I had the chance to catch the European Unrest Tour on the very first date in Wiesbaden, Germany. The event was on May 2nd at Schlachthof, not fully sold out, but still crowded and featured Periphery, The Contortionist and Destrage. Overall, it was entertaining ,with decent sound and light show, but the people seemed a little tired!
The Italian outfit that just came up with a new record last year had the honor to open up on this tour. Starting with the opener for A Means To No End, the band instantly got the viewers’ attention with the majestic interlude for their heavy mathcore/rock/prog metal music. In fact, the craziness contained within the music of Destrage definitely works out for a just as expressive live performance. Especially singer Paolo Colavolpe did a great job on his screams as well as his singing, truly dealing out a huge vocal range. While there wasn’t enough time for too much variation, their mix of old and new songs did well in only half an hour. The band focussed on presenting something from every recording of theirs, instead of concentrating only on A Means To No End, which was definitely a good decision. I just wanted to see “Blah Blah“ live so bad!
1. A Means To No End
2. Don’t Stare At The Edge
3. Destroy Create Transform Sublimate
4. The Flight
5. My Green Neighbour
6. Symphony Of The Ego
Well, if you are a fan of Language, you might have loved the set of Indianapolis, Indiana-based prog metal group The Contortionist. If not, you might have been disappointed. I would personally count myself to the disappointed fraction, but not because I’m no fan of Language (I totally am).
Mike Lessard did a decent job on the cleans and an even better job on the gutturals, but somehow totally ruined the songs’ magic by repeating his phrases over and over again. It almost got annoying with his whiny, cringy whispering in between the songs. Creating a pseudo-ethereal experience and trying to combine songs to conceptualize the whole set to fit their latest record Language, they only managed to let down fans of Exoplanet.
For example, Lessard was singing ‘Intuition speaks to me’ within the clean part of “Oscillator“; this kind of pseudo-connection carried on throughout the band’s performance. Having had big expectations for the set, we got a VERY one-dimensional show, that wasn’t flourishing (haha, if only they would’ve played it) neither through stage presence nor tightness. Lessard missed some parts and was late to the timing at times, probably experimenting too much in a negative way. So yeah, intuition spoke to him, quite too often…
1. Language I: Intuition
2. Language II: Conspire
5. Primordial Sound
7. The Parable
When releasing new music in the intervals Periphery are managing at the moment, it’s no wonder that they are enjoying the newest ones on stage the most. In case of the European Unrest Tour, the band focused hevily on the last two records Alpha & Omega and Periphery III: Select Difficulty, while they didn’t even touch on material older than Periphery II.
When a visitor shouted “Make Total Destroy“ for the last song, singer Sotelo just answered ‘make total Lune’; surely he hasn’t lost his humor. But a thing that really was strange is that he killed a whole bottle of wine on stage. I can’t tell if he does this each and every night, nor did it affect his singing in a negative way, but it definitely looked strange and maybe puts his personal stability in question. But that’s none of our business!
To be honest, the best thing about Periphery‘s show was probably the astonishing vocal work by guitarist Jake Bowen, who grabbed a microphone on some parts and did decent cleans, but also good growls. Maybe it’s because we all already know about Spencer’s ability, but this left him in the shadows a bit.
The set was a little one-dimensional, delivering very groovy songs, the catchy ones and, as I said before, mostly the newest ones. Some people might have been disappointed by this limited selection, but the show was still decent, with Periphery performing on a professional level (even if it’s strange to search for Nolly on stage). Also, the guys seemed to have a lot of fun playing for the crowd, besides the fact that they probably expected more participation on some passages. This was proven at least during the ending of “Lune“ (they couldn’t have picked a better song to close their set).
1. A Black Minute
2. Stranger Things
3. The Way The News Goes…
5. Remain Indoors
6. Prayer Position
7. The Bad Thing
11. The Price Is Wrong