subscribe: Posts | Comments

Arkona @ Hard Luck Bar – Toronto Live Review

Comments Off on Arkona @ Hard Luck Bar – Toronto Live Review

Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013

Arkona @ Hard Luck Bar – October 31st, 2013 – Photo by Alexei Malakhov

Who: Arkona
From: Moscow, Russia
Where: Hard Luck Bar
When: October 31st, 2013

Total Score: 9.8/10

[starreviewmulti id=3 tpl=20]

 

Arkona proved to be the best Halloween treat for Toronto.

Halloween night is the perfect time for the “lost souls” to come out. The Toronto metalheads had an extra reason to do so, with a show featuring Tsargrad, Valfreya, Battlesoul and the renowned Russian folk-metal band Arkona. A lot of people showed up early to catch up with friends and show off their costumes. Apart from your standard cats and devils, there were Wicked Witch of the West, Jack Sparrow, Magneto, Zorro and a French maid among others. There was a group of Slavic sympathizers present as well. The crowd was in good spirits all throughout the night, everybody came out to have good fun and enjoy the show.

First on the bill were a local band Tsargrad, who delivered on of their best sets to date. The band has been on the radar lately and are gaining fans quickly with their catchy power metal, fur and leather stage attire and on-stage antics. Conor Filipuzzi’s (guitar, vocals) good looks and strong clean vocals grab crowd’s attention, while the band’s power melodies gain a soft spot in any metal fan. “Victory” is a real gem of a song that gets stuck in your head for days. A clever cover of the Game Of Thrones theme song got a wall of cheers from the fans.

Valfreya kept the mood going with symphonic/pagan metal. Crook (vocals) is a beast on stage. However, I felt that the stage was too small for the band to fully rock out. From their studio work I expected more from the band live. It felt like they were playing it safe, not taking their music where it could potentially go. Battlesoul made sure that everyone in the venue were having a good time. With solid tunes and funny wrestler costumes, it felt more like a great house party than a show at this point of the night. People were going crazy near the stage, others were drinking at the bar.

Finally, it was time for the mighty Arkona to take the stage. It was pure madness! People started moshing right away. The fans in the front were getting pressed by waves of people trying to get closer. The whole venue was shaking. Arkona were giving it their all to the crazed fans. It has to be noted that both their musicianship and stage presence grew tremendously from the last time they were in Toronto. Masha “Scream” (vocals) learnt some English and that got the fans obeying her every word. At some point during the show she asked that the crowd separate into two halves in the center, and with the first chords of “Stenka na Stenku” the wall of death took this show to another level of awesomeness. Arkona played some fan favourites like “Goi, Rode, Goi!”, “Arkona” and “Rus”. When they left the stage they got one of the loudest shout out for an encore I’ve ever heard. Arkona finished the set with their take on the Russian traditional folk song “Kupala i Kostroma” (originally “Porushka”).

This was truly the best Halloween show anyone could ask for.

 

Tsargrad at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Tsargrad at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Valfreya at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Valfreya at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Valfreya at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Battlesoul at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013 Arkona at Hard Luck Bar October 31, 2013

Written by: Raya P Morrison
Photos by: Alexei N. Malakhov

THE SCENE

The Scene