Candlemass @ Debaser Medis, Stockholm (SWE)

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CANDLEMASS

Date: 18th December, 2010
Venue: Debaser Medis
Ticket: $47 (€35)
Promoter: n/a


I suppose the entire Metal world knew this was going to be one special evening. Ok, CANDLEMASS did this once before, on the 20th anniversary. Then they had brought Johan Langquist up on stage to sing the classic tracks from ”Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus” but it’s still such a rare occasion that metalheads from all over the world would head out on a pilgrimage and explore a chilly and Christmassy Stockholm. And it sure was a show worth traveling for. I think I had my expectations set a bit high because I felt a little cheated in the end, everything was over too soon. Then of course, looking at the setlist it was a really massive concert.

The first part of the evening was a more regular set with Robert Lowe, who after the classic CANDLEMASS intro “Marche Funebre” performed a few from his era together with “Mirror, Mirror” and “Samarithan”. Since, I really like Robert and the records he sings, I think this part of the set was a bit thin. But ok, these songs have been heard before and will all certainly be performed again at some later time so, I really shouldn’t complain.

Since I missed the first reunion show with Johan Langquist a few years ago, I really didn’t know what to expect from him. Sure, everyone I’ve ever talked to who attended the show at Kolingsborg said Johan was phenomenal. But, I really wanted to see it myself before really believed them. Johan didn’t let anyone down, his voice is still amazing, there’s no doubt about that. He looked like a denim biker dude with his long blonde hair and worn out clothes, very suitable because it all looked and felt absolutely natural. I’ve never complained about CANDLEMASS, there has never ever been a reason. But hearing “A Sorcerers Pledge”, “Solitude” and “Under The Oak” with Johan was truly something special. They did sound good with Messiah Marcolin too but this time it was a completely different feeling over them, like it all fell into place. When you think about it, it’s amazing that CANDLEMASS have found all these strong personas to front their band, and all being very unique, that including Thomas Wikström and Björn Flodkvist. Johan really did a great performance even if it felt a little awkward from time to time. On one hand though, all those pauses and sort of forced talks between the songs made it all feel very intimate. Perhaps for another event the effect wouldn’t be the same.

After the ”Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus” set CANDLEMASS came back and played an instrumental medley from the “Tales Of Creation” record. I actually thought it would be another set with Robert after that so, I admit being a little disappointed with only “The Well Of Souls” before the grand finale. Even if the Langquist set was the main focus for everyone here I really thought today’s version of CANDLEMASS would take more place in this event. For the final number a huge picture of Ronnie James Dio doing his signature horns was displayed on the backdrop and the last song is a tribute to the late singer. “Stargazer” is one of the greatest songs ever written and it’s a hard job to do it justice. Again I cannot complain about CANDLEMASS’s performance, this song too sounded amazing and it was a great, perhaps a bit odd, ending to the concert.

In these times of reunions I doubt I’m the only one who thought about how it would be if CANDLEMASS decided to take Johan back full time, replace Robert. Even if I think this was amazing to see and Johan did such a great job I wouldn’t want Robert replaced by him because I the bands current line-up has done some of the best songs of CANDLEMASS entire history.

CANDLEMASS setlist:

01. “Marche Funebre” (intro)
02. “If I Ever Die”
03. “Hammer Of Doom”
04. “At The Gallows End”
05. “Mirror Mirror”
06. “Emperor Of The Void”
07. “Samarithan”

“Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” set with original singer Johan Langquist

08. “Solitude”
09. “Demons Gate”
10. “Crystal Ball”
11. “Blackstone Wielder”
12. “Under The Oak”
13. “A Sorcerer's Pledge”
14. “Tales Of Creation” medley
15. “The Well Of Souls”
16. “Stargazer”

PS: There was a mix up in the photo passes and hence this live report is not accompanied by Erika's sharpshooting photography.