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This Dead End of Europe...

So, yesterday I went to see Katatonia, + Alcest & Junius. I discovered that 1) Jonas Renkse does look like Sina. The likeness is uncanny, honestly. 2) There are some serious fucktards among Finnish males, not that this should be any news but I guess I've just been lucky enough to not run into too many in the past few years. 3) My camera is really, really shit (also not news, but until now I've thought it sufficient for casual gig photography).

So yeah, the gig was at Pakkahuone again, and I was again there in plenty of time. This time I had cash on me and bought a shirt (still a bit miffed over that Anathema shirt that I couldn't buy and that doesn't seem to be available on the net stores). Junius was okay, I guess, they didn't leave a huge impression aside from the singer's "life sucks" beard, and a drummer that looked like a stereotypical fat truck driver. They were an aesthetically boring band. Alcest was a bit more interesting, both musically and aesthetically. I still can't get over the French, though. I just don't like the language in this sort of music. This probably makes me a horrible music-lover, because if the music is good what should the language matter? But I just can't help it. I was thinking that if I enjoy the gig a lot or even experience some kind of a revelation I'll just buy a CD there, but nope, walked away without. Alcest is a band I'd like to love. I know the music is good. There's nothing I shouldn't like (and Neige is just damn adorable). But I guess it doesn't work that way.

Then, the half an hour wait for Katatonia. There were two women next to me, apparently sisters, and one of them was live tweeting the whole evening on her phone or something. Not that I was purposefully watching, but it was sort of impossible not to notice because her phone was pretty much right before me as she was typing. She'd take a picture of Neige, go to twitter and post it with an "@AlcestOfficial on stage RIGHT NOW" or something. She'd take a picture of herself and her friend and post it with some random hype about waiting for Katatonia #frontrow. I began to wonder if I'm missing something crucial about being a part of this generation... Then they began to sing Omerta, and nothing wrong with that, except that they couldn't carry a tune in a bucket... and they had to Google the lyrics and still kept singing it wrong because obviously the text was rather tiny on the phone's screen.

Anyway, then, Katatonia. A few seconds into the first song, I'm crushed against the barrier. Then there's suddenly a hand gripping the barrier - never mind that two of my fingers were caught in between and it fucking hurt like a motherfucker - and an elbow trying to push me aside. I get my fingers free and am clingin on to the barrier on pure animal instinct while I try to get a full picture of what's happening. It's not actually any mass rush, which it initially felt like, just a single prime specimen of the common breed of Finnish Cocksucking Asshole who decided that he was entitled to a spot in the front row despite only showing up now. Fucking law of the jungle and all that. Well, this particular cocksucker isn't getting my spot, that's for damn sure. I fight back. Literally with everything I've got. I'm not letting go of the barrier. This goes on for the duration of the first song. A bit into the second song he gives up on that spot and glues himself to my back. I focus on moshing my brains out, because the alternative is to turn around and claw this fucktard's eyes out, and that would lead to legal consequences.

I was in a headspace to do serious damage. I've not felt that violent since I was a kid, like, not even teenager. I probably had some anger management issues; I once broke a door because my siblings refused to listen to me when I knew I was right. And I've encountered idiots at gigs before, and while they always make me angry, I never felt anything like this. Something about this one just made me snap.

Anyway. The fucktard isn't content with humping my ass for long - next he tries to push himself between me and this smaller girl to my right. No fucking way, mister. A shorter struggle this time - maybe he realised that he doesn't want to be in physical contact with me. He then moves to the other side of the smaller girl, and finally gets his precious front row spot because a dude to the girl's right gives way.

After the second song, Renkse is speaking, you know, basic shit. "You folks having fun?" Eh, so far, not really, but it's not your fault so just keep doing your thing up there, nothing you can do about people being idiots. "Good, because we're having a great time!" ...Good for you, honey. Good for you.

Third song, and I'm finally able to focus on what's happening on the stage. Still distracted every now and then by the fucktard's hand in front of my face (and if his hand is in front on my face, his elbow/arm must be in the face of the girl between us...) and fighting a serious impulse to leave teeth marks when it strays too close. He's also physically taking the space of 1,5 - 2 people, thrashing about drunkenly. But then this barn-door-sized dude in an Emperor shirt appears behind the girl next to me and takes charge of the fucktard and asdf, I just want to hug him. And the fact that he's wearing an Emperor shirt makes me just ridiculously happy. In old school we trust. The rest of the gig got considerably more peaceful and pleasant. With the fading of the adrenaline rush, though, by the time of the encores I was quite ready for the gig to be over.

I mentioned my camera being more shit than I ever realised? Yes. It just absolutely couldn't handle the combination of dark + red lights + an overdose of the smokey stuff on stage. I tried taking pictures of Katatonia, but they're just not worth the digital space they take up on my camera's memory card. Which is a pity, because one of the guitarists (yes, I'm a horrible fan and don't remember all their names) was just absolutely adorable. But then again, as always, I can find tons better pictures all over the Internet, so whatever.

After they finished, I wandered back, with the goal of finding Panu, who had said he'd be there. I did locate him, along with Tane, Tane's ex Sanna and some dude I'd never met before. The new dude turned out to be the cello player that Panu wants to play the cello on some of their (as in Ghost Voyage's) new songs. He was cute but had horrible breath, which made conversation not quite as pleasant as it might have been. And he was all too obviously trying to chat me up. But he was cute regardless, and he was a metal dude who plays the cello, how awesome is that!? Panu wanted to buy me a drink, and I was sort of thirsty after the epic battle so got a coke. Sanna was observing Tane hitting on some woman and was apparently very amused by the whole procedure - which is infinitely better than being bitter or offended. As Panu observed, they seem to get along better after they broke up. Go figure. Then again, me and Sina work infinitely better as friends than we ever did as a couple, too.

Then they decided to go to some other bar, and then potentially another bar, and after a moment of indecision I decided to tag along because Sanna was actually being kind of awesome. (She also agreed that Sina and Renkse look alike. So, it's not just in my head!) While we were queueing to get our coats, Sanna spotted Neige at the merch stand and had a fangirling fit - apparently she really liked Alcest. Well, good for her. The first bar we went to seemed to have some American 50's evening going on, with music and people dressed accordingly. I dare say we stood out like a sore thumb, but nobody seemed particularly bothered. And indeed, after one beer, they wanted to leave for another bar, at which point I said I'm going home. The cello dude was devastated. "Come on, I don't want to lose such a lovely lady!" ...Bitch, please. Lose? You never had me to lose. And I just... left. Bye.

And now I'm just stiff and sore and bruised and I want to sleep for a week. And apparently right this moment my playlist ran out of Paradise Lost and found My Dying Bride and I am happy with this development.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 14th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
True - the language does matter when you put it like that... But I also think it's different to try to imagine a band you've previously heard singing in language X suddenly singing in language Y, than just disliking the language X that they happen to sing in. If this makes any sense. I've never heard Alcest in any other language than French, and therefore I technically can't know whether English would be any more suited in the end. (Also, funny you should bring Finntroll up when we're talking about French... reminds me of a certain .gif set I reblogged recently... XD I actually didn't know who the feck Katla was until you gave me the connection just now.)

And Alcest isn't doom, exactly... Eh, Sina calls it "post-black" but at this point my brain just goes "ERROR, too many obscure subgenres" and switches off. But it's basically like this...
I'm listening to that song right now (making sure that I'm actually linking a proper example - took freaking ages to find a new-ish song with any of that screamy stuff) and the French doesn't sound that bad all of a sudden. What is this witchery? o_o'

Anyway, I do like the sound he's got there, the otherworldly screams mixed with the rather pleasant clean voice and the blast passages alternating with otherwise rather gentle music. Aaaand this is turning into a novel again! So yeah I'll just quit typing for now.

Except that, heh, I was sort of proud of the resistance, too. :D I'm betting he wasn't expecting to get blocked by skinny girls. The fucker.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 14th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
I'm... familiar, with Swallow the Sun, yes. I listen to their first three albums a lot, never listened to the two latest ones for whatever reason. I like their sound, well, the clean voice is obviously beautiful, but I like the growl sound as well even though it's impossible to make any words out of (this may actually be a good thing, considering how facepalm-worthy some of the older lyrics especially are). It has the sort of raw, desperate, end-of-the-world quality. It sounds like grey and ashes and bright, cold lights.

One of my favourites, from their first album:

Not actually sure if I've heard the song with Anette. Gonna check it out on youtube. ...Okay, yes, it's nice. (And damn, Raivio is beautiful... and barely gets any screen time on the video. Oh well.)

As for Alcest, I see where the "post-black" label comes from. The way I understand it, the post-anything genres are "the natural next step of evolution" from something. Post-rock probably the most widely known. And Alcest has black metal elements - more so on their earlier album if I'm correct. Like I said, I had to look to find a song from the latest album with any screams. The screams are, I guess, closer to a black metal vocal style than what you'd expect to find in doom. And the blast passages - you wouldn't find that in pure doom.

MDB is a funny example of doom, because... well, yes, they're doom, nobody could claim they aren't, they freaking created the genre. But they're not pure doom, and I don't think they even call themselves that... I seem to recall Aaron calling them a mix of doom and death metal and gothic.

I'd call this somewhat closer to pure doom, perhaps... (The song is almost 17 minutes long, but you'll get the idea from a shorter glimpse if you don't find it appealing... ^^)

Glad you liked the song. ^_^ Like I said, my brain recognises it as good-to-awesome music, and I'd really like to love it.

And yeah, it's possible to love or hate a language based on how it sounds. I have a mild dislike for French overall, but Italian is something I just can't stand. Or well, that's a bit of a strong expression, but anyway. I really, really don't like Italian. And I haven't heard Spanish or Portugese that much, but I'm assuming they'd be similar in that. And at one point in time I was totally in love with German, and I still like the sound of it. And lately I'm really into Russian and its related languages.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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