Yes there are times when I’m lost for words. Today’s Mike Howe’s birthday, and while not an anniversary, it’s probably the best date to finally write this down.
Metal Church is the church of love.
There, I said it.
They’re awesome. Artistic integrity? Check. Dedication? Check. And that unique way of making everyone welcome? Check.
It’s fairly amazing how a band that writes serious, scary and sarcastic songs manages to turn their live shows into a veritable celebration.
Check out a report full of impossibly glamorous photos taken on July 2nd in the Volta club here in Moscow.
This is the spirit.
The truth is – you can’t see in those photos just how much perseverance there is behind that show.
The Volta club, well, it was my first time there. It’s a tiny cozy place, laid out just about perfect. But one thing is sorely missing.
Air conditioning that actually works.
See, when you enter a club and you feel it’s already fairly stuffy, even though there’s not that many people in there, no moshing, no whatever – it does make you worry.
Old Tochka used to feel rather problematic right away as well, but during a show they made sure to crank their AC up to the max at certain intervals. You could feel the cold wave hitting you with quite some force.
Not the case here.
A lack of oxygen and too much heat obviously takes a toll on everyone. It’s worst for drummers and singers, those who use their whole system to perform. Add in some extra stress for a singer who is actually a dynamic frontperson.
And yet, they delivered. And Mike dialled down his antics only slightly. No shortcuts regarding actual vocals at all. I swear the dude is physically non-human.
When a singer is well over six feet and approaches two hundred pounds, you sort of expect them to conquer everything. Like, rib cage size and all. Naive, yup, but those huge guys do not surprise you when they never run out of breath. Especially if they stand fairly still.
When the singer is built like a DnD elf (or a particularly compact witcher) and yet holds an aggressive note for several bars without visible effort, now that’s when you really start questioning yourself. Because it’s just surreal.
Well, it is very much real; it’s plain proper technique. Which is all in all rare outside the classical world. Yes, one of the reasons Metal Church converted me so fast and so efficiently =)
Somehow Russians didn’t post that many videos on youtube, so here’s a relatively “tame” rendition of the pre-Howe classic Start the Fire:
Yes, that was rather tame. As compared to other songs on the set, like the newer Killing Your Time. Or another pre-Howe classic Watch the Children Pray.
Here’s a page where you can find a very nice bootleg of the full show.
What the video shows well is how small the stage (and the whole club) actually is.
I only hope the band gets bigger. They deserve it. After all these years.
You have no idea how much they mean to me now.