Live: Children of Bodom at Revolution, July 10

Categories: Last Night
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Children of Bodom
With Septic Flesh, Obscura, and Devin Townsend Project
Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale
Sunday, July 10, 2011


Better than: Listening to it on an ipod... kinda. 

Finnish melodic death-metal band Children of Bodom made its first South Florida appearance Sunday headlining the "Ugly World Tour." Virtuosic guitarist and singer Alexi Laiho and his horde of shredding shredders brought with them a taste of the catchier side of European metal and, amid the scent of what one could only describe as a giant Spencer's Gift store, played a blistering set of songs spanning their career. Opening the show was German tech-metal outfit Obscura, Greek band Septic Flesh, and Canadian Devin Townsend's current band, Devin Townsend Project. 

Septic Flesh began its set at 7:45, featuring a long-winded introduction and your standard set of stage flanking logo'd banners. The set was forgettable at best, and I'm convinced a large portion of what was heard by the audience was a backing track. Singer/bass player Spiros Antoniou neglected to pretend to play his bass in a convincing manner much of the time he was onstage, preferring to pose and solicit martial chants of "EIN!" from the audience, over, and over... and over again. Easily six times. Turning a blind eye to the karaoke bit would've been easier had the music been better, but the truth of the matter is that it was repetitious and bland and lacked any real sonic definition. The programmed backing track of an angelic chorus and sampled "Lil' Jon" keyboards that played through every song didn't really win them any additional points, as it just added to the evidence of their being a metal Milli Vanilli. This band should consider taking a page from the Greek government's playbook and borrow some talent from the German band that played before them. That said, plenty of people in the audience were more than a little stoked on their performance, and I expect we'll hear from a few of them in the comments below. 

Following Septic Flesh was former Steve Vai band lead singer/Strapping Young Lad figurehead/ginger Devin Townsend and his current project, Devin Townsend Project, which is essentially what every musical endeavor of his has been since his setting out on his own in the late '90s. Once the inspiration for the drummer of Dethklok's hair, Townsend has now shaved his head and was sporting a gray silk suit à la the Butabi Brothers of SNL fame. With his war cry of "I smell nerds in the audience!" and his proclamation that his band were, in fact, the biggest nerds around, Townsend launched into a set of hermaphroditic pseudoprogressive, kinda-sorta heavy, uhhh... metal? Alternating between operatic singing and screaming, the current Townsend band sounds a little like Styx, had it decided to play seven-string guitars, at the circus. Again, a large number of people in attendance were very excited to see them, and he had them in the palm of his hand for the duration of their set, regardless of what a far cry from Strapping Young Lad this may be. 

Finally, after a less-than-professional and lengthy onstage sound check, Children of Bodom took the stage at 10 p.m. The tattered gray flags that waft suspended from the ceiling are undoubtedly victims of the bands signature reaper, which is depicted in a massive backdrop. As an intro blasts through the speakers, it is drowned out by the audiences chant of "BODOM! BODOM!" and finally, COB make their way out one at a time. Alexi Laiho received a massive fanfare upon his, the last, arrival to the stage. What had been Fort Lauderdale a few minutes ago became Air Drum City within seconds on the Finnish band's entrance and its kicking off "Not My Funeral," the first track off of its most recent full-length release.

Unfortunately, it took the band several songs to sort out the mix. Meanwhile, the guys stalked the stage, each member the archetype of heavy-metal theatrics. Alexi expels a cloud of water toward the flags above as they kick off the next song. The guitars are finally a bit louder, and during the solo break in the second number, Alexi and rhythm guitarist Roope Latvala begin to stretch out a bit. The six-string prowess Liaho demonstrates is astonishing, the sort of athletic playing that would impress anyone regardless of their understanding of music, and what's more impressive is that he can do it all while singing. Keyboardist Janne Wirman's playing reminds me of every videogame "boss" level I've ever heard and would be comical if it weren't so impressive. Kids crowd-surfed as the recessed center area of Revolution churned with movement. Older tracks were the best-received, with "In Your Face" from 2005's Are You Dead Yet? upping the rowdy mood for the rest of the night. 

Heavy metal is supposed to be a loud experience; you're supposed to go home with a touch of tinnitis and a sore neck, but for some reason, this show lacked the volume you'd expect from a big budget metal show. One should not be able to hear crowd chatter at a show like this, and it has become more and more apparent that live music is being neutered. The crowd seemed content to settle for backing-tracked, Auto-Tuned bullshit in the name of consistency, and I, for one, cannot accept it, and neither should you. 

Critics Notebook 

Random detail: Bras hung from the roof of the bar, remnants from the set of Rock of Ages, which was being filmed at Revolution's facility.

Random detail 2: In my game of best band shirts on hand, the winners are a guy in a Bathory shirt -- extra points for its faded ink and missing sleeves -- and the gentlemen in the Vital Remains shirt. Kudos; you get a free copy of New Times

Personal bias: Like most metal fans, I'm a tough sell, unless, of course, it's one of the bands I really love, in which case, your opinion is totally wrong for the following ten reasons, and their first EP was revolutionary. 

Overheard: Way too many conversations during COB's set as the volume was at cover-band levels. 

Set List: 

-Not My Funeral 
-BBT
-Needled 24/7
-Shovel Knockout 
-Roundtrip to Hell and Back
-In Your face
-Living Deadbeat
-Children of Decadence
-Hate Me!
-Blooddrunk
-Angels Don't Kill
-Follow the Reaper
-Downfall

Encore

-Was It Worth It?
-Are You Dead Yet?
-Hate Crew Death Roll

Location Info

Map

Revolution Live

100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

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2 comments
Adder
Adder

Hahaha I'm the guy in the Bathory shirt. I also play in a Black Metal band called Sinistre Division, we're playing a show Sunday July 17th at Churchill's along with Blowtorch Sodomy, Faethom, Sadistic Death & others come check us out.

Nice review BTW

Negativedeath666
Negativedeath666

Overheard: Way too many conversations during COB's set as the volume was at cover-band levels. ? hey why dont you shut the fuck up , this is the reason why we dont get good metal bands down here in south FL  dick face , its a fucking metal show  , ppl are going there to have a good time , listen to the music , bang there fucking heads , get in the pit and what not . so stop hateing and shut the fuck up . by the way yes your 100% right about Septic Flesh . that band has nothing to offer  , i dont know what ppl see in them .

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