Metalfest - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Moonspell was one of the favourites at this years’ Metalfest, so even though a late night slot would have been better to set the atmosphere, their 50 minutes starting at 5 p.m. time did nothing to lower our expectations.
The cloudy sky had a nice, steel-grey tone to it anyway, which served the purpose.

The stage was set and ready, with three major banners in the back showing choice cuts of the new album artwork, and two minor banners in front of the speaker racks, one bearing the word Alpha, the other bearing Noir. Even the drums had been decorated with a large A and Ω, so all we were missing now was the band...
And in they came! Well, most of them anyway, Fernando Ribeiro and Pedro Paixao felt like letting us wait a bit longer than the rest of them, and only arrived at the very end of the intro, but when they finally did show up it was to loud, appreciating cheers from the audience. During the first song Ribeiro was wearing a shiny metal helmet which made me think about Gladiator, but I suppose the intention was to remind us of the characters on the cover of Alpha Noir.
Anyway, on came the music, and it was quickly clear that the band was going to give it all it could take. They changed back and forth between newer songs of which I haven’t learned the titles by heart yet but could appreciate nonetheless, and older live classics where everyone could take part in the festivities. Festivities, and odd word to use about such a band as Moonspell, but that was what it was like.

“I brought my magic tambourine along!”
- Ribeiro (vocals/tambourine)

Yes, the band was putting on an excellent performance for the German audience, but even though the rain had almost come to a complete stop, they were still fighting an uphill battle, as the rather small (at least compared to my expectations) crowd wasn’t easy to get in the mood.
Sure, songs like Opium and Alma Mater among others got quite a nice sing along going, but the show never really took off on the audience side of the stage.
This didn’t seem to bother the band though, which saw the members headbang, pose, and do all sorts of things which made the experience lively and enjoyable. Ribeiro even showed an unusual amount of interest in percussions, and after using the above mentioned tambourine, he also helped Miguel Gaspar out on cymbals during the final song of the day, which not surprisingly was the ever likable Full Moon Madness.

It felt as though this show came and went with an unfulfilled potential of greatness for the very reasons I have already stated – the band was willing, but lacked the give and take relationship of energy with the crowd. With this in place, this could have gone into epic mode, but for now it had to settle for really good and enjoyable.

Setlist (incomplete):

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

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