CONCERT REVIEW: Metsatöll, Týr, & Eluveitie — North American Tour


By: Alex Phillips

Date: 10/14/14

City: Minneapolis, MN

Venue: Mill City Nights

Hear Alex’s audio interview with Metsatöll HERE

Minneapolis is kind of a boring city if you have no money. After interviewing Metsatöll, I had four hours to kill before Mill City Nights opened its doors for a throng of metalheads. I ended up watching Seinfeld reruns at a crummy pizzeria around the corner until six, at which point I’d had enough and went to stand in line outside the venue. Fortunately, Atso, Metsatöll’s drummer, was having a cigarette. I can’t emphasize enough how awesome each member of Metsatöll is. (Listen to my interview with them here.) We talked about his appreciation for oldschool thrash and death metal. Metalheads were lining up. Finally Atso said, “We go in now.”

First on the bill: Metsatöll (Estonia). Judging from the audience’s reaction, Metsatöll’s three previous visits to the Twin Cities have paid off big time, in terms of building a fan base. They performed material from the new album, Karjajuht, as well as crowd pleasers “Kuu,” “Kivine Maa,” and “Muhu Oud” from Ulg. They performed older material as well, and their level of intensity and excellent sound mix did not disappoint. Metsatöll sounds good live. But once again the band served as the opening act, notwithstanding the fact that the last two trips through the US and Canada they opened for Korpiklaani and Finntroll, respectively. Metsatöll just didn’t get enough time to showcase the broad range they can bring to bear from six albums’ worth of material. Regardless, the crowd loved Metsatöll, and responded with enthusiastic moshing and an unsolicited wall of death.

It was at this point that I began to notice some of the more unusual folks in the crowd. The woman encased head to foot in skintight leather. The little person kicking ass in the moshpit. The six-year-old girl wearing huge earmuffs and being carried around by her father. Metal shows are really becoming family affairs these days—a trend that I hope will grow.

Second act: Týr (Faroe Islands). This was the third time I’ve seen Týr, and they get better every time. The band performed all their classics—“Hold the Heathen Hammer High,” “By the Sword in my Hand,” “Flames of the Free,” etc.—along with plenty of material from the new album, Valkyrja, their homage to the women of Scandinavian folklore. Speaking of women, it was during Týr’s set that I saw the older ladies in the crowd stage-center at the very front being speckled with the combined sweat of Heri Joenson and Terji Skibenæs. A delight, I’m sure, and a heathen baptism if there ever was one. Needless to say, should you ever choose to convert to the heathen faiths of yore, go see Týr. You will not be disappointed.

The headliner: Eluveitie (Switzerland). I’m not a big fan of Eluveitie, but I was curious to see how an eight-piece folk metal band sound live. My assessment? Not good. They were heavy, yes, and loud. But the sound mix was off. Way off. Eluveitie sounded like a wall of mud through which flutes occasionally shrieked. The vocals came through clearly enough, and the band had a great deal of energy and stage presence. But only during breaks in the overwhelming wall of bass I could make out the violin, hurdy gurdy, and other non-electric instruments. The crowd, however, did not seem to share my opinion, and I can respect the mob’s appreciation for being brutalized by too much bass.

I would not have been saddened to see either Týr or Metsatöll headlining instead.

15 thoughts on “CONCERT REVIEW: Metsatöll, Týr, & Eluveitie — North American Tour”

  1. “The six-year-old girl wearing huge earmuffs and being carried around by her father.”

    HAHA, that was us but he’s actually a not-quite-three year old (birthday next month) boy with long hair. =p You should have seen him on the floor dancing to Metsatoll.

  2. There was no unsolitcited wall-of-death during Metsatoll, there was about 1/3 of the audience and it was pretty tame, not that they didn’t deserve it. I wish they had played as long as Tyr.

    The wall-of-death happened during Eluveitie’s set after Chrigel Glanzmann envited the crowd to partake “in the heavy metal traditon”.

      1. You should have moved around and listened from different locations in the venue. I was back middle and could hear all the instruments fine. The acoustics are not as good as at 4th Street Station where I first saw Eluveitie. That is where I decided they were the best band I ever saw live (and that includes the Who in 1974).

    1. Agreed.

      I was actually really surprised as to how good they sounded but the accoustics seemed to be different depending on where you were, the places I stood (to the immediate right of the stage on the level with the merch table and near the back) were awesome. It can’t be an easy job to mix all those different instruments with each venue having it’s own unique characteristics.

      My kid even recognized his favourite songs even with the distortion and earmuffs. =p

    2. I actually don’t think that is completely true. Before going to the concert I was not a huge fan of Eluveities work myself. But after seeing them perform live did I gain a true enjoyment and pleasure from their music.

  3. I’m a big Eluveitie fan but I have to agree with the sound issues. It was too loud and not mixed well. Anna’s vocals were lost when backing and sounded a little off when leading. And there were the other issues you mentioned. Still a great show.

  4. Kilt Pirate reporting in. I agree there were sound level issues, but it wasn’t unforgivable. Anna was looking towards the sound booth several times about what I can only assume was her volume. All in all though, one of the best shows I have been to in years.

  5. Pirate Bob reporting in!
    first time seeing Eluvitie, Tyr i’ve seen twice now
    i honestly have never liked the acoustics of mill city nights, but honestly, it isnt their fault their sound was out of wack, don’t judge. they put on a good show, and everyone i talk to about it had fun

  6. this was my first metal show i’ve been to and I have to say I enjoyed it greatly! I found that Metsatoil, while their music was good, needed help with their performance. Their lead singer was forcing the head bang and rather stiff. Tyr did a very good job playing to the crowd and I enjoyed them greatly. With the final group begin Eluveitie I was actually greatly surprised as to how much I enjoyed them and found them to be very well done. I didn’t notice much of the acoustic problems that people are mentioning, but that may be because it was my first time hearing them. I did find that Eluveitie did a great job performing and I would definitely see them again!

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