Lawrence, KS almost caught fire with the presence of Watain & Behemoth in the area. I’m surprised a certain group of zealous douche lords didn’t come and try to ruin everyone’s fun. I arrived later than expected and the show started sooner than expected as well…I stepped into the venue, bought a Behemoth shirt and The Devil’s Blood had just finished up their last song of their set. Next up was the black metal band from Sweden known as WATAIN. I have never seen them before and I have only seen one video of them performing live, so I had some knowledge of what to expect but what happened on stage was better than I had anticipated. I know that this was their first show on the tour since their VISA’s were giving them troubles…so they were good and pissed off to perform for us on this night.
Watain’s stage was dark with a satanic red glow and it stayed this way throughout the entire set. The ambiance of the lighting and the stage decor alone was enough to scare you. Then you have these monsters come out and begin the metal onslaught. Their presence was terrifying, intimidating and overwhelming. Their sound was loud, clear and absolutely massive. They truly tested out the amps at The Granada with the song “Stellarvore”. Watain won me over and I gained a massive amount of respect and appreciation for the band after viewing their majestic performance. Their sound was so good, one of the best sounding shows I’ve ever experienced!
After they were done, the crowd emptied out to refill their drinks, smoke a few cigarettes and buy some merch while Behemoth’s crew set up. After discussing whether or not the guy on stage setting up amps and guitars was Seth or not, the blue lights that were on pointed downward then turned off. The fog machines shoot their misty goodness onto the stage and into the crowd. Seth was the first to step out in his hooded gear and the blue light behind him as he stood there just ramped up my anticipation ten fold.
Inferno & Orion come out and get into position and Nergal follows….the lights shine upon them and us…..it was glorious. Nergal raises his arms and the crowd goes fucking nuts. Then straight into the first song they go: “Ov Fire and The Void”. That ultra intoxicating riff begins and that’s it, there is no turning back, we’re going headfirst into the Behemoth tank. The lighting was brilliant and vibrant, the sound was done very well and the band looked as strong as ever. After the opener track, they proceeded to kick our asses with “Demigod”, a fan favorite as the crowds response was more than welcoming.
The setlist was different than expected, missing from the song list were long loved tracks such as “Antichrist Phenomenon” and “Christians to the Lions”. Older songs and newer songs were added instead, classics such as “Moonspell Rites” and “The Thousand Plagues I Witness” were played and we all took it in and appreciated modern Behemoth playing some old school shit. Newer tracks played that night were “The Seed ov I” & “Alas, Lord Is Upon Me”. Other favorites such as “Conquer All”, “Decade of Therion” & Slaves Shall Serve” gave us all a damn good reason to headbang, scream and thrash about.
After “Chant for Eschaton 2000″, the band left the stage and the crowd roared with a “BE-HE-MOTH!!!!” chant and stomped on the ground, shaking the GA pit area pretty damn violently. Thirsty for blood and wanting more, the crowd chanted and stomped until the gang came back out. Nergal returned wearing his crown of crosses that he wore on the “Lucifer” music video and they soon played a song I never thought I’d hear live, but lyrically makes incredible sense now more so than ever before: 23 (The Youth Manifesto). The song was fucking great live!!! The energy on stage at this time was higher than it was previously and the crowd enjoyed every bit of it. As the lights dimmed and the band left the stage again, the intro to “Lucifer” began. As the tracks drums began to beat, anticipation grew and we were all ready for what was about to come next. Again, the band returned and Nergal walked towards the center of the stage, turned around and grabbed his helmet that was sitting next to Inferno’s drum kit and put it on. Nergal has usually worn a mask/helmet on the last song but something about it this time felt more magical. This was more than music, this was more than Behemoth…this was about life and our right to choose how we live it. The badassery that commenced on stage was great, and Behemoth closed the show as epic as they could. Even Nergal just taking off his guitar and winging it towards the side of the stage (which was caught by the guitar tech) and screaming back at us with his arms up in the air was awesome enough. The crowd raged back at the band on stage and then that was it. The show was done and we were all very satisfied with what just took place.
On April 16th, Watain and Behemoth played amazing shows and it was definitely a good day to be alive. I’m sad I missed In Solitude and The Devil’s Blood…but even just seeing those 2 was good enough. You absolutely cannot miss this show! One of the best shows I’ve witnessed in a long long time.
Ov Fire and the Void
The Thousand Plagues I Witness
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
The Seed Ov I
Decade of Therion
At the Left Hand ov God
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000
23 (The Youth Manifesto)
Review and photos before the set list by Thomas Mergel
Photos after the set list by Josh Robertson