Seeing a Norwegian Black Metal show in St. Louis is something of a rarity, so when one is announced, it is pretty much a given that you have to go. Especially if you want more of these shows to happen more often, making the ones that do come around do well helps. The second Taake was announced, I knew at the very least I had to go, but most of all I had to get photos to show you all what you might have missed or what you could see if they are rolling through your hometown anytime soon. Kicking off the cool winter night was St. Louis act Xaemora. Now, if you aren’t familiar with Xaemora you are missing out. They are a Black Metal outfit that can really get the crowd going. From what I understand this was their first show with their new drummer and you couldn’t tell. The guys and gal played together flawlessly and made for the perfect opening act for the touring bands!
Next up was New Hampshire based band Vattnet Viskar. You could tell the crowd was about 50/50 with these guys, as they weren’t your traditional sounding Black Metal band, but they came out and gave their all. At one point, someone in the crowd off to the side of the stage was texting or something and the Guitarist had noticed. In order to make the show more interesting for the patron he started screaming the lyrics at him and as he whipped around to go back to his routine gave a polite fuck you to the guy. In all fairness, people this day and age really have to stop playing so much on their phones when at a concert, (I do it from time to time, but mostly to post photos to the Facebook page). Vattnet Viskar was full of energy and real fuckin’ fun to watch, just all over the place and ready to throw down even if some of the crowd wasn’t feeling it. Playing mostly from their newest album Settler, Vattnet Viskar is a band you don’t want to miss so get to the show early!
Young and In the Way were a complete surprise. I really hadn’t heard anything by them prior to the show, but holy shit if everyone and their mother wasn’t there for this band!! They were fucking amazing live. Absolutely no fucks given, they just played and it lit a fire under the crowds asses. From a photographers standpoint though, their light of choice was Red and it stayed that way their entire set. For those unaware red isn’t very bright in a dark room, therefore the photos are a little more blurred in some aspects than the rest, however I got some pretty kick ass photos of Young and In the Way. If these guys come to a town near you, do yourselves a favor and check em out, you won’t regret it! “Fuck This Life” was probably one of my favorite songs from their set, even though the entire set fucking destroyed.
Once the party was going, it was easy to give Taake the warm welcome they deserved! Taake was having a blast here in St. Louis and rightfully so, their first time here and people are going apeshit crazy! Now, as an avid horror genre movie lover there isn’t much that will scare me, Hoest’s face with the corpse paint and the smoked out eyes, would scare the shit out of little kids around the world. Seriously look at the photos, he’s fucking creepy looking, but in a good way. If there is one thing I love about seeing black metal bands its their stage presence, the band could stand almost completely still and it would still be a wonderful show because of the strong presence of hate that is engraved into their being. I remember my first Black Metal show when I saw Enslaved and 1349 at SXSW back in 2008, I loved every second of the show. If I hadn’t had my camera on me and fearing for its life, I would have most definitely been up front rocking out with the rest of the crowd. Enslaved was a piece of cake (crowd less of a party animal) compared to the brutality that was brought by 1349, man what a killer show that was! Taake did a great job pleasing the crowd, even doing a cover of a G.G. Allin song in the mix of all their set, it was truly a night I won’t forget for a long time. One of my favorite songs they played was “Myr”, partly because there is a banjo solo and partly because that song really just kicks major ass. I really hope we get some more Black Metal to St. Louis because of this show. . One can only hope.
As the night drew to a close and the crowd thinned out, I stuck around for a bit to try and get the band to sign anything for me. I had bought one of their rarer albums and like 10 minutes later their security guard took me back stage and let me just kinda hang out while they signed. I kinda wish I had more of their albums on me, I had left them at home not thinking.
Well, that’s my story now take a look at my damn pictures :). Seriously, I was so grateful to be able to shoot this show. It was a wild night full of great memories. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the pictures and as always like and comment on them. ENJOY!