Metaldays - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Without being the first band to play, Soilwork was still he band that musically opened up for the first ever Metaldays for us, and they did so in a blistering heat and stark sunshine.

“Metaldays, it’s been a few years hasn’t it?”
- Björn ‘Speed’ Strid (vocals)

Even though he had trouble remembering exactly how many years it had been, trying to name a few numbers to check the audience reaction, it was five years ago that Soilwork last visited the Slovenian alps and the festival then known as Metalcamp.
At that time my feelings were that they started out doing a good job, but got too drunk during the concert to see it all the way through – well, this year I could only see water bottles on the stage, so hopefully that problem would not hold them back again this year.
The water was very understandable though, because as I mentioned above the heat was incredibly intense, and a red-headed Strid showed that it wasn’t any better up on the stage; in fact, the band had to work their way through the entire gig with the sun directly in their eyes, and it was clearly taking a toll.
From early on in the gig, Strid was panting heavily between songs, and neither he nor his compatriots were in form to perform. Only their bassist, Ola Flink, was up on his toes and throwing unconventional poses left and right with his instrument held high, sometimes played behind his neck, sometimes sitting flat on his ass on the stage or doing his own one-man circle pit. Yes, if you were looking for something to look at during Soilwork’s concert, the best bet would be Flink.
The rest of the guys did get in the game as the concert progressed though, at least a little. Possibly inspired by their never tiring bandmate, guitarists Sylvain Coudret and David Andersson began posing a bit, Andersson also swinging his instrument above his head from time to time, and keyboard player Sven Karlsson jumped around a bit when the tempo of the songs allowed it. Drummer Dirk Verbeuren mostly seemed to kick back and enjoy himself.

However beaten down the band members might have been for whatever reason, they still managed to make a good impression on the mid-sized crowd that had shown up for the show.
In the beginning it was mostly raised arms and shouts on request, but people loosened up quickly enough, and a short way into the set, in Weapon Of Vanity to be precise, a dust-raising moshpit arose, and soon the crowd surfers followed. That it was a festival became apparent as I remember seeing both a cow and the pope sail by in a short period of time!
As soon as the audience was warmed up (as if they could have been cold at any point during this day...), they not only rose to the bands demands but overcame them, and thus we saw a spontaneous wall of death split the grounds in two. The band accepted the invite and played Follow The Hollow as a soundtrack to the mayhem. When people were finished crashing into each other in this manner, a just as spontaneous circle pit arose for the next song, Tongue.
The show today didn’t offer much in sing-along’s but for the last song of the day, their live classic Stabbing The Drama, but this was graciously accepted by the crowd which responded loudly to Strid’s lead.

Even though Soilwork had the audience on their side this day, I must admit that I had a hard time getting excited about the Swedes performance this day. It was enjoyable while it lasted, but as soon as it was over it was also out of mind, and it was time to concentrate on the next thing on the agenda...

Setlist (incomplete):

Weapon Of Vanity
Follow The Hollow
Let This River Flow
Rise Above The Sentiment
Stabbing The Drama

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