SNOWY SHAW / THE LAST BAND
Date: 12th August, 2015
Ticket: 275SEK (€27/$30)
Photos: Erika Wallberg
On the ticket was written that doors would open at 8pm, gig-time at 9pm and not much more, so I had to admit I was a bit surprised when it all of a sudden, just after 8pm, started to get rather noisy in the concert venue of Trädgår’n. And what was there? Gothenburg’s own THE LAST BAND stood on the floor stage right and were raising hell. Wow, lucky for me I didn’t get in later. It might seem like an odd thing to not fit the opening act on stage. But first, the change-over, to build everything for the SNOWY SHAW gig would have been too extensive, or if they’ve just played the stage some of the surprise of what’s to come would have been given away.
So, THE LAST BAND... They didn’t seem to mind playing on the floor though even if the crowd seemed a bit hesitant on how to handle it. But the ones present gathered and supported though a bit surprised. And with this band, I think I’ve missed a development of the Metal Music genre. Ok, it’s been more common that extreme bands look a bit Glam-y but still play very extreme music. Since neither the Glam nor the extreme modern scene are my favorites, I had a bit hard to take in THE LAST BAND’s music also but for this reason I can still enjoy the show, which I really did. It’s fun to see new bands take on an odd situation and deliver something really good from it. And it seems they’ve grown a fan-base here at least.
So, they did a good job warming up the crowd for SNOWY SHAW - the venue though didn’t need much of heating up since the sunny weather outside had taken care of that and it was boiling now already.
THE LAST BAND
(click to enlarge)
It always becomes extra exciting when the curtain is down and you can’t see the stage set before the show. This is not very common at a venue like Trädgår’n so that evening became special in that way too. Of course, the set can’t be measured with the arena bands but it’s damn fun with all the effort put in to the set, just the idea of having a happening for almost every song, sometimes just a new hat, others as for the NOTRE DAME track “Bouffoon Bloody Bouffoon” where Snowy was dressed up as a marionette hanging from lines from the roof. Very efficient and looked damn cool and rather crazy. Here I realized I haven’t listened enough to NOTRE DAME - at my last try I thought it was ok, but now these songs sounded awesome. I guess it’s time for another round on these records then. And then, just for the following track, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN song “Fire”, which Snowy introduced saying he wouldn’t want to set fire to Trädgår’n since it had already burned down twice (not because of him, of course) even if the song required fire... Said and done, he lit a match while the song was kicked off. Ok, the whole thing became a bit bigger when Snowy put away the guitar after the first verse and bass player Curgha burnt it with a torch giving more effect to the song.
And continued like this, song after song. Ok, some of the props didn’t look all that professional, especially the office chair with the microphone stand, but on the other hand, it looked rather cool (or funny) when Snowy rolled around on stage on it. The first time this was used, Snowy was sitting down, playing guitar and then introduced the DREAM EVIL hit “The Book Of Heavy Metal” and the cheers rose from the crowd. The fact that Snowy Shaw is multi-talented when it comes to playing and performing is no news to anyone and he showed off everything apart from traditional drumming that night. Still, even if everything sounded really good, the best effect of this song though was when Niklas Isfeldt (DREAM EVIL) snuck in as the second verse started. Even if it was perhaps expected that he would show up, since it is his as well as Snowy’s home area, the response from the crowd was damn cool. Ok, there could have been more people at Trädgår’n for this event but the ones present sure were in for the show, so the atmosphere was still great, even if the floor was a bit sparsely populated. What really amazed me was that Snowy really pulled off all these tracks from a vocal perspective, for sure, Niklas voice is clearer and perhaps has a wider range but to go from melodic, to the crazy sounds of NOTRE DAME to the depths of MEMENTO MORI and continue with the crazy pitches of MERCYFUL FATE and KING DIAMOND is truly amazing.
The evening had more guests and one of the absolute highlights for me was the feature of Magnus Daun who got up on stage for the MAD ARCITECT track, “Hang High”, coming from the album of the same title. The “Hang High” record is a highly anticipated release for me since I think that “Journey To Madness” was absolutely fantastic. But moving a bit too far ahead! It was so much fun to see the crowd’s reaction on “Black Funeral” and the rest. This track came with a little story about Snowy and Sharlee D’Angelo, their first band and how much MERCYFUL FATE meant for them. A bit disappointing was of course that Sharlee didn’t show up (I know, I know, he’s busy with other bands) for this song as Magnus was added on guitar for the MAD ARCHITECT track and Rob Nasty replaced Curgha for the CHEAP TRICK classic “I Want You To Want Me”. Even that Pop-py track worked really well that evening. And this show is a perfect example on everything goes if you do it for the right reasons.
Everything had to come to an end though and the 90+ minute set was closed with another DREAM EVIL song, “The End”. It actually felt a bit strange to end such a massive show with a ballad but the effect was immense, plus the song is beautiful. The crowd looked very much like the cartoons on Christmas Eve, when Jiminy Cricket (Benjamin Syrsa, or the voice of Bengt Feldreich) sings “When You Wish Upon A Star”, big eyed and with the same kind of serenity. Again, Niklas showed up a bit into the song and this ended the evening.
The show was great fun and amazing to watch, everything apart from one or two notes in MEMENTO MORI’s “The Seeds Of Hatred” was flawlessly performed, but it surely are few who have the same strength and vocal range as Messiah. And since this was home the chatting with the audience became a bit extensive some times and the rather sour Gothenburg humor didn’t fall all that good with me on occasion. So it was of course fun but the downside was that the show dropped in intensity when the breaks got too long. But these are petty things to point out really.
SNOWY SHAW setlist:
01. “Whether With Or Without”
02. “Bouffoon Bloody Bouffoon” (NOTRE DAME song)
03. “Fire” (THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN cover)
05. “Be Kind To Animals...Or I'll Kill You”
06. “The Book Of Heavy Metal” (DREAM EVIL song)
07. “Munsters!” (NOTRE DAME song)
08. “The Rhyme” (MEMENTO MORI song)
09. “The Seeds Of Hatred” (MEMENTO MORI song)
10. “Hang high”
11. “The Wand Of Abaris” (THERION song)
12. “Black Funeral” (MERCYFUL FATE song)
13. “The Candle” (KING DIAMOND song)
14. “Come To The Sabbath” (MERCYFUL FATE song)
15. “Sabbat” (NOTRE DAME song)
16. “XXX Le Masochiste”
17. “I Want You To Want Me” (CHEAP TRICK cover)
18. “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” (DIMMU BORGIR cover)
19. “The End” (DREAM EVIL song)
(click to enlarge)