This is quite a nice place where I’ve never been before. The reason which brought me into this kind of no man’s land was the concert by Luxemburgish symphonic metal band Elysian Gates. I have already heard some of their songs and especially the new tracks with the new singer Jelena show that the band is actually making some huge progress. The Plectrum bar isn’t so huge, but I think that the nearly 100 spectators filled more or less two thirds of the space. The most prominent spectator surely was our environment minister Carole Dieschbourg who was hot dressed and her pullover was revealing parts of a big tribal tattoo covering her back. A present friend from Germany thought that his government can’t present a similar good looking minister. But also members of different Luxemburgish thrash and death metal bands had been present which is quite unusual for a symphonic metal show.
The reason for this show was indeed to promote the new single ‘Northern Winds’ which may be bought on different digital platforms. But this is no ordinary single, but a benefit campaign in favour of Sea Shepherd, a non-profit organization that’s caring about the rights of the whales around the Faeroe Islands. If you buy the song online, a certain amount of the costs will be spent in favour of the organization. Furthermore, the band has shot a video clip with material offered by Sea Shepherd and it may be watched for free on Youtube. Members of the comity were present too with a rather small merchandise and info table. Before the band was playing ‘Northern Islands’, Sea Shepherd Luxemburg president Yasmine came on stage to thank the band for its support.
The Elysian Gates set itself didn’t begin to well. The keyboards had been too loud and it was difficult to hear properly the vocals. After two songs, the volume of the vocals increased, but the keyboards still remained too hard. But it is obvious that it is harder to get a decent sound in a bar than in a larger club or venue. A thing that I saw for the first time was a Plexiglas palisade standing in front of the drum kit. This should help to decrease the noises made by the cymbals and in fact, the drum sound was ok. Some evil tongues said that this item was meant to protect the drummer from flying vegetables and eggs. After a couple of songs, the nervousness among the musicians seemed to be cast away and the set got better and better. Of course, ‘Northern Winds’ got a big feedback by the audience, but the actual highlight of the set was the first single ‘Seven Angels’ which was played in the longer album version lasting nearly a quarter of an hour. This song doesn’t get out of my mind anymore. It’s a fine example how symphonic metal has to sound. Bands like Edenbridge, Tristania, Leaves Eyes, etc would be proud of such a song among their repertoire. At the end, there was an encore, namely a cover version of the 80ies disco hit ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’ originally performed by Ultravox.
It was good for Elysian Gates to be back on stage. The last gig took place four months ago. This band is ready to be on stage more often. Two critics must be named at the end. First of all, some of the male musicians wore too much make up, especially when you consider that Halloween took place over a month ago. Some musicians could move a bit more, but that’s of course difficult when six musicians are sharing quite a small stage. But these are only minor critics that the band has to confront. Now I’d like to see Elysian Gates perform in one of Luxemburg’s three big venues.