Show Review

Show Review: Eluveitie/3 Inches of Blood – Chicago, IL – 02.08.11

Posted by JDKleinhans on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:13 PM (PST)

First, let me declare – the heavy metal force is strong with these two bands, strong indeed. I can make such a bold declaration because in my two decades of partaking in the glory of live heavy metal, there will only be a handful that will be forever emblazoned upon my memory. And this show will surely be on that list, as it is easily one of the best concerts I’ve had the joy of attending over that time.

My cohorts and I arrived at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL where we had a few drinks from the phenomenal beer list (imports, domestics, microbrews, craftbrews) which, combined with its fantastic food, has helped it quickly become one of my favorite venues to venture to. Even a few members of the bands were in the dining area taking in some pre-show grub. We did arrive a little behind schedule so we were unfortunately unable to catch Holy Grail or System Divide (two bands I’m only vaguely familiar with but was looking forward to hearing live). Thankfully, we were able to catch 3 Inches of Blood (3IoB) in all their thrashy goodness and the epic folk metal that is Eluveitie.

Click here for a full breakdown of this epic show, set lists, and pictures.

3IoB has been on my must see list since my ears were blessed to partake of the metal divinity of “Deadly Sinners” (a song I would love to sing at a karaoke bar but one that the DJ never seems to have on hand for some reason). I’ve been waiting for Eluveitie to get even remotely close to my doorstep since I stumbled across their video for “Inis Mona” back in 2008.

3IoB started their set with “The Goatriders Horde” and Tolkien inspired “Destroy the Orcs”, two must have songs in any 3IoB show. The falsetto vocals of Cam Pipes were top notch and translate stupendously to a live setting. I also couldn’t help notice the standout bass work of live member Steve Ericksson. Justin Hagberg’s screamed vocals were initially drowned out but the levels were properly adjusted later into the set. While I have to admit that I was saddened by the departure of Jamie Hooper’s screamed vocal work (due to medical reasons) and hesitate to mention, Justin has certainly stepped up to the plate and has done incredibly well in his stead.

Three songs into the 3IoB set, the Chicago crowd was graced with a new song titled “Lords of Change” which felt to be one of their longer songs with some outstanding clean vocal harmonies and a sweet bass breakdown that leads into its guitar solo. With 3IoB being a support band on this tour the band had to choose their set list with razor precision and that’s just what they did. It was filled with eight of the most mind-blowing, blistering, and pummeling songs in their arsenal. “Night Marauders”? Check. “Silent Killer”? Definitely. “Deadly Sinners”? Oh, hell yes! “Battles & Brotherhood”? Why even ask?

Outside of the weak sound levels (which were adjusted to near perfect levels by “Silent Killer” time) this show was near perfect. I’m looking forward to when they can expand their set list to include songs like “Wykydtron”, “Swordmaster”, and “Trial of Champions”. Also, while I hate to sound like an elitist, Chicago crowds are hard to win over and with the light amount of crowd interaction, the metal heads at this show were a bit numb to the greatness that was before them. Yes, there were some true metalhead moments but I can’t help but to compare every Chicago crowd to Milwaukee metallers.

With that being said, Chicago did me proud when Eluveitie hit the stage.

With the lights lowered and the opening of “Otherworld” playing overhead, the crowd went absolutely wild as Eluveitie’s eight members come out with metal fists raised up in the air. I think to myself, “How are they going to fit eight people up on that stage and perform?”. Let me tell you, not only did they all fit but they played their asses off like I’ve rarely seen a band do. When Chrigel pulled out his flute, whistled the first note of “Nil”, and the guitars kicked in, the audience was the loudest I’ve heard it in Chicago. Anna with her hurdy gurdy at the ready was whipping her hair to the beat of the stellar drumming. Right out of the gate the sound was tight and crisp. Chrigel has an incredible stage presence and uses his body language and intensity to draw the crowd in which keeps them wanting and needing more. The band has an energetic synergy with the crowd and their playing is intricately flawless. As Chrigel said leading into “Bloodstained Ground” – “You want some pure fucking folk metal? Let me fucking hear you?”

Eluveitie loves being on stage as evidenced by their crowd interaction and the smiles that rarely left their faces. The band held a “Thousandfold Talent Contest” where a winner at select shows plays with the band on stage during “Thousandfold”. Jenna Scifres was the winner for the Chicago show and she was awesome. Check out her contest submission here. Also,  in the middle of their acoustic set the audience was even given a lesson in Gaulish. For those of you not in the know, many of their songs are written and sung in the beautiful and ancient language of the Gauls. In fact, Eluveitie is Helvetic Gaulish for “I am Helvetian”, referring to an inscription dating to the earliest record of the Celtic Helvetii tribe from what is now Switzerland – Eluveitie’s homeland. But I digress!

During “Slanias Song” Anna provided the crowd with a Gaulish lesson where she was so impressed that she said “You guys are pretty good. You guys sound like old druids. But I want you to sound like young fucking druids!”. It was moments like this that make for fantastic metal memories. That and Anna playing the Star Wars theme song on the hurdy gurdy as a lead-in to their encore set which was truly an epic moment and won many hearts of the metal geeks in the crowd, myself among them.

If you haven’t gotten the hint by now, I absolutely loved this show. Towards the end of Eluveitie’s set I said to myself “This is a fucking mind-blowing night”. They even got a Chicago crowd to create a circle pit, which I’ve yet to experience in Chicago (Milwaukee’s are better by the way).

Eluveitie provided me with 90 minutes of pure fucking folk metal and some self-induced whiplash. 3 Inches of Blood blessed me with eight songs of unadulterated metal madness that made my throat hoarse for days. I look forward to another such night.

3 Inches of Blood Set List
Goatriders Horde
Destroy the Orcs
Lords of Change
Premonition of Pain
Night Marauders
Silent Killer
Deadly Sinners
Battles & Brotherhood

Eluveitie Set List
Bloodstained Ground
Gray Sublime Archon
Your Gaulish War
Inis Mona
Slanias Song
Quoth the Raven
The Song of Life
Kingdom Come Undone

Primordial Breath
Uis Elveti

3 Inches of Blood (from left: Justin Hagberg, Cam Pipes, Shane Clark). Photograph by Mitchell Reseburg.

3 Inches of Blood (from left: Justin Hagberg, Cam Pipes, Shane Clark). Photograph by Mitchell Reseburg.

Eluveitie (from left: Chrigel Glanzmann, Anna Murphy). Photograph by Mitchell Reseburg.

Eluveitie (from left: Ivo Henzi, Chrigel Glanzmann, Anna Murphy). Photograph by Mitchell Reseburg.

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One Comment

  1. mreseburg
    Mreseburg2/17/2011 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Great review sir! Definitely descried the show perfectly. I think a review of Johnny V’s is in order!

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