15 Scandinavian European Tour 2015 – Swedish leg –
Black Temple – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
23/10 – 2015
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Finally it was time for the jewel in the Gothenburg metal crown – In Flames – to head out on a long-awaited intimate club tour. It’s not often that the Swedes play at home in Sweden. Usually they play larger festivals, not at clubs and smaller venues. However, this tour took the guys to 12 different cities and clubs all over Sweden. To extend the tour, the band booked shows in Finland and Denmark after which it was time to head out in the rest of Europe. When the show was announced, tickets sold rapidly, and I think that all the places sold out, in Malmo an extra show was booked and the tickets to that show were also sold out in a hurry. SIREN CHARMS is the latest album out from the band and it was released in June last year and the band is still touring on that album. I saw the band at the very muddy and rainy Wacken Open Air this summer and what a show the band put on. It was amazing and even though the band have varied somewhat in musical stability the past years, they have never tampered with the standard on their live performances.
The band was scheduled for a Thursday and Friday here in Malmo, and I saw the band the first night. The club was of course Kulturbolaget, which has managed to book some amazing acts this year. The day before the show, the band performed in a town called Trollhättan here in Sweden, and the same day a lunatic entered a school and killed a few kids and a teacher with a sword, the police shot the man at the scene but the people of Sweden were deeply shook by the horrendous attack and it was a sad day to wake up the next day.
I met the band during the day, and all of the guys were really nice, and kudos to bands that care about their fans. I came to the club about 15 minutes before doors opened and a long line had formed outside the club. At the door, the security informed us that everyone on the guest/press list had to pay 50SEK in order to get in and the money all went to the refugees from the middle east that arrive to Sweden, Scandinavia and the rest of the EU every day. I gladly paid 50 SEK to get in and think that it’s a terrific initiative by In Flames to help out in any way they can. Luckily there was a photo pit, because this night was sure going to be sweaty and intense. The support act of the night was Black Temple, who are signed to In Flames singer Anders Fridéns own record label – Razzia Records.
Black Temple are a trio. They kicked off the night as soon as they came to the stage. After two songs, singer/bassist Jonas thanked fans for their support and fired off the next song. The sound system worked really well, but the lights didn’t, which is often the case when it comes to support acts. Guitarist Witold stood to the left of the stage while Jonas stood to the right almost entirely in the dark while singing. Alternative metal is maybe the most correct definition of the kind of music that Black Temple plays, and sadly their music didn’t appeal to me the slightest. The trio is:
Jonas – lead vocals, bass
Witold – guitar
Jesper – drums
The band comes from a smaller town outside Malmo called Helsingborg, and it seemed that many fans from their hometown was there to support the band. After a few songs I lost interest in the music and longed for In Flames to do their thing. The members stood on their spots looking down into the floor and didn’t to connect much with the crowd. The band tried to get the crowd going a few times but they had no success. Finally the show came to an end and the singer thanked the crowd and the 35 minute show was done. Black Temple are definitively nothing for me and the most positive thing with the show was the great sound system.
By now, the club was practically full with In Flames fans that waited eagerly to see their favorite act. The bands crew started to prepare the stage for the headline act. Behind the drums was a huge video screen and two smaller screens were placed on each side of the drums. Behind them there were speakers and at the front of the stage there was a small podium where assuredly Fridén would be. The small ramp in the middle of stage was re-built to a full stage and the entire stage looked really cool, In Flames always brings a solid and cool stage show with them. The fan base is pretty mixed with people in all ages and genders but everyone was really excited about what they were going to see. The temperature was already pretty hot and by about 9:05 the lights went out and the intro came on. After a few minutes, the kings of melodic Swedish thrash metal showed up on the stage and the show was on.
“Superhero Of The Computer Rage” and “Enter Tragedy” were the first two songs played, and those pretty much set the tone for the night. Singer Fridén used the small podium at the edge of the stage to stand on while he sang but everyone who has seen the band knows he doesn’t stand still for long as he jumped up and down and walked around on the whole stage. “Darker Times” followed and it was full speed ahead from the very start. The video screens showed red that flashed by and they added atmosphere to the songs during the show. In Flames is:
Anders Fridén – lead vocals
Björn Gelotte – guitar
Daniel Svensson – drums
Peter Iwers – bass
Niclas Engelin – guitar
Fridén thanked the crowd and asked why they were so quiet, he wanted to hear and see more of the fans. He was right, the crowd behaved pretty calm and were quiet and mostly stood and watched the band and the screens. “Siren Charms” followed and the temperature had reached near tropical even though the great mass of fans were pretty calm, the hardcore fans at the front of the stage jumped up and down, screamed and clapped their hands as each new song played. The mix of people in the club was obvious and there were really young kids as well as older ones that probably were around when the band first started out. Before “Black And White” Fridén said that it was pretty hot and cozy now and said that it was nice to be in Malmo. He said he wanted everyone to focus and send a thought to the victims of the school incident in Trollhättan the day before and said to the guy who was filming the show with his cellphone to take down the phone and stop filming and focus on the cause. It’s a great feeling to know that one of the worlds biggest metal band actually cares and thinks about the situation in the world and in their country. And I was really glad to see that the band does their thing to make the world a better place by charging a small fee at the door and donate it to the refugees.
“Square Nothing” followed and Fridén had everyone clapping in the middle of the song and he looked satisfied with the response from the fans. In the next song, Fridén wanted to see a circle pit and fired off “Disconnect”. By know it was pretty obvious that the band weren’t playing the usual In Flames songs but somewhat varied songs from their huge back catalogue. It felt like the somewhat calm crowd woke up for“Disconnect” and they sang along with Fridén. It felt like this was the song many had waited for. He wanted the audience to scream for him in “Leeches” and the temperature was now above tropical inside the club. “Like You Better Dead”, taken from the album SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR ESCAPE from 2004, followed and once again the screens showed red colors flashing by. Fridén had to take a sip of water and said that it was incredibly hot, he threw out paper among the crowd and said it was his son that had made it and asked if there were any curfew against crowd surfing in the club. The fans shouted “no”, and the surfing was a fact in the next song – “Bullet Ride”.
Fridén asked if the fans wanted the band to play some more songs from the In Flames vault and said that the crowd now was going to do a wall of death, and when he screamed go! The madness should begin. After the intro “Jotun”, Fridén shouted “go” and the wall of death ran towards each other. The song is and old one, taken from the 1997 album WHORACLE. “Food For Gods” followed and Fridén said he thought the show went pretty well, and asked “what are we going to play now?” as he took a look at the set list. “The next song is about an ordinary day at work and its “Ordinary Story”” he said.
He got the fans to scream on command and “Crawl Through Knives” followed instantly. Fridén let the fans sing the chorus and a few enthusiastic fans started to crowd surf. For once, the security in the pit had quite a lot to do. Fridén wanted the fans to sing the chorus so loud that it would be heard in Gothenburg and the fans all aired their throats as loud they could. The next song Fridén said was a slow song and everyone who wanted to dance could do it now in “Satellites And Astronauts”.
Svensson and Iwers played extremely well and the same can be said for the rest of the band. The show is a statement and proof that In Flames still are one of the best live acts from Sweden. The group complemented each other perfectly and I was blown away with how solid they are as a unit. Even though the stage didn’t allow the band to bring all their amazing backline, what they had brought did the job and the band always brings a rock hard heavy stage show with amazing lights and effects. Fridén wanted to see more hands in “The Hive” and seemed to be genuinely happy with the response from the fans. He threw out another paper plane and his son was standing at the side of the stage and Fridén asked him if he wanted to come out and say hello to Malmo which he did and he looked a bit shy when the fans gave him a warm welcome when he showed up. He rapidly went back to the safety with his mom at the side of the stage but the fans shouted his name again and again until he showed up once again and Fridén smiled. Fridén said to his son that he had to watch out because this next song is really fast, his son stood beside Gelotte who had his back to the fans while he fired off the intro to “Take This Life” and when the intro was over his son ran back to his mom. After having the fans sing along it ended and the show was also over. The band waved and left after 70 minutes of mayhem.
The second the band left the stage the crowd shouted for more and the members all came back fast and fired off “Cloud Connected” which is one of the bands biggest hits. That was one of the songs the audience really had been waiting for and the club exploded when fans heard the first notes of the first encore. Fridén announced the next song with “now there’s going to be disco” and fired off “Where The Dead Ships Dwell” and once again the fans sang parts of the verses as well as the chorus. “Deliver Us” followed as the third encore and it was total bliss. In “Paralyzed” Fridén wanted the fans to scream for him and he pounded the mic against his head as he use to do and laughed and said his shirt weighed about a ton now because of all the sweat. He said that without the fans the band was nothing and it was because of the fans the he has been in the band doing this for 20 years. Fridén thanked the fans for buying the album and for coming to the shows to make it possible for them to keep on making music and touring. “You mean everything to us” – it was clear that he meant every word of what he said.
The audience chanted In Flames and Fridén seemed to be really moved by what he heard. He wanted the crowd to give a hand to the security in the pit who had done a great job during the night and he also wanted us to give a hand to the opening act. “Thank you Malmo we love you, see you tomorrow once again” he said and the show ended with “My Sweet Shadow”. The song ended and the guys took off their instruments and they all went off and that ended the encores that lasted for 30 minutes.
The show lasted all together for about 1h50min and it was almost two hours of total happiness and bliss. In Flames once again proved that they are one of the best live acts in the world and it was pretty amazing that the band chose to come to Malmo. The set list was excellent with a lot of older songs that the band normally doesn’t play. In Flames is a well oiled melodic death metal machine that leaves no one disappointed and I guess that all fans, both older and new, were really happy with what they had experienced this night. I have nothing what so ever to complain about and this show was definitely one of the bigger highlights this concert year. I have to say thank you to In Flames who chose to do a club tour this year, you make me proud to be Swedish. And also a huge thank you to Kulturbolaget who booked the band!
Jester’s Door (intro)
Superhero of The Computer Age
Black And White
Like You Better Dead
Food For The Gods
Crawl Through Knives
Satellites And Astronauts
Take This Life
Where The Dead Ships Dwell
My Sweet Shadow
Thanks to the head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass.
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.