Dark Tranquillity / Sentenced @ The Rave, MilwaukeeSeptember 24th, 2002
The last time I was at The Rave/Eagle’s Ballrom was for the Metalfest in ’98, and it was a lot better-looking than I remembered. Unfortunately, I thought the sound was quite poor. Very echo-y, so it was almost impossible to make out vocals or hear guitar lines. Everything would get jumbled together. Maybe it was just me, although my brother felt the same way. We were right in the middle, about 8-10 rows back, although I moved up right near the front during “Punish My Heaven” and it sounded even worse.
I love Sentenced (all eras), but after seeing them twice now (first at Gods of Metal in Italy), I think their stuff just doesn’t translate that well live. I mean, I still really enjoyed their set, but not as much I normally would for a band I like so much. Ville doesn’t sound quite as good live as on record, Tenkula could have been standing offstage for all the action he showed, and the atmosphere just doesn’t seem to come through like it does on record. I don’t want to make it sound like they suck, since I’d still definitely go see them if they came around again, but I guess they just haven’t lived up to my expectations yet. Here was the setlist:
Konevitsan Kirkonkellot (tape intro)
Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
Sun Won’t Shine
Brief is the Light
The Suicider (first half, into…)
Excuse Me While I Kill Myself
Next, Dark Tranquility. I saw them at Gods of Metal a few years ago (coincidentally, they played right after Sentenced then as well). So I knew they kicked ass live. But it was so much better to see them close up.
Mikael Stanne is one of the best front men ever, just a skinny, happy ball of energy and charisma. It’s too bad he didn’t sing much clean stuff, because I love that. They played one song off Projector, but it’s the one without any clean vocals that just sounds like their new stuff anyway, so that was a little pointless. He sounded just fine doing the “heaven and heeee—eee—-eeeeelllllllll!!!” stuff in “Punish My Heaven”, so he doesn’t seem to lack the ability to do it live or anything.
But there’s a lot more to the band than Stanne…it’s a very well-balanced band. Not only do all the guys get in on the writing, they all get in on the performance too. I read that at some of the shows, Sentenced was following DT, but it was probably a good idea to change it around, because no matter how much you like Sentenced, it has to be hard to follow up a set like DT’s.
Again, the only problem I really had was the sound. When they were just laying down some of the heavy grooves of the new stuff, it was fine, but it’s almost useless to play something from The Gallery with sound like that.
Here was their set:
The Wonders at Your Feet
White Noise/Black Silence
Punish My Heaven
The Sun Fired Blanks
Made a quick exit back to Chicago after that. Wasn’t really interested in Killswitch Engage, and although In Flames would have been ok, I’ve seen ’em 4 or 5 times already, and they were playing basically the exact same setlist (except adding the new album and completely removing The Jester Race), so that wasn’t enough to keep us there on a Sunday night.