Children Of Bodom

Date: 19th February 2009
Headline Bands: Children Of Bodom
Support Bands: Diablo
Cannibal Corpse
Venue: Forum
Comments: Doors were due to open at 6pm so I had a mad dash to get there. Accidents and roadworks on the way home from work didn't help but I got home and managed to tube it there by 5pm. Already at that time there was a huge queue with atleast half the ticket holders already there it seemed. Having grabbed a choccie bar and one of those naff free London newspapers I was kept entertained enough until we were finally let in 10 minutes late. Inside I skipped the T-shirt stand as I already have a Hate Crew Deathroll T-shirt and the Blooddrunk T-shirt wasn't as nice. For some reason despite doors being at 6pm the first band wasn't on until 7:30pm which was a helluva long wait. If I'd have known that I would have turned up at 7pm after the queue had gone and still with plenty of time to get in. On the other hand if I'd done that I wouldn't have found such a good vantage point with a step by the sound and light mixers that gave me a commanding view of the stage, and a welcome seat between bands.

However the first band did eventually emerge. Diablo I have seen described as 'Children of Bodom Wannabes' and I'd agree with that. Similar stuff but not as well defined. I didn't really like them much although the last track they played was quite good with a decent background melody to the growly vocals. (I'll have to try and find out which song that is now...) After just a short wait Cannibal Corpse were on second. They are way too heavy for me. Pretty hard death metal they are. I didn't like them at all with grunts and unintelligable growls for vocals and not particularly rhythmic instruments. However the audience clearly liked them, with plenty of them going wild and 'slamming' by moving around the centre of the room wildly crashing into each other. I was glad to be by the sound area on the step where I was nicely shielded from that madness. I was glad when they vanished and waited eagerly for Children of Bodom.

Around the 9:30pm mark Children of Bodom came on stage and played Hellhounds On My Trail. They were pretty good, although I didn't think as good as in May 2003 when I saw them at Astoria. Perhaps that was a different balance of sound I don't know. They didn't move around stage that much and after the Lordi gig a week ago the visual element was fairly dull. There were some nice lighting effects and LED columns but I was missing the lasers from 2003. One thing I didn't like were all the expletives and swear words that constituted the lead singer's attempts to talk to the audience. The setlist was a nice one though, although I missed Hate Crew Deathroll, my favourite song which was outstanding when played in 2003. One amusing moment was after Angels Don't Kill, when the keyboardist claimed to start in a wrong key and apologies, and the lead singer got everyone to chant 'You F***ed Up'. Looking online I see this would appear to be a set piece rather than a genuine error, but was amusing enough anyway. Lake Bodom was a nice inclusion from the first album. Sixpounder was pretty decent too, as were pretty much all of the songs that were played. The main sequence finished all too quickly with a great rendition of Downfall.

The encore started off fairly quickly, but then it all went wrong. Bed Of Razors was underway when suddenly the sound went all funny then died. I looked at the sound man close to me who was giving a kill signal to the stage. Then the band quickly vanished. It turned out that some *censored* had thrown some beer which had landed all over the sound mixer. The mixer promptly died and that was it. The lead singer briefly came on encouraging the audience to do some rather nasty things to whoever threw the beer onto the mixer before vanishing again. Then that was it. The lights and piped music came on and the roadies started to clear up. What a shame that the gig had to end in that way. It was going well until then. Although I did find the audience a bit intimidating and there were plenty of plastic beer glasses being thrown around, which isn't particularly unusual for any heavy metal concert. Perhaps The Forum would do well to install a perspex canopy over the sound area like I have seen at some other venues. I can't help but wonder if there would have been another song after Bed Of Razors as there was enough time for another before the 11pm curfew. From other recent setlists posted online I believe it was Hate Crew Deathroll that would have been the last song. Being my favourite song, that sucked!

I hope Children Of Bodom do still return to the UK despite the way this gig ended as they are so talented. One of the few death metal bands I like, despite the growly vocals and torrents of expletives every time the lead singer chatted to the audience. But none of that surprises me. So I'll still keep an eye out for them in the future.

Someone posted a setlist online. Here it is:

Hellhounds On My Trail
Living Dead Beat
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Banned From Heaven
Hate Me!
Children of Decadence / Bodom After Midnight
Follow The Reaper
In Your Face
Angels Don't Kill
Lake Bodom / Bodom Beach Terror
Downfall - Video uploaded to You Tube

Bed Of Razors (Truncated by the sound mixer death) - Video uploaded to You Tube