Dark Tranquillity & Amorphis @ City National Grove – 09/23/2018
Anaheim got a healthy dose of European extreme metal on Sunday night September 23 at City National Grove. There is no better way to spend a Sunday night than with four bands from Finland, Sweden and Portugal – Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, Dark Tranquillity and Moonspell respectively. With Dark Tranquillity and Amorphis sharing the co-headline spot, Moomspell and Omnium Gatherum provide the one-two opening punch for this show.
There was definitely a dedicated fan-base for each band at this show and collectively they all worshiped each band fully during their respective sets. Omnium Gatherum got the night started with a high energy set that set the bar high for the rest of the night. Out supporting their brand new record The Burning Cold (released August 31, 2018), vocalist Jukka Pelkonen had the crowd rocking from start to finish. The band played four songs off the new album showcasing the strength of the new material in a live setting.
Moonspell last played in the USA back in 2016 and it’s been longer than that since they have been in Southern California so this was a highly anticipated event for the Moonspell diehards. In addition to making some killer extreme music, the core of this band has been together for over 20 years led by vocalist Fernando Ribeiro. Supporting their 11th studio album 1755 released back in November 2017, the band flat out kicks-ass live.
Starting the show holding a lantern as the band went into “Em Nome Do Medo”, Ribeiro continued where Omnium Gatherum left off as they pummeled through eight songs that had the crowd fully engaged throughout. Ribeiro wore a leather Plague Doctor Mask during the song “1755” which made for a spectacular visual as he moved about the stage. Moonspell ended their set in epic fashion with “Full Moon Madness” off their 1996 album Irreligious.
Two down and two to go – it was gonna be a late Sunday night for the Amorphis and Dark Tranquility fans . . . Amorphis took the stage at 9:40pm and played about 75 minutes featuring five songs off their May 2018 release Queen of Time. Amorphis played this same venue some 17 months earlier back in April 2017 but the fans were still hungry for Amorphis like they hadn’t seen them in several years.
Vocalist Tomi Joutsen mixed his clean vocals and harsh growls as he moved about the stage in fine fashion but noticeably missing was his trademark custom microphone that is almost impossible to describe aside from that it has small “handlebars” on each side of the actual mic – he obviously sidelined that for a traditional mic on this tour.
Amorphis plays a heavy, progressive type of metal with bits of folk and death metal sprinkled in creating a very unique sound and the fans at The Grove on this night made the most of their performance as the band ended with as much energy as they started with.
Now nearly 11:20pm the headliners of the night emerged as Dark Tranquillity kicked off their set with “Encircled” as the band is still touring in support of their 2016 release Atoma. Like Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity also previously played this venue at the end of 2016 but again the fans could not get enough of this Swedish powerhouse. The band looks like such innocent, happy young lads but they sure do pack a punch once the music starts as vocalist Mikael Stanne is a top-notch frontman constantly interacting with the fans in the front row leaning on the stage.
The first thing you notice if you haven’t been paying attention is the guitar duo on this tour as lead guitarist Niklas Sundin remains on hiatus and the touring guitarists are Johan Reinholdz and none other than Christopher Amott (one of the founding members of Arch Enemy and brother to Michael Amott). This duo was a treat to see and hear and blended with the band perfectly.
The band finally ended their set about 12:30am and all those in attendance with early Monday morning work hours would surely be a bit tired but it was well worth the late night. The tour continues to head east and concludes on October 14 in New York. Don’t miss this festive night of European extreme metal at its finest.
Omnium Gatherum Photo Gallery:
Omnium Gatherum Set List:
The Burning | Frontiers | Gods Go First | The Unknowing | Refining Fire | Over the Battlefield | Skyline | Ego
Moonspell Photo Gallery:
Moonspell Set List:
Em Nome Do Medo | 1755 | In Tremor Dei | Opium | Awake! | Breathe (Until We Are No More) | Alma Mater | Full Moon Madness
Amorphis Photo Gallery:
Amorphis Set List:
The Bee | Message in the Amber | Bad Blood | Sky Is Mine | Wrong Direction | Against Widows | Daughter of Hate | Heart of the Giant | Sacrifice | Silver Bride | Death of a King | House of Sleep
Dark Tranquillity Photo Gallery:
Dark Tranquillity Set List:
Encircled | Monochromatic Stains | Clearing Skies | The Treason Wall | The Science of Noise | Forward Momentum | The Mundane and the Magic | Atoma | Force of Hand | Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive) | Inside the Particle Storm | The Wonders at Your Feet | ThereIn | Lost to Apathy | Misery’s Crown