^^^ I'm really looking forward to Parsifal - indeed, Wagner's music is the "heavy metal of opera."
Regarding Friday, yep, that was an outstanding gig night. Kvelertak was great as I expected and I think it was actually my favorite of the three (the other two being 10/26/11 at Empty Bottle & 4/20/13 at Bottom Lounge) I've attended....primarily because the large Metro elevated stage & overall venue atmosphere (love Metro - been going there for 30 years) really suited them. As you know, they are a six piece, and really need that space. (Haha, reminds me how crowded and huddled together they were on the tiny Empty Bottle stage). They played their hearts out, totally drenched in sweat by the end of the gig. I had a great spot right in front of the stage "on the rail" stage right. In retrospect, I would have preferred stage left because that is the side where bassist Marvin Nygaard (top right in my pic above) and guitarist Vidar Landa (bottom right in my pic) stand and are especially fun to watch. Vocalist Erlend (left in my pic)...well, he is one of my top favorite frontmen ever - and as he did the opening night of the spring tour I attended in April, he ended up crowd surfing a bit - lol - what a lovable, ball 'o energy, crazy nut he is on stage (yet suprisingly mild mannered and nice to talk to in person). I like.
So, why do I love this band soooo much? Good question that I've been asking myself since I learned of them in Fall, 2011 (description at bottom***). I think what appeals to me *most* about them is how they perfectly capture
what I think of as the "great rock 'n roll spirit." Sure, they've been described as many things: hardcore punk, black metal, hard rock, heavy metal, "black 'n roll," and so on.... but for me, they nail why I dug "rock" and "hard rock" music in the first place coming of age in the great era of "classic rock" in 1970s America. They may not sound like any one band that I listened to in my early days (although I've mentioned before that seeing them now reminds me of the same utter thrill I had seeing The Ramones in 1980, as well as so many other bands as a teenager & young adult)...yet, somehow they personify that raw, unadulterated Rock 'n Roll Rooaaaarrrr
(essence) perfectly. In short, they totally nail it for me. Pure magic. The video for their "anthem" song - simply called "Kvelertak" - that they are now known to end every show with - says it all. http://youtu.be/Eelfbl1ZLrE
...although my favorite song of their two albums would still have to be Mjod from their debut http://youtu.be/iDyHhV9UK-4
; a disclaimer about the Mjod video - I really love the song, but not keen on the violence in the video - although the fact that just about everyone in the gig "audience" is dead at the end is somewhat clever in a black humor/punk kinda way.
I realize that many people (here & elsewhere) might listen to this band and don't understand the hype and/or really don't care for them, and haha - that's ok. Like anything, all of this boils down to personal taste (and in my case for sure, my lifelong love of music, i.e. my personal music "history" and how that affects how I react to and "hear" music today in 2013). A side note: I've often heard & read Kvelertak being compared to Norwegian punk band Turbonegro, so I jumped at the chance to see them when they were here in Chicago last May. Although they date back to 1989, I was not familiar with them, so I spent a great deal of time listening to their discography before seeing them in May at the Double Door venue in my neighborhood (thank god I live close to most these places I frequent). While I like
Turbonegro well enough, and I did enjoy their live gig, they are no Kvelertak in my book.
I'm going to have to give the mighty Matt Pike & his band High on Fire short shrift for now because I've run out of time, but in short - I love HoF as well (although I was feeling pretty drained after Kvelertak, drank some beer by the bar for awhile afterwards, and therefore totally lost my great front row spot. By the time HoF came on, the venue was so packed, I couldn't get anywhere near close, and I really hate being stuck way in the back). I need to listen to their complete discography now as I'm only really familar with a few HoF albums. Great band - will definitely see them again.
***A Norwegian guy I met at Hole in the Sky in Bergen in August, 2011 messaged me not long after I got home and basically said "hey, there's this band from Stavanger, Norway called Kvelertak that I think you'd really like, plus they're touring the US this fall - you should check them out." They only had their debut album out at that point, and I fell in love with it *immediately.* I love awesome serendipitous things like that.