Missing the stage and playing live, Swedish progressive metal band EVERGREY have joined the list of bands that have done at least one streamed concert this year, both for themselves as well as for their fans. The show in question took place on Saturday, 27 June 2020, at Pustervik Theater, which is a big part of the entertainment and cultural scene of Gothenburg. To make this concert happen in the best conditions possible, EVERGREY partnered with Gefle Metal Festival, as international fans could watch the stream on the official Twitch channel of the festival, but also on the band’s Facebook page.
Since the social distancing rules in Sweden have been considerably more flexible, a limited number of fans were able to attend the show in person, following all the necessary precautions. As such, the band played both for a live audience as well as a virtual one – an experience that, at one-point, vocalist Tom Englund addressed saying that for the ones attending in real life, it’s a pretty normal situation, but for the ones watching must be “a weird situation.”
The stream started on time and viewers got to see the band getting ready to hit the stage, as DEF LEPPARD’s “Animal” was playing in the background, to get people into the groove and mood. The sound of a beeping sonar acted as the official intro to the concert as the band made their way to the stage, accompanied by the cheers and claps of those in the audience. While still promoting their latest album, “The Atlantic” (2019), “A Silent Arc” got things rolling nicely with “Weightless” following suit. The blue backdrop and lighting scheme made the experience feel like being submerged underwater, which ties in well with the theme of “The Atlantic.” The streaming quality and audio were excellent, as the instrumentals and Tom Englund’s vocals soared. From the start, it made me feel like I may as well have been front row at a concert, with the music resonating so loudly and clearly in my room. The fact that there were people attending the show live made the stream feel even livelier, as we could hear claps, cheers, and screams instead of silence.
After a short “Hello metalheads, from Gothenburg, Sweden” the band continued with “Weightless,” where the guitars sounded as gritty and fierce as expected, while the vocals echoed with emotion, especially during the chorus. After just two songs, the energy of the band was palpable through the screen and I even got up and headbanged for a while (I also blame the infectious rhythm for this). “Distance” followed after a short message from Tom Englund as to how the words in this song fit the situation as “It’s not over / We’ll soon be closer than before.” Rikard Zander’s keys added beauty and a feeling of surrealism to the chorus of this song, while the children’s choir heard from a backing track brought about goosebumps. Judging from the comments and the images of the crowds I saw on my screen, both the live and the virtual audience seemed to be having a great time. “Passing Through” had the audience clapping and even singing along to the chorus. As someone commented in the chatbox, “The vocals sounded exactly like in the studio version,” and I can’t agree more. Everything about this concert/stream was as close to being perfect as possible.
They kept the momentum going with two other hard and heavy songs, “The Fire” and “Leave It Behind Us,” from their previous albums “Hymns for the Broken” (2014) and “Glorious Collision” (2011) respectively. The red color scheme used for this section of the show fit perfectly with the intensity of the performance. It was clear that the band was getting a lot of energy from the people attending in real life and this interaction really elevated the stream. Taking a break from singing, while profiting from the presence of fans in the venue, Tom Englund was quite chatty during the concert. He addressed both crowds, reminiscing about the better days and stating that during the last few months “we didn’t feel like a band” – a statement many more artists can probably relate to, because of this distance between bands and their fans. “Mark of the Triangle” continued the show with a superb balance of keyboard soundscapes and guitar melodies. One thing I noticed from the start was how massive Jonas Ekdahl’s drums sounded, and in this song, they felt even more massive and pounding. Thanking the fans for their support, the show continued with another golden oldie, “The Masterplan,” from their 2001 album “In Search of Truth,” which again got the audience singing along to the chorus. The virtual audience was just as engaged, as the chatbox saw emojis and comments fly by.
“Solitude Within” followed, and again the performance of the band was highly appreciated by the virtual audience, as one person commented, “That duo is so well-timed”; I would add that the whole band was tight. The piano intro to “Black Undertow” slowed things down for a bit, as the emotional side of the band got a place in the spotlight. “My Allied Ocean” brought back the tempo and momentum of the show, and people on and off stage took advantage of the rhythm to headbang as one does at a metal concert. “All I Have” reminded us once again of what makes EVERGREY such a special band on both the Swedish and European metal scene, as not many bands can put out such emotionally charged songs. As usual, the heavy “The Grand Collapse” spoke more through sounds than lyrics and based on what I saw on my screen, people across the globe felt these emotions. Without stopping, the band went full-force into “Recreation Day,” another blast from the past that got both audiences involved in the show.
Hoping for better times ahead and a normal concert setting, Tom Englund dedicated the next song, “A Touch of Blessing,” to everybody attending in one form of another. A keyboard/guitar solo from Rikard Zander and Henrik Danhage introduced the song, which was quickly followed by fan favorite, “King of Errors,” thus ending the show in style. Again the interaction between the band and the fans made the experience better for the ones watching. As per usual, the band took a bow before the audience and left the stage as they entered – to the claps and cheers of the crowd who no doubt had smiles on their faces.
Feeling more like a show streamed from a proper concert/festival, EVERGREY delivered all the things expected from a band of their caliber and then some. In between sipping tea and taking notes for this live report, I found myself headbanging, singing along, and just having a great time. So I conclude this with a heartfelt “Thank you for a wonderful Saturday evening, EVERGREY!” All-in-all, a superb performance!
Written by Andrea Crow
- A Silent Arc
- Passing Through
- The Fire
- Leave It Behind Us
- Mark of the Triangle
- The Masterplan
- Solitude Within
- Black Undertow
- My Allied Ocean
- All I Have
- The Grand Collapse
- Recreation Day
- Keyboard/Guitar solo
- A Touch of Blessing
- King of Errors
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