Live at The Fonda Theatre
September 26th, 2015
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Tonight makes the sixth time I have seen Eluveitie live and I am really glad I made it out to see this show. They did quite a few things differently, and really gave the audience a treat in terms of a special set.
Initially they were slated to be co-headliners on Revolver Magazine's "Hottest Chicks in Metal" tour with Dutch Symphonic Metal favorites, Epica. Unfortunately, Epica had family issues to resolve and had to withdraw from the tour.
As disappointed as I was about Epica pulling out of a North American tour for the third time in a row, I was excited that Eluveitie would get an extended set time, and man, did they use that to their advantage - and ours.
For starters, the two women in the band, vocalist and Hurdy Gurdy player, Anna Murphy and their current violinist, had way more center stage time than ever before.
They came out first, and also had some choreographed stage positioning throughout the show. Anna has always had a number of songs she sang primary vocals on, but this set featured them up front and throughout as well as having her even take on some growled duets with Chrigel which was awesome.
I have always found Anna attractive but it looked like she took the "Hottest Chicks in Metal" thing seriously and hit the gym as well as dolled up with more makeup than previous tours - she looked great as did her string playing counterpart.
They had a new guy on pipes since I saw them last and he also took over mandolin duties from Chrigle multiple times throughout the show.
Their set list included all of the favorites from their ongoing extensive catalog, but where the set really stood out from all the rest of the shows I have seen is where, at a point stools and acoustic instruments were brought out.
At first it was just Chrigel and the new piper on stage. Chrigel introduced this portion of the show as true folk music, the Celtic influences that have driven him to do what he does. It was really cool and moving.
Anna and the violinist came out and they did another piece with Anna singing as well. Then everyone came out on stage and they did an 8 piece folk ensemble that was really intense. I have seen folk shows in Europe with Faun and Corvus Corax before and this was on that level of awesome.
They blasted back into another large chunk of folk metal after this traditional interlude and just really kicked ass the whole night. There was a huge mosh pit, moving around even while the traditional material was being performed. The audience was into it, all of it.
They ended up playing a total of 26 songs! The first metal set was a solid dozen including favorites of mine like "King", "Thousand Fold", "AnDro", and "Kingdom Come Undone". Stand outs were definitely tonight's take on "Omnos" and "The Call of the Mountains" though.
The Acoustic set was about five different pieces, but there was at least one medley in there that covered multiple structures and the finale, "Momento" was very powerful.
They came back out for another eight heavy hitters starting with the rallying "Helvetios", and included a tribute to Epica with "A Rose for Epona", but also touched on other crowd favorites such as "The Siege", "Tegernakô ", and one of my personal all-timers with "Quoth the Raven".
They definitely know how to work an audience as they saved their earliest big crowd pleaser, "Inis Mona" for last, which even this late in the night gets everyone to sing out "Hey, Heayah" at the right moment.
Fantastic show. I have even more respect and love for these guys than I did walking into the venue which I didn't really think was possible. Thanks Eluveitie for blowing me away!
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