Sunday, May 5, 2013
Katatonia @ the Georgia Theater
I walked into a surprisingly packed room for a college town that is more known for their love of jam bands this was a surprise, though I am sure the show drew from the surrounding areas. Jonas' vocals were a little muddled and this is in a room that doesn't see many loud in a metal sense bands on it's stage so it took a few songs either for his voice to warm up into the set or the sound man to fine to it but when either case fell into place the results were satisfying.
The last time I caught these guys was on the Great Cold Distance tour, so the fact the set was divided up between the last four albums with Dead End Kings and Night is the New Day taking the bulk worked for me . I was still glad to hear songs like " My Twin" thrown in. Having not seen the current line-up, what stood out to me was The lead guitarist also sang back ups in addition to Anders so the vocal layering on the albums was done much more justice. This incarnation was not only tighter musically but in terms of stage presence they cam across more metal, even though metal is often a loose term in regards to them the past two albums. I have always adhered to the fact a metal band should hit the stage like a pack of wolves,and there was a more aggressive element like this in light of the more melancholic nature of their music. Songs like "July" and "Soil's Song" carried a particular heft to them.
While Daniel gave a performance that demanded he be given more recognition when it comes to metal drummers, their songs really hang on Jonas, who provides the most distinctive component to their sound, he is also one of the few front men in metal whose voice can be described as delicate, his voice held more depth to it than the last time I have them where he was more introspective in his total delivery. Here he hid behind the veil of dark locks and mid set emerged , and engaged in the stage banter as well as seeming to make a concerted effort to rock out. This shift didn't seem forced.
If the crowd was there for Opeth, then they fooled me, I think the band and their audience live reached a middle ground, where Katatonia emerged from behind the bleak gray clouds to get in their face and the audience was opened minded enough to embrace them, even the one guy in the crowd who growled in between songs, seemed to be appeased, as what they might have lack in death metal power they made up with the dark edges of their songs. Going into it I wasn't sure what side of themselves was going to be seen and I was glad they showed up with their evil twin.