ALESTORM, BRAINSTORM, CRIMSON SHADOWS, TROLDHAUGEN – Zagreb, VIB, 30.09.2014.

After the season with barely any metal concert, it finally came the day of Brainstorm/Alestorm concert in Vintage Industral Bar in Zagreb. Sadly, I missed the first two bands (Crimson Shadows and Troldhaugen), but to be completely honest, I never heard of them before. The concert was sold out, and one of the reasons could be that there weren’t any concerts for months, so I think there were many who were saying: give me anything, I’ll go to it. This is third time for Brainstorm and foruth time for Alestorm to be playing in Croatia. Alestorm are headlining the tour, properly named “Storming Across Europe”, and if you ask me, they sure don’t desere the status of a headlining band.

19_BrainstormBrainstorm started their concert exactly at exactly 19:50. They opened the concert with the classic from 2003., High Without Lows which received good reactions from the crowd, but I expected better. Mostly, because two years ago, in Zagreb, as far as I remember, the crowd was wild and I asumed that the same thing will happen again from the first second. Clearly I was wrong, but I didn’t have to wait long, because on the second song, Shiver, there was jumping and headbanging all over.
After the second song, guitarist Milan Loncaric, whose parents are Croats, took the main word. Naturally he spoke in Croatian, and the crowd went crazy.
21_BrainstormFrom this moment on, the concerts was pretty wild. Next song was titletrack of the newest record, Firesoul, which was also well accepted. To be frank, all the songs were well accepted. After the song was done, they quickly shifted into another classic: Fire Walk With Me. When this song was done, there were some jokes coming from the stage, then it started. My favorite Brainstorm song of all time, Worlds Are Comin’ Through. Then, another classic from 2001., Hollow Hideway and again some jokes from the stage… Mega-fast Falling Spiral Down from the Downburst album makes crowd go wild again and for those who thought that Brainstorm can’t get any faster, you were wrong. There comes Doorway To Survive, which they accelerated in comparison to the studio version. Next song is from the same album (Soul Temptation), brings the concert to its climax. Andy, the singer, comes down from the stage within the audience and sings the whole song from down there. He ended up on shoulders of one fan. You don’t see that every day. …And I Wonder, half-balad from the recent albums is an example which proves that the new album was well received. For the end, they saved up All Those Words which is arquably their most recognisable song. The crowd is loudest on this one. For the final surprise they left How Do You Feel which was not expected at all. Pleasant surprise. The audience shouts “we want more”, but unfortunatelly they are time limited, so nothing happens.

Setlist:
1. Highs Without Lows
2. Shiver
3. Firesoul
4. Walk with Me
5. Worlds Are Comin’ Through
6. Hollow Hideaway
7. Falling Spiral Down
8. Doorway to Survive
9. Shiva’s Tears
10. …And I Wonder
11. All Those Words
12. How Do You Feel

I must say that I’m a long time fan of Brainstorm, but never liked Alestorm much. But(!), if you don’t like the band, and you went to their concert nad like it, surely you will check them out from the comforts of your home.
33_AlestormI remember well when the first Alestorm album came out, it was somehow original, not thematically (because the kings of so called „pirate metal“ are, were, and always will be Running Wild), but instrumentally it was somehow different, some mixture of folk and power metal. I was never sucked into their stuff and they asured with this concert that it will never cross my mind to take another chance with them. Opinions differs and this is mine. That concert was not good for me, it was rather bad. Songs are monotonous, it’s like listening to one song all the time. While Brainstorm was playing, you could clearly hear all the instruments, but here, sound of the guitar was too quiet and you could barely hear it. The biggest complain to me was the contact with the crowd, the lack of it. Brainstrom succeded to entertaint the audience, they cooperated with it, but Alestorm failed on that point. And I have some people who feels the same way I do. They had Alestorm t-shirts (proving that they are the fans), and thy weren’t even in the concerts space, they were in the front of the hall. That says a lot. And I say again, I’m a fan of Brainstorm, but not of Alestorm. There are a ton of other bands that I’m not a fan of, but after the concert I give them a spin. Guess which band will not be spinning at my home? I’m sorry, but Alestorm didn’t deserve to be a headliner of this tour.

Setlist:
1. Walk the Plank
2. The Sunk’n Norwegian
3. Drink
4. Over the Seas
5. Shipwrecked
6. Magnetic North
7. Back Through Time
8. Nancy the Tavern Wench
9. Midget Saw
10. Pirate Song
11. Surf Squid Warfare
12. Keelhauled
13. The Huntmaster
14. Wenches & Mead
Encore:
15. 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
16. Wolves of the Sea (Pirates of the Sea cover)
17. Captain Morgan’s Revenge
18. Rum
19. Questing Up

CONCERT PHOTO GALLERY

Report: Alen Žižak
Photo: Martina Šestić (martina@venia-mag.net)