Sunday, May 8, 2011

Amon Amarth At The Paradise Rock Club

So, last night after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, I went to see the death metal juggernaut from Tumba Sweden, Amon Amarth! It was an incredible show that I won't soon forget.

I wish I could say that the evening went smoothly, but I had my share of what would best be referred to as "technical difficulties". First off all, the battery that powers my ventilator decided to act up earlier in the week. The ventilator's power meter was showing that the battery was not holding a charge, so the maintenance and respiratory department where virtually scrambling to find and fix the problem before I was to go out.

Maintenance could find nothing wrong with the battery, but my ventilator was not in agreement, so my respiratory therapist swapped out the ventilator with a recently calibrated one. Still, the power meter was showing that the battery was not holding a charge.

Fast forward to Saturday. Before I get up into my wheelchair, my respiratory therapist checks the power level and it reads eighty percent, which is a good charge. By the time I get into my chair, the power level reads sixty percent. So, they immediately plug in the battery charger and hope for the best. Things don't improve. Every time respiratory unplugs the charger, the power level starts dropping. At this point it's looking like I may not be going out. I called my uncle who was the one going with me and I had him call the nightclub where the concert was being held to find out if they had an outlet so my ventilator could be plugged in.

I was in luck! They said they we could hook up an extension cord.

Meanwhile, the staff almost cancel the trip on me until I told them what the people at the nightclub had said. The biggest concern everyone has was would the battery hold the charge during the ride to the show. I was confident that it would.

When it was time to go, my charger was unplugged and the battery was dropping. By the time I got into the van and strapped down, the power level was down to fifty-five percent. Once we were on our way, my uncle checked the power level again and it was hovering just over
fifty percent. During the ride, he kept checking the power and it was holding at fifty percent. When we got to the club about forty minutes later, it was still fifty percent. Once inside the club and at our seats, we plugged in immediately.

Two other things that were not in my favor was needing to get suctioned a lot and being uncomfortable. Thankfully I endured and managed to enjoy the show.

Now onto the show...

The lights go out and the crowd of nine hundred rabid metalheads roar in unison. The recorded intro begins and the crowd is screaming. Then the mighty Amon Amarth take the stage one by one. The roar of the crowd is ear piercing at this point. Immediately they launch into the song War Of The Gods and the crowd is headbanging, pumping fists, crowd surfing and singing every word. The band were as tight as could be. Johan Hegg's guttural growling voice put forth the lyrics with epic power. Fredrik Andersson was a beast on the drums, thundering with fury. Ted Lundstrom's bass pounded with aggression. Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg played the rhythms and solos flawlessly. They sounded just like they do o their albums, a hundred times better. They played two sets. For their first set, they played their new album Surtur Rising in its entirety.

War Of The Gods
Tock's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II
Destroyer Of The Universe
Slaves Of Fear
Live Without Regrets
The Last Stand Of Frej
For Victory Or Death
Wrath Of The Norsemen
A Beast Am I
Doom Over Dead Man

For their second set they played the following.

Twilight Of The Thunder God
Masters Of War
Live For The Kill
With Oden On Our Side
Varyags Of Miklagaard
Thousand Years Of Oppression
Without Fear
Victorious March/Gods Of War/Death In Fire


Cry Of The Black Birds
Runes To My Memory
Pursuit Of Vikings

At the end of the show, Olavi Mikkonen handed my uncle a guitar pick for me and Johan Hegg handed him the set list for their second set. I was thrilled to get some mementos from them.

Once the crowd had thinned out, I ran into Freddie Vindales (Bassist of Iced Earth) and his wife. We couldn't really talk much because it was too loud. He told us that Brian Slagel, founder and owner of Metal Blade Records was there and that if I wanted anything autographed by the band, that he would handle it. Unfortunately, my ride was waiting and we couldn't wait around. However, Mr. Slagel did hook me up with an Amon Amarth tour t-shirt.

I really wish I had had time to stick around and chat with Freddie and Brian as well as possibly meeting the band, but I still had a blast. I can't end the post without thanking the staff of the Paradise Rock Club. They were extremely helpful and accommodating to my needs.