Psychotic Waltz

Power of Metal, Markthalle, Hamburg - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Three bands into the night of the Power of Metal show, and I had arrived at what I was certainly looking the most forward to; the reborn Psychotic Waltz!
I must admit, I didn’t learn about this band until after they split, but even so their music has hit me so hard I was glad to get an opportunity to see them back together. And I don’t think I was the only one; Markthalle had held a fair amount of people up till now, but suddenly it was like a completely other gig! The floor was cramped with screaming fans, and the heat went through the roof!

The intro of Ashes began to roll out of the speakers, and all of the original line-up of the band was gathered on stage except for the singer, who casually strolled in as it was time for him to grab the mic. Shouts rang through the audience, and it was clearly visible that the band was enjoying this just as much as everyone else was; there was a great connection from all of them, and guitarist Brian McAlpin (who’s side of the stage I was closest to) had a great eye-contact with the people in front of him.
Devon Graves (explaining that this was what he preferred being called nowadays) danced around to the music while not being occupied by singing; again, it was so obvious to see how into the music and the show this band really was. It is not often that you see this level of intensity and presence, and it was a delight.
And for good reason; Graves told us they hadn’t known what kind of reaction to expect as they decided to reform the band; would people remember them, and would they still be interested? As he had noticed throughout the tour so far, not only had the fans remembered and missed the band, but more people (like myself) had joined the ranks from even after they disbanded in the first place. And we were all gathered here to show our love and respect.

One by one, the members of the band were introduced to us. Graves’ own introduction I have already mentioned, and the rest of them followed in quite a similar, normal way (name told, shouts given); the only surprise came with the introduction of the returned original bassist, Ward Evans, who was given his greeting along with the song Morbid which is taken from the bands final album, Bleeding, which incidentally is the only album Evans was not present on. Also, this was the only song played from that album (to my regret, as I find this album amazing), probably due to the fact that the band wanted to stay on the material which this line-up had created.
At a later point it was time for a song to be introduced, and we were supposed to guess which one it was. This didn’t go so well, but the fun part was that Graves actually took the time to listen to our shouts, and with a quirky smile answer “No” to every single one of them. Finally he himself announced that they would play nothing. Of course they would play something, but this something was their song Nothing.
The show itself was ended with the song I Of The Storm from the band’s debut album A Social Grace, and a promise of a meet and greet out by the merchandise stand afterwards, something I must say they lived up to in a big way; both Graves and McAlpin could be seen in the hall going from shortly after the gig until the time the guards closed the doors at the end of the night. Possibly the rest were there to, but I didn’t notice them.
Oh, and let’s not forget the other promise given; that after the tour Psychotic Waltz was heading for a studio to record a new album! Hopefully, we’ll see more touring after this, and hopefully it’ll be a headliner. 8 songs doesn’t quite cut it now that they are finally back together…

So, now I sit here and I try to explain about this show, and I find myself at a loss for words. How can I explain to you the great feeling that this show contributed to the evening?
Normally, I would write about how the band was wild and lively on stage, and how the audience seemed sucked into the show and responded to the band with shouts, claps and raised arms, but somehow this doesn’t seem adequate to me now. The closest word, though still not quite enough, I can think of is ‘magical’.

Setlist:

Ashes
Spiral Tower
Haze One
Into The Everflow
Morbid
Halo Of Thorns
Nothing
I Of The Storm

Psychotic Waltz

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