While enjoying the show last night, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the first concert Evergrey ever held in Serbia, way back in 2007. I remember how thrilled the band members were with the wild audience that acted as if this was their first show (for some of them it surely was). I’m beginning to see an absence of such heartfelt reactions. These parts were once known for enthusiastic audiences that baffled any band, but nowadays I think most people in the audience stand there with their arms crossed and count for errors in the playing. We’ve become a bit spoiled.
That’s why seeing FATES WARNING last night was such a surprise. It was almost a religious experience. You know the scenes in those movies at a church where everybody’s singing, clapping and falling into a trance when touched by the priest. You get the picture. People were singing every single note from the bottom of their lungs, often overpowering the band, clapping and applauding which had taken the band aback. Maybe the fact that the band had already announced they would be recording these shows for an upcoming live album helped a bit. I’m sure they’ll find a lot of ways to use the crowd they recorded last night in the mix.
This was the band’s second time playing in Belgrade, Serbia, after their last show took place at the exact same venue in 2014. Of course, the list was different, even expanded upon. The main focus was on the band’s latest album “Theories of Flight” which they are currently promotion on tour. They started their show by playing the opener of that album, “From the Rooftops”. What a start! There’s no better way to get the audience going than playing a song that steadily builds up into an audio climax to everyone’s content. Alder’s delivery was powerful, showing no signs of fatigue in his voice throughout the show.
The band played a lot of the old stuff as well, so even the old-school fans were not disappointed. Come to think of it, I think no one left the venue disappointed. As for the downsides, the sound was a bit loud depending on where you stood, a problem that’s not too uncommon for the venue. Still, I don’t think that affected anyone’s enjoyment. The most amazing moment of the show came at the very end, when I could have sworn Ray Alder was on the brink of shedding a tear. Jim Matheos spent the show in the dark part of the stage, but even he couldn’t hide his emotions as he was thanking the crowd.
Maybe you’d think I got carried away, but I certainly didn’t forget about the band that opened the show, Italian progressive metal act Methodica. Although they’re tremendous musicians, I feel like they didn’t get through to the most of the audience. Maybe it has to do something with the modern elements the band incorporates into their sound. The electronic samples in one of the songs were visibly not well-received by some members of the audience who nagged about them long after the show was done. The band nurtures a modern progressive metal sound, somewhat reminiscent of Evergrey, with keyboard arrangements very recognizably Italian. Frontman Massimo Piubelli was particularly captivating, his stage presence almost entranced.
Fates Warning is a band that does not need much to get a good atmosphere going. As I missed their first show here, I was pleasantly surprised at how big their fan base is. And every single member of the audience was a passionate fan nonetheless. Together we created a chemistry you don’t see that often at shows anymore. Thankfully, the chemistry was captured on tape. What a great live album this will make!