March 18, 2009, The Riot Room, Kansas City, MO It was a night of firsts at the tiny Riot Room; my first pagan/Viking/folk metal show, my wife’s first metal show after 12 years of marriage and my first ever in person meeting with another member of the metal media-Blabbermouth and Outburn’s (and now our own […]

by Erik T

March 18, 2009, The Riot Room, Kansas City, MO

It was a night of firsts at the tiny Riot Room; my first pagan/Viking/folk metal show, my wife’s first metal show after 12 years of marriage and my first ever in person meeting with another member of the metal media-Blabbermouth and Outburn’s (and now our own Teeth of the divine’s) Scott Alisoglu.

After meeting Scott for a couple of drinks, we headed over to the Riot Room a small but excellent venue in Kansas City’s Westport bar district-my old college stomping grounds – I barely recognized the venue as the same venue where I saw Life of Agony and Type O Negative back in my college days when it was known as the Hurricane, but they had an excellent Kolsch beer on tap and we were just in time to see Suidaka set up, so things were looking up.

First off, and I don’t mean to sound like a racist or a bigot, but when did Folk/Viking metal become so popular with the Latino/Hispanic crowd? You would have thought we at a Selena show based on the presence of very large Latina ladies and their rather sweaty, no deodorant using boyfriends who were sucking down the 22oz PBRs like there was no tomorrow, and of course they all located to within about 3 feet of my wife and I, giving my wife an rather pungent first impression of her first metal show.

So, Suidakra was up first and I was eager to see how they were live as they have been one of my favorite and most consistent folk bands since I heard Auld Lang Syne back in 1998. I was also curious to see how they are live without the clean vocals of Marcel Schoenen, arguably responsible for much of Suidakra’s allure, as well as performing without synth of bagpipes to enhance their sound. Well, front man Arkadius did an excellent job performing clean vocals, helped by session guitarist and clean vocalist Tim Siebrecht. The band performed a ample number of tracks from the new album Crogacht such as show opener “Conlaoch”, “Shattering Swords” and “Isle Of Skye” complete with rousing folk jig, which got the meager but enthusiastic crowd moving pretty well-myself included. A couple of tracks from the bands past albums were included such the instrumental “Dead Man’s Reel” and set closer, “The IXth Legion”, of course it wasn’t quite as epic without the bagpipes (as were all the songs), but it got this old body moshing like it hasn’t in many years.

The reason the wife was attending the show was Scotland’s Alestorm, being somewhat of a fan of their album and recent EP, she was curious to see and hear what “Scottish Pirate Metal” looked and sounded like in a live environment. Well, she not I were not disappointed as front man Christopher Bowes coming across like Weird Al Yankovic crossed with a gremlin playing to all the scallywags in the crowd with an energy and banter you’d expect from a half drunk Scotsman. All the best tracks from Captains Morgan’s Revenge were played; “Over the Seas”, “Nancy the Tavern Wench”, “Set Sail and Conquer”, set closer “Captain Morgan’s Revenge” and personal favorite and yet another entry to the mosh pit, “Wenches and Mead”. The band also played the title track from the Leviathan EP as well as a track from the upcoming Black Sails at Midnight album ” Keelhauled”; a riotous, Finntroll-ish high octane romp that had me salivating for the new album. Alestorm were worth the trip alone, even more so to see my wife beaming from ear to ear during the start of “Keelhauled” and even more so when Bowes and bassist Gaz Murdoch let me record them giving a impromptu rendition of “Wolves of the Sea” outside the bar, after I told them it was my 8 year old daughter’s favorite song. Utterly awesome fun.

I had some reservations about headliners Tyr and how their progressive lengthy take on Viking/ Folk metal as well as the clean harmonized vocals would translate in a live environment. The band laid any qualms about the vocals to rest as they opened with a new track from the forthcoming By The Light Of the Northern Star album, called “Hold the Heathen Hammer High” as upbeat as anything the band has ever penned the simply brilliant choral harmonics to be truly stunning. The superb vocal clarity held true for the likes of personal favorite “Regin Smiður”, “Hail to the Hammer” and the simply hypnotic start to “Sinklars Vísa”. The bad offset their progressive lengthy numbers with a crowd pleasing rendition of “The Wild Rover”. In a live setting, Tyr are much heavier than their recorded output and put on an especially energetic show. Of course, my wife was actually more enamored with the looks of front man Henri Joensen, rather than the sound, and judging by the many, many photos he was taking with females after the show, she was rightly due with her infatuation. I’m not into swinging or anything, and maybe it was the mix of my many beers, his Thor’s hammer and sweaty mane-I’d have let him pillage her right there.

In all a truly great, fun show with great company and some pictures to prove it are here (link to forum thread with pictures) and I certainly hope a Pagan Knights II surfaces next year with maybe Korpikaani, Heidevolk, Hollenthon and Crimfall? Please?



  1. Commented by: Jonni

    Very nice review! Seriously, I’m so jealous of all you people in the US- I need to wait till May to get my fill of Týr and Alestorm! Glad to hear you and your wife had a epic time there. :3 After reading this (and so many other) reviews, I’m stoked!!

    Will check out the pictures, thanks for taking them.

  2. Commented by: Jodi

    Wish I could’ve gone to this show. Sounds like it was a good one.

    BTW, one of the opening bands was comprised of all Hispanic guys.

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