Photos by MetalMattLongo | Review by Willow Holden
Dear Amon Amarth,
Thank you for coming all the way from Sweden to conclude the first “An Evening with Amon Amarth“ tour at the Paradise Rock Club and Lounge in Boston. You played two full sets plus an encore without any opening bands and you did not even appear to have broken a sweat! Although the venue had its own challenges, such as ill-placed pillars that blocked my view, you guys played strong, energetic sets that had everyone in the audience pumped to be there. Matt also found it helpful that the venue sold earplugs for $1, because he forgot his and our friend Curt needed to purchase some as well. There were also 3 bars—2 downstairs and 1 on the balcony—that made getting beer easy. The balcony had plenty of space to sit down, which I personally appreciated very much.
But Amon Amarth, really, you were fabulous. Johan Hegg, you are truly a Viking, and I had heard that you and the rest of the band were large, but I honestly did not see expect the Thor-like presence and energy that your band emitted. But strangely, despite your Viking exterior, you were all not only kind, but genuinely excited to be playing for us, your Boston audience. You spoke jokingly of a certain film release that you could have gotten angry about, but instead you found it hilarious. It is this good nature that made the show such an awesome experience. Because even with talented musicians, there is always something missing if the band is not passionate or good-humored about the concert.
There is something special about musicians who have worked together for a long time. Hegg, you told us that Amon Amarth, in their current incarnation, has been working together for 19 years. What surprised me most about this little piece of knowledge was that the band did not seem tired, grumpy, or seem as if there was drama amongst the group. In fact, Amon Amarth seemed as excited to be playing as we were to hear them.
What I want to say most in this letter is this: Amon Amarth, you make my fantasy of metal-Vikings a reality. Your music is surprisingly danceable, yet brutally complex, making it easy to play solo shows and sell out venues. You have enough grace and charisma to play comfortably and happily in foreign countries—still badass while creating a welcoming, exhilarating atmosphere. Thank you for the wonderful evening, and I hope we can do it again soon.