“An Evening with Amon Amarth”
MacEwan Hall, Calgary, Canada
August 6, 2011
Review and pics my Monika Deviat
Calgary Alta., had “An Evening with Amon Amarth” on August 6, 2011 when the band came to MacEwan Hall. The Swedish death metallers are touring to promote their newest album Surtur Rising [Metal Blade, 2011]. There were no supporting bands on this tour as Amon Amarth were playing a double set. The doors opened at 7pm but the band waited until 8:30pm to hit the stage. This gave ample time for the crowd to get into the venue, get some merch and those old enough to hit the beer gardens were able to enjoy some beers. Generally the shows at MacEwan Hall segregate the beer gardens outside of the actual room where the stage is, but for this show the beer gardens were cordoned off at the back of the room so fans could enjoy their beverages while watching the band.
The first set by Amon Amarth was Surtur Rising in its entirety. If you haven’t heard the new album yet, going to see the show and experiencing it live is not a bad way to get introduced to it. But you really should go buy it. A few crowd favorites off the new album were “War of Gods”, “Destroyer of the Universe” and “For Victory or Death”. After the last song “Doom Over Dead Man”, the band took a “beer break” before their second set.
For the second set of the night the band started with “Twilight of the Thundergod”. The set ranged through the bands previous seven albums. When the band played “Guardians of Asgaard”, the crowd was singing along loudly. Vocalist Johan Hegg announced “The Sound of Eight Hooves” as a song they haven’t played in Calgary before and fans definitely appreciated that one. Things calmed down a bit for the more solemn “Embrace of the Endless Ocean” but then Hegg got the crowd riled up again for “Death in Fire” and “Victorious March”, the final song of the second set. Amon Amarth encored with “Cry of the Blackbirds”, “Valhalla Awaits Me” and “Pursuit of Vikings”.
The sound for the show was great. Everything was mixed in well and sounding nice and crisp. It was even possible to hear the vocals fairly clearly up front around the barrier. The lighting for had the stage back lit most of the time, making it difficult to see what the band was doing on stage, or had lights flashing excessively for long periods of time – which was not great for photos. The band was able to keep their energy up for the two sets and kept the crowd’s attention the whole evening. For Amon Amarth fans, it was an evening well spent.