What a night in Močvara! I had no idea seeing Rotting Christ in such a small club setting, no pyrotechnics or flashy lights, would be so monumentally glorious! Moonspell definitely didn’t disappoint either, but let’s start from the beginning.
The days leading up to this concert were dotted by changes due to organisational difficulties, something that’s been plaguing the bands on this tour incessantly (constant border delays, the Turkey situation…) First, we were informed of a somewhat ridiculously early schedule for the night, with the first band, Silver Dust, starting as early as 7:30pm. It was a Monday and the organisers wanted everything wrapped up around 11pm so we could sod off and get a good night’s sleep. Regardless of the power of the Monday, no respectable night club should open its doors before 8pm. And so they didn’t! A day before the show, a new schedule was presented, this time a ridiculously late one. Rotting Christ wouldn’t start before 10:30pm and the whole affair would come to an end well after 1am. Apparently, when bands play in Sofia, Bulgaria and their next stop is Zagreb, they need to take a day off between those two shows because it’s near damn impossible to cross the distance safely and in time. Moonspell and Rotting Christ did not do that. (The best solution for this issue is to book a concert in Belgrade as well!)
At the very day of this awaited and almost sold out event, another border delay prevented the Swiss Steampunk goths Silver Dust from performing. A huge shame, as we rarely get to see anything Steampunk grace our stages (I was there for top hats, there were none, 0/10). I’m keeping my fingers crossed they get a chance to visit Zagreb again, actually play this time and show us what they can do.
It’s really seldom we get to see Močvara so filled to the brim, bursting with life and infectious metal energy. I’m far more used to seeing an obscure band along with the other fourty people present, but tonight was nothing like that. It was hard to move around, swimming through the sea of metalheads from all over the country (Slovenia too!). Merch was nearly sold out when I managed to get a glimpse of the table. Some people were disgruntled by the timetable changes and were forced to sell their tickets. Another group (those working late) were delighted they could actually make it now and promptly purchased those tickets. It all balanced out in the end.
The big Močvara doors finally opened around ten thirty and Rotting Christ’s intro music could already be heard. There was no time to waste. We had to go crazy and we had to do it now. I had the privilege of attending a Rotting Christ show twice this summer, outdoors at massive main festival stages. They pretty much murdered Metaldays and the Brutal Assault show had so much fire! I was more than intrigued to see them in a completely different ambiance, to hear their masterful tracks resonate through the closed venue. We were quickly blown away by the first beats of 666. The sound clarity was phenomenal, just loud enough too. It took me the first two tracks to recover from the initial shock of seeing them, as well as hearing. If this is what people in Greece look like, excuse me while I move there to farm olives full time.
The atmosphere in the audience was boiling. Song after song, the moshpit was getting bigger and bigger. I remember changing locations several times against my will, tossed around like a bag of potatoes. Stagediving wasn’t lacking either, albeit very polite, careful stagediving not to bother the band. At one point, Sakis called for a wall of death and it was happily obliged. I moved to the side to observe the prime metal culture happening in front of me. Just when you think there isn’t a hair’s width left, there’s always space for a wall of death. One word sums up Rotting Christ – quality. Unquestionable, consistent, attested quality. A band you can call your favorite without a lick of shame.
“I can’t believe we have to see one more band tonight” could be heard from the murmuring crowd lamenting about the events that just transpired. Rotting Christ left us all spent and satisfied. But wait, there’s more! Rotting Christ’s somewhat unusual tour companions Moonspell were about to take the spotlight. Moonspell – either you’re a fan or they’re not your cup of tea. These Portuguese veterans have been on the scene for longer than some of us have been alive. I’ve always known the name, but never heard the music. I decided to give the Portuguese version of their “1755” album a shot and didn’t hate it at all! Looking forward to hear what they offer live, I mustered the last atoms of energy left in my body to focus it on the complex guitar passages, but alas, I got distracted by Fernando’s fingerless gloves (this is a millenial piece of advice for all the fashionable boomers out there – fingerless gloves are only worn by emo teens and child molesters). Then I realized – a man who can pull off mutton chops with eyeliner can wear whatever the hell he wants. (The plague doctor mask is still my favourite)
The atmosphere remained magical despite the significantly lower amount of people compared to the previous set. Dedicated Moonspell fans weren’t as easily tired, still singing along with the band well after 1am. People leaving might seem like a negative thing but it’s really not. It shows us that Rotting Christ fans would still buy the pricey ticket to see only them, while Moonspell fans are willing to pull an all-nighter just to jam with their idols. This evening was a very wholesome metal moment in Močvara, akin to the time when you were a kid, you’d see three big concerts a year and that was that. This was one of those concerts. Everyone present was a kid again. A thousand thank yous to Rotting Christ, Moonspell and Močvara for making this happen!