Saint Vitus @ Babel / Sticky Fingers (SE)

SAINT VITUS / ORANGE GOBLIN

Date: 07th November, 2014 (Malmö) & 11th November, 2014 (Gothenburg)
Venue: Babel (Malmö), Sticky Fingers (Gothenburg)
Tickets: 220DKK (€22/$27) / 260SEK (€26/$32)
Promoter: n/a
Photos: Erika Wallberg


For some reason I had never been to Babel in Malmö before and this is a bit of a shame since lots of cool gigs have been hosted there in the past. After getting there and realizing how cool this place is, I thought I should have re-scheduled my activities and watch a few bands in Malmö instead of other cities. Located in an old church, the acoustics is phenomenal and also, since it’s built in sections, almost like balconies, it’s possible to see the show in a very nice way. Also, the airy venue allowed more creativity when it comes to light. I like Sticky Fingers too, but the light for photos can be rather limited there.

Both venues filled up very fast and both were actually almost full when ORANGE GOBLIN hit the stage. I think it was a decade and a half ago or so, since I had seen ORANGE GOBLIN live, so I really was looking forward to watching them again. This is a fantastic live act. Ben Ward is a massive piece of vocalist and one doesn’t dare do anything but obey when he asks you to do something. I guess the rest of the crowd felt the same since they followed every move of his. I was a bit surprised actually; perhaps it’s me who hasn’t paid very much attention, or been completely out of the Rock scene in Malmö (it has seemed pretty dull to me actually) but it was really nice to see a lot of people giving it all and singing along to everything ORANGE GOBLIN were playing, and not only the chorus-lines. It was the same both in Malmö and Gothenburg, even if was most prominent in Malmö. One downside with the Malmö show though, which has nothing to do with the bands, was the crowd on stage right. There was a bunch of 4-5 guys moshing around in a very brutal way. Of course, you can’t count on standing without being pushed in the front row for a close to sold-out show but it was a huge difference between the sides. At the other edge of the venue it was convivial and warm, but stage right it was cold and brutal. It’s strange when the moshing seems to be reason to go to a show rather than the music, at least that’s how it appeared.

And then it’s good with the balconies, to be able to hide from the worst headbanging. Of course, ORANGE GOBLIN’s music really invites to that. And it was a damn good show; their rather extensive set was over in no time. “Saruman's Wish” was of course damn cool to hear live and also brought back memories from the past. But also amazing “Sabbath Hex” worked very well live. The favorite part of the ORANGE GOBLIN’s shows was hands down the massive “Into The Arms Of Morpheus” from latest LP “Back From The Abyss” together with “The Fog” from previous “A Eulogy For The Damned”. In the latter, Ben did a Zombie-walk and attacked guitarist Joe Hoare. By the way, I think Joe’s guitar sound is damn cool. Of course, in this genre it’s not very common to have a lot of multi-effects and other things but still, that true tube amp, powerful and massive wall of sound really sends shivers down my spine. So hell yes, ORANGE GOBLIN did a very good job heating up the venues for SAINT VITUS - a little too good perhaps?

ORANGE GOBLIN setlist (Malmö & Gothenburg):

01. “Scorpionica”
02. “Acid Trial”
03. “Saruman's Wish”
04. “Sabbath Hex”
05. “Heavy Lies The Crown”
06. “Blue Snow”
07. “Some You Win, Some You Lose”
08. “Into The arms Of Morpheus”
09. “Devil's Whip”
10. “The Fog”
11. “They Come Back”
12. “Quincy The Pigboy”
13. “Red Tide Rising”

ORANGE GOBLIN (Malmö)

Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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ORANGE GOBLIN (Gothenburg)

Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Orange Goblin @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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What actually happened in both Malmö and Gothenburg was that parts of the crowd never returned after the change-over break. Not that the venues got empty, not at all, but in both cities ORANGE GOBLIN had bigger crowds than SAINT VITUS. But that really doesn’t matter; it’s hard to explain because on paper ORANGE GOBLIN are better technically. But almost no band in the genre can be close to the nerve SAINT VITUS have. It grooves (of course completely different compared to ORANGE GOBLIN) and is heavy as hell. A lot thanks to drummer Henry “Hank the Tank” Vasquez, who has the same power and technique as late John Bonham or Ginger Baker; I love that vivid kind of drumming.

In Malmö, Dave Chandler entered the stage looking rather pissed off, barking at the crowd. After a while I realized it was more "come on, let’s rock" kind of moves that was going on. The show actually started off rather lazy, both from band and crowd, apart from one girl hanging in front of Dave Chandler who was dancing and wobbling her ass like crazy. At Babel there are stairs at each side of the stage and she was halfway up those so her behind was over the crowd and very visible for everyone. It was great to watch and it actually did the trick to wake up the crowd at least. For the band it just took a few songs to get started and then it was just as good as ever.

The atmosphere in the crowd was still the same as for ORANGE GOBLIN though and the guys at stage right were still making a mess. Also, I’m not sure if it was for SAINT VITUS or during the ORANGE GOBLIN set when a guy climbed the stage, jumped, but too far and fell head first to the floor, it looked rather scary when his friends carried him out from the venue. Again, comparing to ORANGE GOBLIN who performed with such energy, still it becomes more intense with SAINT VITUS, even if Wino is just hanging on the microphone-stand hiding his face in is arm, or just moving slowly around the stage. And then Mark Adams, sometimes he hardly looked alive, at least in Malmö. And then, “Let Them Fall” is such a lazy song, so it fits doing nothing onstage, still everyone went crazy - this doesn’t really match in reality and it shouldn’t work, but it did and it’s so damn good.

However, things don’t always work out as planned. Getting to Gothenburg, a sign on the door stated that the Ayatollah of Rock’n’Rolla (ok, the sign actually said Wino) wouldn’t perform with SAINT VITUS. And so this happens when one carries illegal substances in the Scandinavian countries. The Norwegian border police decided to send Wino back to USA on the next flight and back he went. The spirit for the rest of the band wasn’t at the highest before the doors had opened in Gothenburg but still I don’t think anyone turned around and went home because of the sign actually. But everyone for sure was wondering how SAINT VITUS should solve this issue. And to my surprise it worked out damn well. Dave Chandler sang most of the lead vocals, and Henry backed him up. Also Mark Adams stepped up and filled his side of the stage, moving around and even headbanged a bit. One can actually wonder why he’s so timid normally since he has it in him to rock hard. Anyway, it was great to see him at the front edge of the stage.

The really cool thing with the Gothenburg gig (and I guess the ones that followed on the rest of the tour) is that it became rather special. Apparently Dave hasn’t been singing on stage for 25 years or so, at least not lead for a whole show. Sure, his voice is a lot more rough than Wino’s but it worked surprisingly well with him behind the microphone. The setlist in Gothenburg also got a bit special. I don’t know the tracks all that well, especially the really early, more Punk-y stuff they played. It sure was appreciated by the crowd though. And the vibe right across the room was that it was great that they did the show despite the setback with having Wino been sent home.

On one occasion during the Gothenburg show, the crowd cheered at the end of one song and Dave just laughed asking why the hell that kind of response since it sounded shit. Well, he’s wrong there - it didn’t sound shit at any time, really! Raw and primitive yes, but never bad! And I’ll be damned if “Dying Inside” even worked better with Dave on the microphone, the song became more desperate and pained at least. It’s hard to pick the best one of the two shows; it should be Malmö definitely but the gig in Gothenburg was very special and it’s damn cool to see something as odd as that was. So, between those two, it’s a draw I guess.

SAINT VITUS setlist (Malmö):

01. “Living Backwards”
02. “I Bleed Black”
03. “Blessed Night”
04. “Let Them Fall”
05. “White Stallions”
06. “The Troll”
07. “War Starter”
08. “Lost Feeling”
09. “H.A.A.G”
10. “Dying Inside”
11. “Clear Windowpayne”
12. “Born Too Late”

SAINT VITUS (Malmö)

Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Babel, Malmo (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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SAINT VITUS (Gothenburg)

Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Saint Vitus @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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