Monday, 14 November 2011

Heavy Metal Gig Review: Devin Townsend Ghost - Union Chapel 14/11/11

Rating: 5/5

The evening starts with a scene I was utterly unprepared for approaching Union Chapel… hundreds of metal fans queuing to get into a church, something I have never seen before!
Into the church and before long the support act Hazlitt (Writing and performance credits include “The Quest” campaign for Addidas run during the 2010 world cup) appear on stage for an excellent ethereal musical opening. The scene is set beautifully for the upcoming album with the haunting vocals and orchestral backing, then after a little too long for those of us sitting there in anticipation, Devin Townsend comes on after introductions all round a quick check to make sure everyone knew what they were letting themselves in for, a quiet show!
Opening with the superb Fly the evening quickly enveloped me in an almost trance like state, the music and the location culminating in a sense of relaxation, enjoyment and complete absorption in the music made the gig excellent. Particular stand outs for me were "Blackberry" and the three bonus tracks played at the end. Having wondered how the gig would end as the album pretty much just fades out these slightly heavier and more lively tracks were the perfect ending to bring the crowd round from the peaceful, blissful atmosphere of the night.
The only slight niggles that almost prevented full marks being awarded are the long gap between the support act and Devin and the Ghost band coming on served to detract slightly from the atmosphere that had built up, and the microphone for Kat Epple’s vocals, which were exceptionally good, was slightly too quiet at times. However, as these were minor points and I had an outstanding evening it felt too picky to take marks away!
The intimate venue holding a maximum capacity of 800, with its high ceilings and beautiful architecture was the perfect setting for what I can only describe as a beautiful album. Devin was his usual charismatic self and ventured into the audience twice during the evening, once playing guitar up one aisle and down the other and the after the end of the show walking down both aisles shaking hands with and thanking as many fans as possible.
All in all a truly amazing gig!

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