Philip H Anselmo and The Illegals
Technicians Of Distortion – European Tour 2014
Darkane – Special guest
Mörbultad – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
24/6 – 2014
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The man, the myth, the legend…Phil Anselmo is out on the road together with his solo band The Illegals and the band is making a short European tour in order to support their brand new studio album. The tour kicked off in Switzerland in the middle of June and the band varies between doing their own solo shows and performing at festivals. WALK THROUGH EXITS ONLY is the title of the new album which was released last summer and since Phil Anselmo are one of my absolute favorite characters on stage I was really exited when I saw that he and the band was stopping by my hometown to do a show. The venue for the concert was the best club in Sweden – Kulturbolaget and along with them the band brought one of the best thrash metal acts in Europe, the Swedish act Darkane. Darkane recently released THE SINISTER SUPREMACY which is a brilliant album and the original singer Lawrence Mackrory has returned to the band.
As support act, Mörbultad was the choice of band. They are a band I’ve never heard of. It’s quite rare to see Darkane on a Swedish stage because the band aren’t generous with touring in Sweden. It seemed like the show wasn’t going to be sold out which surprised me but on the other hand, many people were gone on vacation and Sweden Rock Festival had ended the weekend before so maybe people were short on cash. The club had already opened when I arrived at 7 o clock so it was just to walk inside. I noticed straight away that it was going to be hard to take pictures because there were no photo pit and if I know Phil Anselmo correct, the show was going to be crazy. I took a closer look at the merchandise stand and could see that Anselmo brought along a lot of stuff like shirts, CD’s, vinyls etc. So far, not many people had shown up in the club but since one of the bars were closed I anticipated the worse. The support act was scheduled to go on stage at 7.30 and so they did.
The band consisted of very young guys which did their best to get the crowd going. They didn’t care that there were quiet few people in the audience but did their best anyway and the band ran through three songs after which the singer introduced the Swedish four piece act. The bands played hardcore and they did it actually pretty good. It was obvious that the band had been on a live stage before because they were quite skilled. The singer looked at the guitarist and said it was quite hard to stand still and the singer jumped up and down in a frenzy during the following song and he also jumped down into the crowd singing the song amongst them. Despite the fact the band had only one guitarist, they had a rich guitar sound because they had turned up the bass to a maximum just like Lemmy.
Mörbultad delivered a really solid 25 minute show and I was actually impressed by the four piece hardcore act. The bands singer was the real star and it’s not often an unknown band impresses me as Mörbultad did.
The preparation for Darkane went pretty fast and already 20 minutes later was it time for Darkane to kick off their show. A few more people had showed up and they did their best to give a warm welcome to the special guests.
All of the members entered the stage together and fired off the first song “The Sinister Supremacy” instantly. Bass player Löfberg who usually plays with the band was not on the stage and was replaced by another guy. Mackrory set the tone from the very start and the tempo was furious. It was really nice to stand so close to genius drummer Wildoer and see him live in action. Darkane is:
Lawrence Mackrory – lead vocals
Christoffer Malmström – guitar
Klas Ideberg – guitar
Peter Wildoer – drums
Alfred – session bass player
“Innocence Gene” followed and Mackrory thanked the fans for the applause and said it was nice to be back at Kulturbolaget again. He wanted us to give a hand to the session bass player and said that instead of playing with the band Löfberg was on vacation in a much warmer place. “Insurrection Is Imminent” and “Mechanically Divine” followed and the audience was more active now than they were during the Mörbultad show. However, I thought that even much more people would of been interested in seeing Darkane live. The fans in front of the stage were pretty wild and jumped up and down while those at the back were more calm. Mackrory once again thanked for the support and said that it was an honor for the band to be opening for such a legend as Phil Anselmo.
Mackrory announced that the band was going to play “Layers Of Lies” but when he turned around and faced his mates he laughed and said that he was working a little too fast and that it was time to fire off “Chaos Vs Order” first. All of the members worked really great together but worth to mention was the amazing drum play from Wildoer. It was a blast seeing him live in action and I think that he is one of the best drummers in the world at the moment. So was it time to fire off “Layers Of Lies” which was followed by “Ostracized” and “Third”. Mackrory is a great frontman and knows exactly how the get the crowd going. “Convicted” ended the show that was one of the best ones I’ve seen this year. It was a blast to see Darkane live and I had wished that they could have played the double amount of time and not only for 45 minutes. All of the members are really talented and they completed each other perfect on stage.
Set list (not in order)
Sounds of pre-existance
The Sinister Supremacy
Insurrection Is Imminent
Chaos Vs Order
Layers Of Lies
Once again was it time for the crew to prep the stage but now was it for the headline act. Even though more people had arrived to the club it wasn’t sold out by far which was strange because I thought that more metalheads was interested in seeing Phil Anselmo live. It took about 35 minutes until the stage was set and prepared for Phil Anselmo and The Illegals.
Philip H Anselmo and The Illegals
The members were warmly greeted by the fans when they showed up on stage during the intro and the applaudse increased when the fans saw Anselmo enter the stage. Anselmo asked if the fans were ready for an evening of mayhem and total devastation and the fans screamed yes. It was about 140 people in the club and he continued and its fun that he was here and 140 people is probably what we can count on for a Tuesday night. “Black Houses” and “A New Level” kicked off the show and the songs made the audience come to live and the majority of the fans sang a long with Anselmo in the songs. He walked around on stage and out on the ramp looking angry on the crowd but that’s just how he rolls during a show. “Battalion Of Zero” continued the show and Anselmo said that they were going to do something special which they weren’t going to do anywhere else but here in Malmo. The set list was unique he said and custom made for this night and “Betrayed” followed. He said that they were going to be as big as Metallica or why not Crowbar, he took a look at the set list and said that now was it time to play a really nice song in “Usurper Bastard’s Rent”. The line-up in the band is:
Phil Anselmo – lead vocals
Marzi Montazeri – guitar
Bennett Bartley – bass
Joe Gonzalez – drums
Anselmo thanked for the applause and said that there are a bunch of different kinds of metal today. When one of the people on the floor shouted Heavy Metal he said yes, as well as black, thrash, post, hardcore and alternative. He continued, “But for me, there’s only heavy metal and nothing else and I address this to the two bands that played earlier tonight – find your own style and stick to it. Thanks everyone for coming tonight this is “Walk Through Exits Only””. Anselmo as always did a lot of talking in between the songs but the further on the show got he got more and more confused and he started to talk about something and then lost it and started to talk about something else. It felt like he was really confused. “Bedridden followed and Anselmo said that he and drummer Gonzalez had written the next song “Family Friends And Associates” together and it was dedicated to all the suckers who thought he was going to fail when continued his musical career.
The songs from his solo album WALK THROUGH EXITS ONLY worked really well and they were really fast, edgy and heavy and that was just what the fans wanted to hear from Anselmo but the music didn’t sound anything like Down if you thought that. Anselmo wanted the fans to say hello to guitarist Montazeri and fired off the next song in the cover “Dazed And Confused”. Contrary to what you might imagine at an Anselmo show, the fans were pretty calm and didn’t start any mosh pits or crowd surfing. OK, crowd surfing is prohibited in clubs in Sweden but what Anselmo fan cares about the law!? Instead, fans clapped their hands, jumped up and down and screamed. But when “Death Rattle” was played, most part of the fans woke up and actually screamed on the top of their lungs during the old Pantera song. Anselmo wanted everyone to sing a long with him but that only worked semi-good. He said that it was ages ago since the he and the band visited Scandinavia until now and that it was cool to be here. Then he started to mumble about something else that wasn’t cohesive to anything he just said and he must have spent quite a lot of time on meaningless talk instead of playing songs. The Superjoint Ritual song “Fuck Your Enemy” continued the show and one fan shouted at him to play “Fucking Hostile” which Anselmo replied to with – Shut Up- here’s another Superjoint Ritual song dedicated for all of you who were young back in 1997 – “Waiting For the Turning Point”.
Anselmo is ruthless on stage and does whatever he wants to do and that’s the charm about him but rather than talk I had wished for him to sing. He said that the next song was dedicated to everyone who kept on filming the show with their cellphones which was not cool at all. Anselmo meant that the ones who do that, miss the show, and said that when he was 15 years old he saw Motorhead and Agnostic Front and he didn’t need a video to remember that show, he had everything in his head. The song “Irrelevant Walls And Computer Screens” followed and as soon as Anselmo was done preaching about the horrors of cellphones every fan that was filming put down their phones and enjoyed the show for real. The band, except for Montazeri, walked off the stage. He stayed and played lead guitar until the band came back again and ran through “Domination” than transformed into “Hollow” and back again. That ended the show and Anselmo urged the fans to not forget to support the local scene before he went off the stage. 70 minutes of music wasn’t enough for the brave 140 fans that had gathered to see Phil Anselmo and they all shouted for more music. The band shortly returned and before the band could decide what song to play they ran through three short intros of songs as well as an intro of some 60’s song all accompanied by some very confused mumbles from Anselmo. He said that the fans now got four songs instead of one. The same annoying fan that before had shouted for “Fucking Hostile” repeated his request for the third time and Anselmo got a bit irritated with him. He talked for almost 10 min before a song finally was played and that time could have been used to play another song. Finally, the band was able to play “Primal Concrete Sledge” and the fans got really happy to finally hear a full song and sang a long with Anselmo in the chorus and the verse. Anselmo wanted to see some hands in the air and wanted to hear the fans shout for him then he was happy and said it was time for him to go home because he was old now.
Even though Anselmo partially acted like a really confused person that didn’t take away the fact that it was a brilliant 90 minute show. The Illegals were really tight and complemented each other perfectly. It was the perfect back up band to the almighty Phil Anselmo. The set list was varied and included songs from Superjoint Ritual as well as Pantera not any songs from his band Down. The only thing that dragged down the experience was the constant talking and mumbling from Anselmo in between the songs. That didn’t add anything to the show and instead he should have focused on delivering music. But besides that me and the rest of the 139 people were really happy with what we had seen at Kulturbolaget this night.
A New Level
Battalion Of Zero
Usurper Bastards Rent
Walk Through Exits Only
Family Friends and Associates
Dazed And Confused
Fuck Your Enemy
Waiting For The Turning Point
Irrelevant Walls And Computer Screens
Primal Concrete Sledge
Thanks to Emma Svensson head of press at Kulturbolaget for help with media pass.
Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.
Facebook Page: www.sv-se.facebook.com/Morbultad