W.A.S.P. @ Gothenburg / Helsingborg (SE)

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W.A.S.P. / ELEINE

Date: 25th September, 2017 (SE) / 10th October, 2017 (SE)
Venue: Trägår’n (Gothenburg) / The Tivoli (Helsingborg)
Ticket: -
Promoter: Triffid and Danger Concerts
Photos: Erika Wallberg


I was super happy when W.A.S.P. announced they would do another round of “The Crimson Idol” setup. I missed the original round back in the early '90s and I missed the round they did a few years ago due to day-job commitments. So, there was no chance in the world I would miss this one. And to be totally safe, went to more than one show.

Swedish ELEINE opened on the Swedish dates. I've seen quite much about them, some really cool visuals but never gotten around to listen to them more than just checking a song or two. In a way, it's cool to experience a band for the first time when they hit the stage. In most cases, if they impress on stage the records will work too. And yes, they nailed spot on the visual aspect. The effects of vocalist Madeleine “Eleine” Liljestam's movements, outfit and the lights was fantastic. She's divine in her serene moves and expressions. That's where the contradiction started. Compared to the little I remembered from what I'd heard this felt rather over-distorted guitars, wimpy, lightweight female fronted Symphonic Metal... (not my cup of tea) Did I check the right band? And here it's so good to have double points of references because the first one in Gothenburg was from a well-oiled live band without the sound, while everything really fell into place in Helsingborg. It wasn't the band that was the issue in Gothenburg, it was the sound-mix reaching the crowd that put it all off. She still has a delicate voice, of course. But with a well-balanced sound the right feel in the music it was very different, for the better and much so. And for the second gig, I recognized what I'd listen to also. “Hell Moon” became a favorite from the set. The edge in the riffs was phenomenal and vocal lines and phrasing touching upon JAG PANZER goes down well with me.

It was also great to see ELEINE work with the crowd, to force out some response. In Gothenburg, the crowd was extremely dull but for “Death Incarnate”, as Rikard Ekberg (guitar, vocals) took the lead he got the sleepy venue not only to scream but sing along in the chorus line as well. As Helsingborg almost is home-turf for ELEINE, they had it a lot easier there. It's also very cool to see what a band can do with small means. The space left for ELEINE on the stages after W.A.S.P. had put their equipment up was very limited. But the bands creativity solved that and for the last one “Break Take Live”, Madeleine redressed and when entered the stage looking like a golden cocoon it sure caught my interest. The effect when she spread it all out and became an angel instead was awesome and if not sooner, THAT really caught people's attention.

In the end, I was really impressed with ELEINE, both musically and visually. They were fun to watch and their distinctively different appearances got me interested to check them out for real. To see something this unique from a new band these days is rare and they should absolutely have kudos for that.

ELEINE setlist:

01. “Story Untold”
02. “A Sin”
03. “Hell Moon”
04. “Death Incarnate”
05. “Break Take Live”

ELEINE (Gothenburg)

Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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ELEINE (Helsingborg)

Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Eleine @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It was the tour premier in Gothenburg for this leg of “The Crimson Idol” set which is bound to bring some technical challenges to the set. Initially, there weren’t any problems at all, more than people running like crazy on stage prior to show start. Once it took off it sounded amazing. I hold this record as one of the best ever released, the songs are fantastic but what stands out even more is the overall feel and expression on it. You can really feel what the main character, Jonathan is going through.

The build-up here with the instrumental “The Titanic Overture” followed by “The Invisible Boy” was absolutely phenomenal and the addition of the TV screens narrating the story behind the band really did the trick. The cold light from the TV-screens combined with the arty but yet gloomy expression in the film couldn't have been better. It's clear that the whole concept is as well made as the album itself.

One thing I really love about “The Crimsonl Idol” sound is the THE WHO styled drumming done extraordinaire by Stet Howland and Frankie Banali. I've heard the opposite from many; that it's too much but I really love that. Aquiles Priester is definitely more straightforward in comparison which I guess benefit the live-sound and should be received positively by most. The crowd didn't wake up when W.A.S.P. started playing either and the response was among the poorest I've ever seen in Gothenburg. I mean, Trägår'n was sold out, so it really should have been more and a Tuesday shouldn't really matter. It caught up a bit for “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)”. It was actually the same at The Tivoli in Helsingborg but for that show it was much better from the start and became really good from that point on. Then, to get to hear “The Gypsy Meets The Boy” live was a dream come true. Blackie Lawless’ crisp voice and the desperation in the song are fantastic and it sounded amazing; aside from some technical issues in Gothenburg where the pre-recorded choirs and vocals became an echo on Blackie rather than filling up. And that's a shame with W.A.S.P. live these days, all the pre-recorded choirs and backing vocals. I know it's massive on the records but it really isn't necessary live, it's ok for the whole thing to sound raw and naked. Still, not much beats when Blackie invited the crowd to sing the last passage of the song: “I just want to be the Crimson Idol of a million eyes”. And that the crowd responded to, much better in Gothenburg when compared to Helsingborg. All the flaws were gone for the Helsingborg show though and it sounded perfect.

That “The Idol” would be received in a great way, there was no doubt about. It has been on the occasions W.A.S.P. has played that on regular tours. But it was the last one on record and this part of the show, “The Great Misconceptions Of Me” that drew the biggest cheer. And that was another dream come true to get to hear that one. Again, the combination of the visuals connected to the music was phenomenal. “The Crimson Idol” is a massive piece of music but the hour was over before it had started it felt like. It sounded amazing and the concept really worked.

People of course expected more afterwards but didn't show it very much in Gothenburg. I'm actually surprised that the band came back. Ok, people were waiting patiently but very quiet. I guess it hurts the band more though to not do encores even if the crowd is as quiet as it was here.

I of course wanted more, I always do. But the show was kind of over anyway. It's great to hear the W.A.S.P. classics live. But I've seen the band countless times now so it's nothing new. Therefore, it was very cool to get “Heaven's Hung In Black” in Gothenburg. I was rather surprised that this one showed up. I'm very happy about that since it is a great song. But it was the real classics that got the biggest cheer. It ended a bit abrupt in Helsingborg though. I don't think anyone expected W.A.S.P. to not play “I Wanna Be Somebody” so when the lights went on after “Wild Child” no one really moved, just stood there waiting for more to come. But it was the end.

It was definitely a good decision to see two shows to really be able to focus on details and so. And the nature of it and how good it sounded made the nights memorable. Great shows, it's as simple as that.

W.A.S.P. setlist (Gothenburg):

01. “The Titanic Overture”
02. “The Invisible Boy”
03. “Arena Of Pleasure”
04. “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)”
05. “The Gypsy Meets The Boy”
06. “Doctor Rockter”
07. “I Am One”
08. “The Idol”
09. “Hold On To My Heart”
10. “The Great Misconceptions Of Me”
11. “The Real Me”
12. “L.O.V.E. Machine”
13. “Wild Child”
14. “Heaven's Hung In Black”
15. “I Wanna Be Somebody”

W.A.S.P. setlist (Helsingborg):

01. “The Titanic Overture”
02. “The Invisible Boy”
03. “Arena Of Pleasure”
04. “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)”
05. “The Gypsy Meets The Boy”
06. “Doctor Rockter”
07. “I Am One”
08. “The Idol”
09. “Hold On To My Heart”
10. “The Great Misconceptions Of Me”
11. “The Real Me”
12. “L.O.V.E. Machine”
13. “Wild Child”

W.A.S.P. (Gothenburg)

W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ Trägår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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W.A.S.P. (Helsingborg)

W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) W.A.S.P. @ The Tivoli, Helsingborg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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