LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The November night was growing darker, and the fittingly named Into Darkness tour had reached the second to last name here in Stuttgart; Moonspell.
Stylistically, one could say that this was the headliner as they were much more in line with what the show so far had given us with Scar Of The Sun, Lake Of Tears and Swallow The Sun, where the real headliner, Pain, fell a bit outside of this category. Not that it mattered right now as the true masters of Portugal were taking the stage…

Like it had been the case before every band playing tonight, the crowd had grown considerably in time for the new band to go on, and by this time I was beginning to understand why a show like this was placed in the giant framework of the LKA Longhorn venue! The situation in the front was growing ever more pushy and warm, and further to the back there were also expectant faces everywhere I looked.
And for good reason, Moonspell is a band who knows how to take a stage and a crowd in their hand – from the moment the musicians began pouring in, through the point when Fernando Ribeiro entered in his shiny plastic pants and gladiator helmet (interesting mismatch of the year, hadn’t it been for the entire Lake Of Tears crew a couple of bands back…) to the very end of the hour-long show, the band had Stuttgart in the palm of their hands to entertain, control and do with what they liked. The band had certainly gotten a good response in Hamburg a couple of days ago, no doubt about that, but this was larger and louder in every sense!
Again, my biggest compliment goes not to bassist Aires Pereira as it has done for a several years in the past, but rather to keyboardist/guitarist Pedro Paixao who have really upped the ante of what it means to perform with Moonspell during the times I’ve seen them on this tour. He was completely focused on having a great time and letting us share it with him; during Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) he did a little dance while still being stuck by the keyboards, and when he later donned a guitar he was just all over the place, foot on monitor in the best rock ‘n’ roll attitude or hanging out over the edge of the stage to get close to his fans. I have never seen him act as much out as he did here, and I was impressed to say the least!
Of course, the main man of the band, Ribeiro, certainly did his share to engage the Germans as well, and at one time he wanted to cheer with us in celebration of the bands 20th anniversary which was this year; a good notion, but he got his language skills mixed up somehow, and Paixao had to come to the rescue. At the risk of making an ass out of myself because of my own limited knowledge of the German language, they were trying to say something in the direction of “geburtstag geschenk”. Upon looking this up later on, I realize it was something about a birthday gift, and I guess the song that came after, Alma Mater, was the intended gift. I’m sure the fact that it actually was the birthday of a certain member of the Metalmoments crew was completely coincidental…

As you’ve already gathered, Moonspell was a big hit with the dark crowd gathered at the LKA Longhorn, a crowd that was equally happy to lick the blood of the newer material and get bit in the neck by the older songs on display. Because this was a night of varied age, where Moonspell skipped their entire middle section to concentrate purely on their latest album, Alpha Noir, and their two breakthrough hit albums, Wolfheart and Irreligious. While this limited out such an excellent album like the still relevant Night Eternal as well as many of their other songs (Luna would have been especially nice to hear this night), it still made for a wall to wall hit-parade that no one could object to.
Especially Opium got very loud applause again, understandably so, and of course people were up to singing along to Full Moon Madness in a way that nearly blew the roof of the place. Thankfully, the sound of the band was far better here than it had been in Hamburg (and many other places), so the band still came through clearly enough even with the loud crowd.

If there is one trap that Moonspell sadly falls into after seeing them for several years now, and this is especially clear when seeing two shows as close together as we did here, it is predictability. Many good things can be said about Moonspell, but having something new to offer sadly isn’t one of them, and their show can at times seem very scripted. They need to break out of this formula and try something different to feel really fresh again. I’m not saying they need to take it to such an extreme as they did at this years’ Wacken (which I’d like to stress that I wouldn’t mind getting one more of by the way), but a few new moves, and a slightly different setlist would be nice.
Predictable can of course also be turned around to the more positive sounding reliable, and that is something the band also is to a large degree; a high level of entertainment at a Moonspell show is almost always assured, and we are thankful for that. Now just follow Paixao and take it to the next level, that would be amazing!


Axis Mundi
Alpha Noir
Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
Em Nome Do Medo
Alma Mater
Full Moon Madness

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