make them to dissapoint everyone: the new fans cause they don’t know that doom stuff, and the old fans cause they are used to listen to that music with that strong voice (I am a fan in the middle –I like things from every PL season, and I would prefer as well they skipped old stuff if they make the shit they are doing with that in concerts).
The first lines were much calmer than before, and public was just looking at them mostly, and others took a step(s) back.
Not the best, but I think they were ok though we took their concert much calmer as well cause we needed to rest a bit the neck :P

“A tomar unas cervecitas”

00:00 – UDO

The small singer came with midnight and the schedules were perfectly followed. Starting with the famous Metal Heart, the germans had the public in the palms of their hands. There were lots of people who came to see just him and seems he didn’t dissapoint them. My opinion is a bit different. I think the setlist could be better, and I would prefer they played more songs instead of making a neverending story with some in the end. Seemed every song was the last one looking at the way of finishing. They made longer Balls to the wall (it's ok with this one, JUST with this one) and Princess of the Dawn (not necessary). The good point from them was that half setlist was old Accept stuff, which has under my sight much better songs than UDO. The bad: not playing Restless & Wild or Fast as as Shark... noooooooo!!!
Sound was again ok (so many bands with ok sound started to be amazing) and public answered quite well (of course!! Old school!!)

“A tomar unas cervecitas”

1:30 – Amon Amarth

The guardians of Asgard became in the last years a very famous band with their original viking melodeath, so much that it happened something completely unbelievable if we might think about this just 10 years ago: an extreme metal band heading everyone and over the heavy metal myth of UDO!
The swedish (three swedish bands in Vigo! Quite unbelievable as well!) vikings had again good sound and singer Johan Hegg did a perfect job. I went to the first line with my friend, who got a towel "brand amon amarth” and it was really enjoyable. People were tired after so many concerts, so in this one there was no moshing around, but cheered anyway a lot. Even that probably some UDO fans went to their homes, the excitement about Amon Amarth was high, and the place was more full than the previous year with the awful show of Cradle of Filth, I think. Twilight of the Thunder God, Victorious March, Death in Fire, Guardians of Asgard, of course Pursuit of Vikings… we reached home quite dead but very happy about the show and with quite a pain in the neck XD
Maybe the only dark point I can find is the lack of light in their show, we were close and could see their faces, but I bet a bit farer you could see just shadows. They should place some lights in front as well, not just up there.

The pic of Alternavigo 2009:


No time for hangovers. We went to the house of my dear friend Kike who made a great barbecue and with full stomach of meat and coffee liquor we went quickly to the place :P

17:00 – Angelus Apatrida

A bit tired but fine we reached again to the festival in the “spanish day”. We were a bit doubtful at the beginning if we should buy the ticket for this day as well, cause spanish bands are quite crap in general, but Angelus Apatrida and Grave Digger (the only foreigner in this day) could be worth to spend just 10 € more.
Again just in time, the 80’s influenced thrashers started and people went crazy with them doing walls of death, circles of death, headbanging of death, moshing of death and every possible thing of death. It was a bit odd that people were so active with the “smallest” band of the festival, but they left a very good impression when playing some months ago here in Vigo at the Iguana Pub, and people were eager to see them again.
In relation to the music, this concert was quite shorter than the one months ago, just played half time, and it was a bit short for everyone there. They had worst sound than in Iguana, and, objectively I must say that they did better in the small place than in this festival.
Anyway, people enjoyed a lot from the first riff to the last “corruption!!!” and it was probably the best show of the second day in the Alternavigo'09.

After so many circles of madness and evil moshings and grinder walls....

... the injuries...

18:15 – Ktulu

Ktulu is a spanish band which was famous 15 years ago or so, doing a kind of thrash-crossover. I have never liked this band so I cannot be very objective with their concert. I just can say that songs from Ktulu are quite crap, sound was not very good, and people didn’t answer too much, most of them just standing and looking and others went to have some beer outside.
They did a concert for people who started in the metal world in the 90’s and being not a very good decade for heavy/thrash metal releases (not in the world but absolutly not in Spain) they started listening to all those spanish crap bands, but it was the only we had in this country (...)
Right now, we saw Ktulu tried to follow the trends playing a bit more industrial-hardcore style, but they are absolutely an old-fashion part of the dark years for the spanish metal.
We even didnt bother about taking pics close.
“A tomar unas cervecitas” while Ktulu is playing their awful music behind.

19:30 Stravaganzza

We decide to wait until their concert cause it would be funny to see the spanish “rockstar” Leo Jimenez aka Leo aka 037. Stravaganzza is a band that doesn’t know at all what to be in its life. They want to be progressive, they want to be power metal, they want to be dark metal, they want to be gothic metal, they want to be Pantera, they want to be classical heavy metal… they want to be so many things… that it’s a pity that they don’t do any good one. They don’t know even how to compose songs; It’s not natural to play a typical Pantera riff for afterwards playing some dull ballad in the same song and afterwards some symphonic power metal and back to Pantera.
It’s not natural as well to have a guest which was a kind of crossover hardcore rapper? in a power metal song, it totally ruins everything, besides the song was already not very good.
After releasing a bit myself about the “wanna be” of Stravaganzza, I must say that they have some good parts as well, though under my point of view they finish ruining it making unnecessarily too long songs.
Related to the sound, it’s annoying this kind of “rockstar band”; the voice of Mr. Leo was over all the instruments, and when he took another guitar for doing the rhythm, it was louder than the solo guitar!
They were cheering as well the drummer they had in this concert, someone called Dani Perez or so… as he was one famous metal drummer or I don’t know… funny. Later someone told he that was the drummer of Skizoo, the next band, and I was “aaaaaaah much better now… the "very famous Dani of the international famous Skizoo XDDD”
I didn’t like their show nor the “rockposer” Leo, which has a good voice, but he spoil the songs singing the 90% of the time, and with too high volume.
By the way, we should ask if the guitarist is playing uncomfortable with that long skirt cause he didn’t made a step in all the concert, just very baaaaaaaaad faces (uuuuuh). Maybe an exchange? ours are quite comfortable :P

We love you Leoooooo......

....but not more than him uuuuh XD

“A tomar unas cervecitas”

20:50/1:00 - Skizoo, Hamlet, Los Suaves

They are bands that we have no interest at all, so we skipped them to go to Pontevedra, 30 min. far from Vigo by car. Moonspell and for free in the party of the town “Festas da Peregrina” was too good!!!
So at that time we left the Alternavigo:

We went to a place for dinner some tapas and “a tomar unas cervecitas” before the show, a very good place, by the way, called simply “Bar” XD It was a funny name for us and we decided to check inside. It seemed a typical old people “bar”, and following the usual rule “in the poorest looking places for old people you will have the best and cheapest food” we came inside.
Total surprise, the first corridor was full of people and the barman told us to go up (???) where we ate in a very nice terrace under a covering of grape trees. Food was pretty amazing and not expensive at all. Mmmm pig ear yummi yummi

22:30 – Moonspell

Just when finished, first riffs of Moonspell started outside, and we went quickly. Amazing place in the middle of the town (we were thinking what neighbours would think when they started listening to the music XD)
With images behind the stage and a big scenary Moonspell showed why they are the most famous band in Portugal and the BEST band in the Iberic lands. Fernando has character, presence and attitude and he is a great leader. Sound was good, lights were amazing, ambient was perfect with those candlelights, clothes… and the show was almost perfect. I say "almost" because I think there is some mistake in the setlist: they played Scorpion Flower, a mid-tempo/slow song, and afterwards 2 more (Luna and I don’t know the other) from the "bad years" of the band when they tried to sound more rock and less doomy which were both slow as well. So the concert had a letdown of 15-20 min. in the middle but soon recovered when they played Alma Mater, probably the best moment of the concert. Afterwards Awake, Full Moon Madness,… yeeeeeeeh

Great evening in Pontevedra, good sound, perfect performance, nice ambient with the lights they brought, and good place in that square with the full moon in the high of a warm summer night.
The best of Alternavigo’s second day was to leave Alternavigo, no doubt.

1:30 – Grave Digger

The party in Pontevedra’s old town looked quite fun, but having the chance of being in a Grave Digger concert in Galicia is quite unique, so we went back to Vigo and arrived just when Los Suaves, a galician “rock old school” band had finished. People seemed not to be very glad with them, someone was talking about the drunkenness of the singer (something usual in the band, even that he must be more than 60 years old).

“A tomar unas cervecitas”

Grave Digger started again with bad sound, and after 2 days of festival from 17:00 PM to 3:00 AM people didn’t have the same energy. But soon the german band cheered up people and we spent our last energies singing Heavy Metal Breakdown. Knights of the Cross, Dark of the Sun, Rebellion and so on. Sound got much better in the half-end, but I didn’t like again the setlist they had chosen. They played like 4 or 5 songs from their last album “Ballads of a Hangman”(which I don’t like too much) and left behind some classics like Pendragon or Circle of Witches...
They were just ok.

Yes, we started dancing humppa-muiñeira style and then my friend had to stop recording XD

After the concert, we went out in the city (yes, almost dead, but it was our last day and.. ) to the Beer & Bones pub, where people from Skizoo, Hamlet and Angelus Apatrida were having some beers inside. I haven’t seen that place so full before, but we stayed there till morning having some fun and talking with friends and people that we met in the concert about what we liked or not and so on.
Last pics with a lot of sweat over us after a day full of concerts and the hot summer night we had in Vigo and specially inside the pub :S :

A pic with Young Dio!!!

7:30 AM – Arriving home

… and still alive we came back to our homes the next day. It was a great weekend, I hope Alternavigo is now stablished as a festival and they decide to repeat next year. It is no doubt the biggest festival of rock-metal ever done in Galicia. And this time they managed to solve the huge problems of schedules of the past year, the problems of sound were almost nonexistent and concerts were in the average quite good.
Unas cervecitas for the Alternavigo!!!

Vigo at 7:30 AM

“A tomar unas cervecitas”!!!

Some pics courtesy of:
El Porron