Slowly the live music branch of the music industry gets going again. Shows and tours, announced a while ago, are taking place as we speak and one of these shows is planned at Markthalle, Hamburg. The iconic venue in the Hansestadt welcomes a Nordic metal package, enriched by two German bands as opener.
Dark Tranquillity, Ensiferum, Nailed To Obscurity and The Legion: Ghost are on the agenda for tonight. The event is the first one under normal circumstances at Markthalle since March 13th, 2020. After that date, the Markthalle bridging the Corona time while being a day shelter for the homeless as part of the Hamburg winter emergency program which was prolonged several times and now the destination is back to its original purpose.
More than two years after having hosted the last real concert, everybody is excited to move back to the primal intention of the venue, providing a stage for live music. And as with an engine, after having stood still for a while, it takes a bit to return to a well-oiled operation and still everything is arranged well. Everybody seems to be very happy to return to the venue for a live concert. A short queueing based on vaccination checks at the entrance is taken with ease and after entering the hall things feel like being back in a time, we almost have forgotten during the last two years.
How big the excitement really gets apparent by a pretty big crowd that is already present for The Legion:Ghost who kick-off things with a bit of a delay. The German metalcore band welcome everybody with ‘Unwelcome’, a song from their debut album ‘Two for Eternity’. The Legion:Ghost is into melodic metalcore and hereby a bit different from the rest of todays line-up. However, the band is enjoying playing live in front of a real audience and even the fact of some sound issues could stop the crowd being infected by the energy The Legion:Ghost spread tonight in Hamburg.
After a short break the stage is set for Nailed To Obscurity. The band from Lower Saxony constantly enlarged their fanbase over to the past years and four high-quality albums added certainly their piece the rise of the Esens- based band. The quintet toured already with Dark Tranquility through North America during the last few weeks and is therefore well coordinated for their set. After having listened to the energetic metalcore of the opener, things get dark and gloomy the moment the general light in the hall was switched off. Nailed To Obscurity praise the mighty riff and creates an atmosphere of darkness and despair with their music. Doom and death metal blend in great fashion and it is a sinister glance of despair that fills the venue. Nailed To Obscurity is certainly a first highlight tonight with a huge applause that accompanies the band after leaving the stage.
The great thing of this line-up is the variety of sounds, all kept together by the passion for music and guitar power. Ensiferum start with ‘Rum, Women, Victory’ into their show, a set that includes ten battle hymns. The focus goes to the latest longplayer ‘Thalassic’ that has been released many months ago and now, finally, can be performed live in front of a larger group of fans. Ensiferum played an hour and obviously a lot of metalheads came to Markthalle to see the Finnish quintet. From the first note played by the band, the vibe turns into a big metal party. Fan chants, rowing activities and an endless mosh pit is what Ensiferum initiate with their harsh and melodic riff attack, something everybody at Markthalle seems to enjoy a lot. Furthermore, Sami Hinkka is like an unleashed dervish on stage, Markus Toivonen has a constant smile on his face and also the rest of the band has real fun tonight. Band and fans are on the same mission that night and when the last riff fades away after one hour of intense metal, fans still haven’t had enough and gave the band a well-deserved cheer.
Gothenburg’s metal veterans Dark Tranquillity are the headliner tonight. As with Ensiferum, also Dark Tranquillity released an album in 2020, ‘Moment’, and couldn’t bring it live to stage due to lockdowns. According to frontman Mikael Stanne, it was a strange feeling to release an album into a kind of void but now it’s time to present the not that new anymore songs to fans. What is surprising to see is that some fans obviously came just for Ensiferum since the hall is a little less packed when the sextet from Sweden start their set. This doesn’t have an impact on the intensity of Dark Tranquillity’s show. though. ‘Phantom Days’, the opener of ‘Moment’, is on pole position tonight and there are three more songs from the new album that lead to great fan reactions. The sextet cruises through a sixteen-song setlist that includes classics like ‘Final Resistance’ and the rarely played ‘The New Build’ as well as the very much appreciated ‘Atoma’, the title track from the 2016 longplayer. March 13th is a special night, not only for the reasons mentioned earlier only. Instead of Christopher Amott it is Joey Concepcion handling the second guitar and the pleasant reason for this change is the fact of Amott becoming father that night. Congrats.
Live music, bands being on fire and fans being ready for a solid metal party, that is how this evening at Markthalle, Hamburg can be summarized. Everybody is delighted that live music is back and there are just happy faces when folks take a lot of good memories homewards thought the rainy Hamburg night.
Setlist Dark Tranquillity:
- Phantom Days
- Focus Shift
- Monochromatic Stains
- Forward Momentum
- Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
- The Dark Unbroken
- Final Resistance
- The New Build
- Identical to None
- The Treason Wall (Encore)
- Lost to Apathy (Encore)
- Misery’s Crown (Encore)
- Rum, Women, Victory
- One More Magic Potion
- Into Battle
- For Sirens
- Run from the Crushing Tide
- Treacherous Gods
- In My Sword I Trust
- Lai Lai Hei
- From Afar
Location: Markthalle Hamburg, Germany
Date: April 13th, 2022
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