Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hole in the Sky

I have quite a few updates to make and I'll start with the awesomeness that was the Hole in the Sky Bergen metal festival that took place 24th to 27th of August. This was the last Hole in the Sky festival ever (supposedly) and they appropriately named the event "The Last Supper". There were club shows the Wednesday and Thursday nights at Garage and bigger shows on Friday and Saturday at USF. I only attended the Friday and Saturday night events.

I got a spot front row centre. \m/
18:00- Negative Plane: I don't really remember much about this band. Not bad but I didn't feel like they were anything special either.
18:50- Ghost: I enjoyed this band. Their stage presence was entertaining with the vocalist wearing a Satanic pope outfit and face mask while the rest wore hooded robes. With the doom music and powerful incense it made me feel like I was at a ritualistic black funeral.

19:55- Nifelheim: Good band, good show. Hate to say but their skullets were distracting.
I was really really excited for. The first time I heard Primordial I liked their music but something about the vocals made the listening experience slightly uncomfortable. That was until I saw them live and it didn't take long for them to skyrocket up my list of favourite bands. It was a fantastic performance as Alan Averill (Nemtheanga)'s stage presence is always dynamic. As it always is with bands you love the set felt way way too short and felt like it was over much too soon.

Now here I must say that I was going pretty crazy in the crowd for Primoridal, singing along, headbanging, etc. It was very hot and I was using up lots of energy and I hadn't really eaten much more that day besides a bunch of peanuts and a hotdog. So when the next band came on...
22:35- Godflesh: and they were boringly repetitive (not like droning black metal repetitive but in a way that makes me certain I could learn any of their bass lines in an afternoon and I can NOT play instruments to save my life), and had the fog machines blowing smoke a couple times a minute I started to not feel so good. I started feeling like I was going to vomit and the next thing I realize I'm on the other side of the barricade with security holding me up. I was escorted to the medics who brought me out to a cold hallway and gave me water. One of them just chatted with me about the show and what I was doing in Norway until I started feeling better. I was a little worried that they wouldn't let me back into the show but it was no problem. I hung around the side until Godflesh was done before making my way back to my spot at the front (a feat I did not think would happen).
00:20- Satyricon- This was the part of the weekend I was most excited about. There was a short while when I thought I was going to faint again before they came on but the best security personnel I have ever encountered gave me a bunch of chocolate to perk me up. I was super tired by this point so I probably didn't get into the set as much as I typically would but I still went fucking crazy. They played a really cool mixture of songs from their discography. Satyr is highly entertaining to watch both because he's fricken sexy as hell but also because it seems like he has a lot of fun climbing around on equipment on stage and once jumped onto the barricade in front of the crowd (unfortunately not on my area).
After the show I hung around the venue with a fellow female metalhead who's from Italy in the vain attempt to meet famous people. I decided that it wasn't a good idea to push my exhausted body any further so I got McDonald's and went to bed.

18:00 Helheim
18:55 Virus
20:20 Enslaved
22:05 Mayhem
23:55 Immortal
I was less enthused about the Saturday show in general despite it being the one with the really big names so I won't really go through all the bands that played and just say that my favourite band of the night was undoubtedly Enslaved. Great music and great stage presence, Grutle just seemed so friggen happy to be on stage. I'm not sure if they actually planned for their encore or if they just claimed extra time but I was happy that they did. Enslaved has been a band that I've always liked whenever I've heard but I've never actually made an effort to actually listen to them in depth. That has become a priority.
I also want to listen to Helheim more, all I know is that they're actually good Viking metal. They had a guest appearance by Hoest of Taake which I expected. Mayhem and Immortal- I honestly couldn't care less about. I appreciate Mayhem's contribution to black metal but I don't really care about them now and I can't look at Abbath without laughing so I can't take Immortal seriously.

General observations:
-The crowd was really really tame. As far as I saw/felt there was no mosh pits and certainly no crowd surfing. I didn't have to fight to claim by position in front row and I certainly didn't have to fight to keep it considering I left once to pee and once when I fainted and I was able to return to my place both times hassle-free. I'm guessing this was because the general attendee was much older then at a typical concert. This was probably due to the effort and cost of traveling to Bergen for the show.
-I was very surprised at how small the venue was. But I guess it makes sense given Bergen is quite a small city. 
-I don't understand the desire for so many metal females to dress like absolute skanks. Including the woman in my hostel who must have been in her 40s who spent several hours each day putting on layers of makeup and wore skirts that would have looked trashy on a 20 year old. 
It was overall a fantastic experience that was well worth the money. It makes me really excited for the Inferno festival that will take place in Oslo in the spring. Imagine! living in a city with its own black metal festival :D

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