Tonight’s entertainment at the Garage was "Spinefarm night" – a gig by three bands signed to Spinefarm records, Amaranthe, Soen and Dynazty. The gig was advertised as an Amaranthe show with the other two bands not being announced till a few weeks before the gig, so inevitably the majority of the crowd were Amaranthe fans, with plenty of their T-shirts being worn.
The night kicked off with Swedish band Dynazty. By the time they came on stage at 8pm the venue was already busy and the temperatures inside were climbing rapidly (well that’s what happens when you have a busy venue on one of our few hot sunny summer days). Right from the start they made a great impression with the crowd and really impressed a lot of people with their brand of rock. Tonight’s set included several songs from their new album, “Sultans of Sin”, which I’m going to have to get a copy of after hearing how good it sounds live. Dynazty really did a superb job of warming the crowd up (both figuratively and literally) and by the end of their set the fans would have happily listened to more despite the sauna-like temperatures.
Next up came Soen, a Swedish-American band whose members count Testament and Opeth among their former bands. Things started badly with them having technical problems that meant they were late starting, but this didn’t seem to faze them. They started with a slow intro before the song picked up pace – a pattern repeated with many of their songs. Soen were an interesting band to watch – the music is clearly very good, and they played it well, but it was a bit too slow and unexciting for tonight’s crowd. They got plenty of applause between songs but for the most part the crowd stood still and looked bored. The highlight of their set for me was an excellent cover of the Pink Floyd song “Hey you” which went down well with the crowd as well. I think Soen’s album could be really good to listen to, but like Opeth they aren’t an exciting live band unfortunately – a sentiment I heard from several friends after the show (the consensus being that they are good but just weren’t the right band for the night).
More technical problems preceded Amaranthe’s set so their 10pm start slipped badly and it was 10.20pm by the time they finally made it on stage. This hurt their audience badly as quite a few people with late night trains and buses to catch had to leave before the end of their set, which wasn’t due to finish till around 11.20pm. Sadly I was one of those people who missed the last 20 minutes, which was a real shame as what I saw was excellent.
If you haven’t heard Amaranthe before then they have an interesting style blending death metal and a more pop sound to create something that’s both radio friendly and also heavy at the same time. They have three vocalists – clean female vocals, clean male vocals, and male growling vocals, and for me it’s that third vocalist that makes them stand out and really helps give the vocals a unique sound.
Having played London before, both supporting Kamelot and also at their own headline show at the Borderline, they’ve already built up a good fan base here (and around the country too, particularly after their Bloodstock appearance, but sadly for fans outside London, once again there are no more UK dates). The crowd were clearly loving Amaranthe’s performance, and the band also looked to be enjoying themselves. The band are not just good musicians but also know how to keep the crowds attention. The three singers in particular are constantly moving around and regularly interact with the crowd and its that sort of thing that really helps a band win over the audience.
A great night, with Dynazty in particular winning plenty of new fans and Amaranthe putting in another great performance and showing why they were the headliner tonight.
Leave everything behind
Enter the maze
Act of desperation
Spinter in my soul
Call out my name
Lights out (in Candyland)
This is my life
Land of broken dreams
More than a man
Sultans of sin
Raise your hands