Wednesday… Snow, below zero, flu… No work, no training, no stress, drinking hot chocolate in bed and watching movies… Hell, no! After work, sick me goes to the gym, quick shower, painful bus ride to the venue (in Serbia public transportation lately remains of Indian – we only miss goats), race with time and I made it! I even came five minutes earlier! The doors were closed even if it was announced Skálmöld will start their set at 20:00, it was obvious they will be late. But, surprise, surprise! The doors were opened, we set the positions and as expected, Skálmöld didn’t attract many fans. Venue was half empty, but somehow, at least listening people from my surrounding, it was expected that mostly fans will show up to listen Alestorm. That is the bad habit of Serbian fans, they are never willing to support support bands (great sentence).
Skálmöld is claimed to be Viking folk metal band. Maybe I am too old and definitions changed in the meantime, but the music they play is not alike Viking metal I grew up with. However, what have I seen and heard were skilled musicians who are are creating whole new dimension with heart and soul. For my sensibility, Skálmöld is a bit boring, but yet interesting band that had a lot to show. On the faces of guys (and girl lost in the fog) you could see they enjoyed, especially Björgvin Sigurðsson. The biggest surprise, at least for me, were the fans in front line, who were singing in choir. I mean, Icelandic language is not one of the easiest to learn, right? I was trying to take a peak at set list, but either didn’t have it, either hid it very well. Anyway, from what I heard, saw and felt, Skálmöld were happy leaving the stage and solid fan base behind.
As Skálmöld left the stage was set up for headliners in the speed of light. Sick me couldn’t drink beer (mixing alcohol and medications has never been the greatest combination) and prepare properly for the show. I felt like a black sheep… Not for the first or the last time, so…
Preparing for the show meant to quickly wipe the nose, and digging through my bag, on the gallery I noticed (blessed be the lenses) Björgvin Sigurðsson and Elliot Vernon chatting. The perfect time for take few pics. I mean, if I caught Oscar Dronjak in front of mobile toilet few weeks ago, what is an ordinary photo of two musicians standing on gallery, spying on fans and possibly gossiping them? After few shots, I turned to stage and saw flat yellow something took the dimensions of monster duck. Now, in the spirit of our hosts, we had to make jokes. I have no idea if guys know, but the yellow duck is the symbol of protest against the Serbian government.
Right on time, Alestrom hit the stage, and, my friends (readers), energy was at high lever from the first to the last riff! I can’t remember when was the last time I saw that cheerful fans singing along with the band each verse, each refrain… And the band… Of course, fooling around… From the first accordion parts, “Keelhauled” bought the fans who were singing, dancing, bath in beer. Christopher Bowes, as expected, dressed in red Scottish skirt (or is it kilt?) with green cap in sandals seem to be the craziest Pirate. “Alestorm” (the video was made in my home city Zemun last year), “Magnetic North”, “Mexico”, “Over the Seas”, “The Sunk’n Norwegian”… Layer of songs, layer of hilarious jokes, some even made them laugh, and the highlight was “Captain Morgan’s Revenge”. Now, it was hot as hell! Everyone was singing, jumping, headbanging, drinking beer… “Shipwrecked” was the last official song, but we should never have a doubt will there be an encore or not. After over 90 minutes of great fun,the party has come to an end. Our hosts had a presents: picks, drumsticks, set lists…
Speaking of memorabilia… Both bands had only to offer t-shirts with not so acceptable price for the budget of average Serbian fan. besides, no girls models, so I do not regret!
The sound was not that impressive, but no one cares!
And… Maybe you thought Alestorm are metal clowns, but trust me, they are seriously good Scotish pirates!
I came with flue, came home with bronchitis, but… What doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger…
With refrain “We are here to drink your beer” in my head, I am sailing to my next harbor… Budapest… If I don’t die or get arrested for stalking Mark Osegueda, maybe I will treat you with report from MTV Headbangers Ball Tour! Cheers!