The first things that come to my mind when speaking of pirates are sailing, pillaging and drinking beer or rum off course. And that’s exactly what Alestorm is all about!
The band is now at their fifth studio album and since the release of their latest, they have been pretty busy with their ‘’No Grave But the Sea – Grand Tour of Planet Earth’’.
Canada was the 3rd part of this long tour and last week, it was finally Montreal’s turn to welcome the band for an epic night of heavy metal piratery!
The show was taking place at MTelus which is amongst the biggest venues in Montreal. The show hasn’t sold out but I would think it must have been pretty close because there was a lot of people there!
To open the show there was a band I had never heard of before: Aephanemer.
Their intro was orchestral, then the band appeared on stage with fast and heavy riffs, the mix of their orchestral backtrack and their playing gave them a nice symphonic metal sound. It reminded me of early Children of Bodom but with kind of a symphonic twist.
Whenever I listen to a new band and they give me a good first impression, there’s always a stress before the vocals come in, because if I don’t like the vocals, the whole thing becomes kind of ‘’Meh’’…
The vocalist was a young woman so I thought it would be a clean female voice (which is not really my thing) but I couldn’t have been more wrong. She came on the microphone and she unleashed a powerful growl that struck me. They gave a great performance of approximately forty minutes, the crowd was pretty calm at first but Aephanemer convinced them to start a couple of moshpits with their epic and heavy sound. The band come from France so they addressed the audience speaking French, which is always appreciated by Montreal’s metal fans. With that performance they surely gained some new fans that night, myself included.
Now comes Alestorm with their silly techno intro and their flashing rainbow stage lighting. Oh! And did I mention they had a giant rubber ducky wearing an eyepatch on stage?
They came on stage with one of the fan’s favorites tracks, Keelhauled and at the front of the stage, the crowd immediately went crazy pushing each other and yelling the lyrics to the song like a bunch of drunk pirates.
After the first two songs, the singer told the crowd they were there to party and asked them if they were ready to party with them. The crowd was ready indeed, as the party went on for an hour and a half without ever getting dull. Everybody around me was singing their hearts out and having a blast. During the song Nancy the Tavern Wench, everybody in front of the stage sat down on the floor and we started rowing a giant invisible pirate ship, it was a silly but awesome moment.
The sound of Alestorm was good as usual but that’s what I expect of a band this big. To me, their sound is good but it’s really their hype, their silliness and their energy on stage that make their music come alive. They don’t just play a show, they always bring a party too and they make everybody in the audience feel like they’re a pirate for the night.
Review – Isaac Asselin-Bishop
Photos – Kieron Yates