Concert Review: Children of Bodom at the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT
“It’s like Skyrim, except the dragons have tits!”
Freezing rain and other annoying weather couldn’t keep fans away from Children of Bodom’s 15th Anniversary Tour. When it hit the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT on March 1, 2012, a long line braved the cold for the opportunity to see the Finnish metalheads and their tourmates perform as the tour was winding down. I think it’s an unwritten rule that when Scandinavian bands come to New England, the weather has to suck, but maybe that’s just been my experience.
Hailing from Ontario, Threat Signal hit the stage first, promoting their new self-titled album with a signature blend of melody and metalcore. Their use of jazz drum fills and other progressive touches helped set them apart from their contemporaries, and Threat Signal did a fine job warming up the crowd.
Next up was Revocation, a group of true rising stars in the extreme metal scene. In fact, “extreme metal” is the most accurate genre you can place them in, since Revocation alternates between metalcore, black, death, and thrash metal…all in the same song. David Davidson’s onstage banter (such as the quote at the top of this review) pumped up the fanbase along with his highly technical yet brutal riffs. The Boston-based band welcomed many new fans into the fold with their performance, make no mistake.
The last of the opening acts was the odd one out: Eluveitie. Being the only folk metal band on the bill didn’t seem to matter to the crowd, as there were a ton of Eluveitie diehards in attendance. Since the band is eight members strong, they filled the stage with traditional folk instruments alongside the expected guitars. There’s not much room for energetic running around and such, but Eluveitie’s sound more than made up for any lack of theatrics. Their new record Helvetios only hit stores two days prior, so the Swiss folk metallers made sure to knock out a few new cuts including “A Rose for Epona,” one of the band’s finest efforts to date. (No word on if the “Epona” in the song is Link’s horse.)
When Children of Bodom appeared at last, the audience was ready to pop. The band wasted no time, opening with the classic “Sixpounder” before launching into the rest of their set. Since this was an anniversary tour, the band mined their back catalog with tracks from their early albums Something Wild and Hatebreeder on tap. Of course, songs like “Shovel Knockout” from their newest effort Relentless Reckless Forever were on display as well. Overall, their choice of songs did a fine job covering their impressive decade-plus career.
Frontman Alexi Laiho loves to play the part of the guitar god, with plenty of showmanship and flourish to boot, but he can back it up with enough virtuoso playing to satisfy even the most jaded shredheads. Of course, without a solid band to complement this, it would all go to waste, but the other musicians in Children of Bodom are at the top of their game as well. Between thundering bass lines, pummeling percussion, and searing keyboard lines, Children of Bodom are a tight-knit band that delivered a rock-solid performance.
Children of Bodom spent the evening stirring up circle pits, crowdsurfers, and other friendly acts of metallic violence with their blend of thrash, death, and power metal. After a killer set and a two-song encore (“Bodom After Midnight” and “Downfall”), Children of Bodom left behind a pleased crowd and many new fans as well. Their 15th Anniversary Tour may be drawing to a close, but they’ll be back soon…