(with special guests Snatch)
Date: Late Tuesday, October 30th
Location: The Night Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
Attendance: About 66.6 | Rating: 5/5 Reviewer: JP
I don't usually review concerts. Writing a review of a one-time, unique
event that the reader will never have a chance to see seems to be
difficult because it is an intensely personal experience. Anything can
affect enjoyment of a show, the venue, sound quality, the crowd (or lack
of) alcohol consumption etc…but this show was different. I wanted to
tell the world about it. I was excited about this concert days before it
started. Not because I'm a huge fan of THOR, in fact I only have one of
his 12 albums. What was cool was a chance to see a real Canadian Metal
Legend (Yes, Legend) in an intimate setting. Think about it. THOR was
around playing heavy rock, (metal, whatever) before Iron Maiden, Van Halen,
Motorhead, Venom, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Manowar and even before Ozzy
went solo! Kiss, Riot and Priest were just starting out and the Scorpions,
Cooper, Purple, UFO and Sabbath were the only other big names at the time.
In fact, I believe THOR to be the first Canadian heavy metal artist. I
can't think of anyone who came before him…Anvil was 1981… So here was
a chance (probably my only chance) to see one of the world's first metal
artists on the eve of the Heavy Metal Holy Day…Halloween. Before you
laugh, realize that THOR still holds some influence today, most recent
example I can think of is the Swedish, death-metal band Bewitched covering
a THOR tune in 1999. He has a new CD and is enjoying some success on his
North American tour.
The show was in the grungy, small club like any other. The opening act
came and went 3 dudes playing good basic bar rock. They were fairly
talented and for Halloween they were dressed as Jean-Luc Picard, an Indian
(ahem, excuse me, a native North American aboriginal, indigenous, first
nations person) and the drummer was either Evil Knevil or Super-Dave
Osbourne, I couldn't figure it out.
Then it was time….12:20 am… the dawn of the first Halloween of the
new Millennium…the Power, the Glory…the Majesty…THE MIGHTY THOR!!!!!
Wow! What an incredibly fun and amazing show!! I have seen about 20
shows this year and THOR was the best. Better than Pantera, better than
AC/DC, better than Fear Factory. Why? Because he was Enter-f**king-taining!!
No pretension, no bullshit, just kick-ass metal. THOR and his motley crew
of no-names stormed the stage to the opening salvo of "Ride of The
Chariots" and they never looked back.
we know and love about THOR was there in force. The (rubber) mace, the
(rubber) sword, the (rubber) battle-axe and of course the (rubber)
Warhammer! The props were amazing… he had 3 costumes, 6 different masks,
giant Canadian and American flags, skull belts, skull knee pads (?!) giant
boots, battle armour…. it was truly magnificent to behold. All the
stunts were present as well… he bent the iron bar in his teeth, snapped
the mike stand in two and of course blew up the hot water bottle. However,
this time the hot-water bottle didn't explode! It must have been a
combination of his age, the smoky bar, the high altitude (less oxygen?)
and a heavy duty "Life brand" hot-water bottle that would not
co-operate. Anyway just at the point of bursting he shot it way out into
the crowd and it looked like he was about to pass out! He was a trooper
and came roaring back with another tune. He was having the time of his
life as well, he would run around in the crowd, and get people to sing
with him, he did tons of high-fives all night, he passed the flags and
props around the audience, and invited various fans (mostly girls) on
stage to sing and party and try to convince them to take off their tops
for the crowd. As I enjoyed the spectacle, I took a couple of quick notes
and here are the "Top 3 Overheard Quotes" from the audience.
3. "He's like a giant tiger in a tiny cage"
2. "He has more energy in front of 100 people than most artists do
in front of 10,000"
1. "It's like Spinal Tap Man!"
The music was actually heavier, much heavier, than I anticipated, all
the hits were there in force. His band was young and tight and having the
time of their lives. Here's the track listing of the anthemic songs.
Ride of the Chariots
Fear of Reality
"The Iron Bar stunt"
Dogz II / Keep The Dogs Away (Medley)
?? (The only song I didn't know or catch)
"The Hot-water Bottle Stunt'
Knock 'em Down
Thunder on The Tundra
"The Microphone stand stunt"
and the triumphant finale with EVERYONE singing along…Let
The Blood Run Red!
This is the way live metal was meant to be viewed. Up close and
personal at some sweaty gig in some grungy dump with 60 of your new best
friends in the front row, all singing along to music that is so loud it
pounds you in the chest. The mighty THOR came, saw and conquered all. A
Halloween gig I will never forget.
To learn more about a piece of Canadian metal history, check out the
excellent web-site www.thorkorr.com
or consult your local library.