Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kamelot with Edguy and Hypersolid [Middle East, Cambridge, 10/14/2008]

This is colossally late due to a thick stretch of shows and high demand at work. There are four such show reviews that will hopefully all get posted before the next gig comes around.

I left right from work for this one, and though I was a little later leaving than I anticipated, I wasn't exactly concerned; seriously, it's Kamelot and Edguy, in Boston -- how many people's it going to draw? Boy was I wrong; I got up to the Middle East, and got re-routed into the end of a ridiculously long line that eventually extended back nearly to the Cambridge Salvation Army and the firehouse. Yes. A lineup nearly a full block long, for a power metal show, in Cambridge. In the future, the answer to that first question is going to be "almost six hundred, and 'go up'".

One way or another I got in, bought a shirt from Edguy, and managed to get kind of forward before the place filled up completely. At the merch stand, I saw a sale lost for the dumbest of reasons -- a markedly rotund patron disappointed by the fact that the bands' shirts stopped at XL. Seriously, you're a power metal band, and you don't stock "size 68 extra fat"? This wasn't even their first tour, where it might be excusable; both Kamelot and Edguy should know their American audience by now.

Hypersolid [5/7]
The second time I'd seen this band in two weeks, the better sound in this venue combined with probably knowing more of the songs better to produce a little flatter experience. They got a little more time, but didn't fill it much better; the Carcass twitches were still there, but overall, they sounded a lot more like a metalcore band obsessed with Dream Theater in this outing, and the heaviness wasn't quite what was needed to really win over the crowd. This was a decent show, but they did better in Worcester.

I pushed a little further forward; these guys were the reason that I came in, and as I had a cold, I was in kind of two minds about staying much after they finished.

Edguy [6/7]
This wasn't really a better performance than when I saw them at Mark's, as they were pinched for time, but it was pretty damn cool all the same. They continued to not play the mid-period stuff (no "Picture On The Wall" or "Pharaoh" still, boo), but did a lot of the new material that people knew, and a few name-checks on their older stuff, with a fairly minimal distribution of infield antics. If's nice that they do this, but here at least, they're realizing that this should probably be saved until we can fix the stupid alcohol laws in this country and set up some real open-airs. Since they didn't have a ton of time, they didn't fuck around much before coming out for "King of Fools"; they got a stellar response, and when they come back in 2009, they'd better be headlining.

At this point I moved back and got another beer; I didn't have a great abiding interest in Kamelot, and I'd rather that someone else saw them up close. Unfortunately, where I ended up standing (next to the mixing stand) turned out to be a really bad choice, as once the band started, Roy's vocals were buried, and the strobe lights were hitting me right in the eyes -- time to move again.

Kamelot [5.5/7]
This was a better performance than I saw at Wacken this year, and I was paying more attention to it, and to their credit the band did keep me there the whole while, even as other fans were leaving -- it's a tough spot to be in on a Tuesday night, having to wake up and go to work in the morning. Nevertheless, they still didn't do anything that would really convert me to being a Kamelot fan; their prog-power sound was much the same as it's always been. It was a decent performance, and those who were singing along definitely liked it, but the band didn't do much to move me, and if they don't have their intended effect in this environment, it's doubtful where they will.

They did, I think, two encores, and the end was a relief that they weren't going to drag things out any longer; as mentioned, there was a slow trickle of fans out the back from about 11:30 onwards that allowed me to move a little forward. Not "too much" Kamelot, but definitely "enough" for all concerned, and given that it was a Tuesday, it was nice not to spend an eternity getting back home. The recharge was swift -- back to work and then out to Worcester the very next night for Iced Earth.

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