I was no mood to go to a show. It’s rare that I say that. It was a Sunday night following two hellish weeks at work, with a third on deck. I had no desire to drive the fifty miles round trip to the venue, especially for a band I’d seen before. I needed to sleep.
Still, I already had my ticket in my wallet, and I figured once I got over myself, pried my eyes off of televised football and got my ass to the club, I’d be happier for being there. So, I crammed myself into my car and away I went.
Sometimes, you see a band and you just know. You know the kind of show it’s going to be. You know it’ll be something you remember. There’s a palpable feeling in the air that what’s about to happen is going to defy description. This was one of those nights.
Children of Bodom was unstoppable. It was their night, and we were all just there for the experience. They could do no wrong; every note was perfect, every riff electric, every beat on time and in rhythm. The song choices didn’t even matter. They could have come on stage and played ninety minutes of Sousa marches, and it would have been incredible.
Everything clicked for both the band and the crowd. Each fed off the other to create a kinetic kind of excited atmosphere. The crowd was both passionate and knowledgeable, saluting every song choice, from “Children of Decadence” (a personal favorite,) to “Hate Crew Deathroll.” There was no true mosh pit; instead, there was a flurry of pumping arms, elevated devil horns, headbangers, crowd surfers, and people enjoying a genuinely good evening of heavy metal.
Children of Bodom, apart from so many other Scandinavian metal bands, goes to no great lengths to create some manner of folk-inspired or dangerous image. Their members display no particular flair or sense of theatrics. What is delivered instead is an irresistible force of non-stop pulse-pounding, professional metal.
I’ve run out of superlatives. The only drawback to the entire show was that it didn’t go longer. I arrived at the venue around nine o’clock to see them begin, and was back on the road by ten-thirty. Even those ninety minutes seemed to fly by at unbelievable speed. It was worth it. Even the songs like “Blooddrunk” that I don’t think work as well on the albums were outstanding. Be it “Follow the Reaper,” “Are Your Dead Yet?” “Lake Bodom,” “Silent Night, Bodom Night,” “Hate Me,” “Bodom After Midnight,” or any of the others, they simply couldn’t miss.
On the way out, I tried to catch snippets of the other patrons’ conversation, to gauge their reaction. More than once, I heard one metal fan to another give the highest praise of the show a metal fan can offer: “That was good shit, man.”