Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Norwegian Wood

Slim's, San Francisco
May 7, 2013

Prior to the show I met some old friends for dinner on Valencia Street in The Mission.  It was a good time where the meal conversation started with cannibalism and went on from there.   I guess a few people looked at us funny because one of my dinner companions sings those songs they play on Rock radio all the time.  After dinner we few, we happy few, jumped into an SUV and headed to Slim's.  Unfortunately our meal ran late and we missed the opening bands... which was a bit of a bummer because I dig Black Tusk.  Sorry, guys.

Since all Norwegians look and sound the same to me sometimes, I kind of thought of Kverlertak as Turbonegro with better album art.  I now know that I was wrong.   We walked in the back door of Slim's to stand at stage left in the usual "guest" area.   However, in a surreal turn of events we were soon joined by a film crew and at least 3 normal looking press photographers.  We were soon informed that the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess of Norway were attending the show.  I shit you not.   We were told this at least 3 times and I got the drift that we were to keep the aisle clear for their arrival.  Then not long before Kvelertak's onstage time the backstage door opened and in breezed the royal couple from Norway!  WTF..

Kvelertak meets the Norwegian Royal Couple at Slim's
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Bizarre... but it must be kind of cool to live in a country with legitimate royalty that can be traced back hundreds of years... and that royalty will come to see your Metal band.   Also, to the royal couple's credit, they stayed for Kvelertak's entire set and watched from the crowd.  Impressive.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Pretty cool royalty if you ask me... but they stole the thunder from the local Metal royalty who were also in the house.. namely the guy who sings 'Master Of Puppets' and that other guy who is also known as The General.

Call me a poser but I haven't gotten the new Kvelertak album yet, but enough material was played off of their debut album so my head was in the game.  Kvelertak seemed to step things up several notches and they put on one of the best sets I've seen in awhile.  I'm a sucker for the band's Punk Metal hybrid and having 3 guitarists is not overkill at all; it allows the band to be more frenetic onstage than a lesser band.   As the band flies around the stage there are 2 guitarists covering the sound if the 3rd axe dude messes up.   Combine that with awesome caveman vocalist Erlend Hjelvik leading the charge and Kvelertak are the type of band that makes me want to follow them around... because with that kind of energy no two shows can be alike.  Such a great live band, man... and another weird part of the night was that the band's temporary drummer on this tour is the son of Max Weinberg (Yes... Bruce Springsteen's drummer).. and the kid is great.  Crazy, man.

Umlaut is laughing with The Prince not at him..

I didn't do a merch audit and the merch line after the show was not moving fast enough so I gave up.  I had tried to beat the crowd and buy merch mid-set... but there was no one working the merch stand!  Oh well... I tried to give the Norwegians some American dollars.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag  As great as Scandinavia is for creating Metal bands have you ever had their salty licorice?  It's disgusting...  Anyway, cue this song of course:

Click HERE to read the official news report from Norway Today.