Amon Amarth Concert Review Setlist 2017 – Editors Note: Loose Cannon had press passes and was all set to go to this show in full viking gear but broke his ankle in the mosh pit at a recent Anthrax show. And by “Anthrax mosh pit” I mean he fell down stairs at home wearing an unfortunate slippery pair of socks. He was able to send in metalhead correspondent Pat Dixon to review the show. Thank you to Earsplit Media for arranging the last minute change!
A sold out crowd yielded a sea of black t-shirts eagerly awaiting an evening of heavy metal in an unsuspecting college town.
Boulder Theater was swarming with metal fans, young and old. Having been part of the metal scene since the mid 1990s, and indeed running a metal radio show out of KVCU 1190’s basement broadcasting booth 20 years ago, I have loved the grind/black/viking metal genres for more than half my life. Buying tickets as soon as possible for this lineup was a no-brainer, and to make sure I could stay for the whole show my now responsible adult preparation was to take the day after the show off from work.
The show was sold out, and it showed. The theater was packed almost the moment the doors opened. No one wanted to miss a moment of the concert. There were lines waiting for the merch booths, where eager metal heads quickly bought t-shirts to support both bands. Shirt styles sold out quickly, and for those of us that thought to wait for the line to die down were left with a deep sense of regret.
New Orleans’ Goatwhore is a blend of classic metal (think Venom) and modern blast beat metal. Singer Ben Falgoust of Soilent Green fame is joined by a legend of the music scene Sammy Pierre Duet, aka Sammy Satan. Sammy has been instrumental in the metal scene for decades, with my first introduction to his sludgy riffs coming by way of Acid Bath. Probably half the crowd had never heard or seen Goatwhore, and they came on with an intensity that caused everyone’s necks to snap back in forth and horns to be raised in the air. Fists pumping, Falgoust’s raspy vocals combined with the intense drumming from Zack Simmons brought back memories of Soilent Green’s crusty grindcore, while Sammy Satan’s riffs filled the theater with pure malevolence. Thundering bass pummeled the audience while mosh pits formed in each corner of the theater. Boulder didn’t know what hit them. The crowd roared with approval in between songs, and instantly Goatwhore’s unique blend of black metal and crust became ingrained on the minds of the fans. Goatwhore’s energy filled the theater, and they made a lot of new fans that night.
I have been a huge Amon Amarth fan since I first heard “Once Sent from the Golden Hall” in 1998 while working at KVCU. Amon Amarth are Viking metal in the purest sense, and I was hooked. Their lyrical content revolves around the concepts of the what most people associate with the Viking – raid, violence, the gods, monsters, and Valhalla. Their albums focus on concepts of Thor, Oden, Loki, war, Ragnarok, and the mythical beasts of Viking mythology.
Their live shows have taken on a life of their own, transforming the stage to a giant Viking war ship, complete with the dragon head to lead the charge into battle. The crowd buzzed with anticipation for this theatrical performance by this iconic Swedish band. Amon Amarth started with a bang, and the relentless pummeling we endured made the theater literally shake. The floor was shaking as the crowd banged their heads, slammed into each other, chanted along with their raised fists and horns, and had a giant party. We didn’t watch Amon Amarth in Boulder. We were transported to a festival in Europe, and the sold out crowd bellowed their appreciation between songs.
Frontman Johann Hegg’s growl and scream brought images of shapeshifting gods and tricksters, monsters and heroes, and of course a heavy dose of their latest album Jomsviking which tells the tale of a mercenary outcast. They played a lot of their back catalog, including some of my favorites in “War of the Gods” and “Live for the Kill.” They ended their set with the chant and sing-along beer drinking anthem of “Raise Your Horns,” and for about 2 minutes I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t play “Twilight of the Thunder God,” which is one of my all time favorites of theirs. I say a fraction of a moment, because their encore came on and they played the track, ending with such an energy that the crowd could hardly believe the experience was over. A cold and rainy evening welcomed us out of the Boulder Theater as the crowd dispersed, heading back to our homes to reflect on the evening of metal we were treated to.
This was a great show for a metalhead – two excellent bands left everything on the stage, playing with such intensity and energy that it infected the audience with the pure joy that comes from seeing truly amazing performers.
Thanks Pat! Want more rock? Check out Cobras & Fire: Rock Podcast starring Loose Cannon (the amazing writer and photographer of this article) and Bakko.