Review: Voivod – Live @ The Village (October 6th 2012)

Not being a massive Voivod fan (no disliking them, just haven’t sat down with them near enough), Tickets There was originally going to skip reviewing this gig. It’s not that we don’t like Voivod, but we didn’t feel we possess near enough knowledge of the band’s catalogue to write a review acceptable to their fans… then again, who actually reads this blog anymore anyways? So let’s do it.

First of all – what has happened to the Village? 2 years ago when Exodus landed it was the same cavernous curse it had always been. Since the opening night when Paddy Casey and TURN opened it to a select bunch of Dublin’s elite (and fans who managed to grab a pass via TURN’s tour manager – ala me) the Village has been a curse to see gigs in. Awkward, poorly designed and the slowest bar service in the entire world – period. Tonight however, Tickets There was greatly surprised to see their new strip club / seedy den of sin make over and it’s an incredible improvement. The big manky columns are still there, blocking the view as always; everything else however is 10 times better. No more eyes glaring when you nip off for a slash (2 toilet guys now though. Think it cost me a total of E4 just to take a couple of leaks), an indoor (kind of) smoking area – no more back alley and ten flights of stairs to get through and wall to wall neon lights. Have to say – loving it. Enough of that though, not like Voivod built the damn place.

Up first are hard-core metallers Doom. The name was familiar but after some poor 3rd party digging, they were supposed to be hardcore punk – not interested. Apparently that 3rd party slipped up as the Doom on the night were full on Death Metal (or whatever sub-genre that sounds like Death Metal their fans want to call it). Up in the smoking area, heavy guitars, gruelling vocals and double bass pounding filled the air. After about 30 minutes Tickets There woke up enough to saunter down and catch the last few tracks and they are impressive as hell. The sound, the light show – everything is powerful and the regret now is not catching more of them.

With a pretty full crowd in the Village, an incredible support band to live up to and the temptations of an indoor smoking area, the task now falls to Voivod to keep bums in seats (figuratively) and hands in the air (well, on pints any who). Kicking off with the epic ‘VOIVOD‘, the band sound on top form, same unfortunately can’t be said for their sound which comes across very low down in comparison to Doom’s set. This rattles on for a couple of tracks (‘Ripping Headaches’ and ‘The Prow’) before suddenly a surge kicks in and this show finally gets underway – properzz. The quality of the bands set is pretty astonishing, even to a bystander fan. Tracks like ‘Forgotten In Space’, ‘Target Earth’ and ‘Nothing Face’ electrify the venue with Snake sounding incredible behind the mike. Semi-new guitarist Daniel Mongrain manages the daunting task of winning the crowd over as he still fits the role of ‘new guy’ since replacing the spot left open by deceased founding member Denis “Piggy” D’Amour. “VOIVOD” chants from the front fill the venue between every song with Snake expressing his delight at the size of the crowd and warm response the band are getting. As he rightly points out, ‘Sometimes you just don’t know’.

After what seems like a very short set, the band are gone but it’s not long before they return to play a hit packed encore before calling it a night on their Pink Floyd cover, ‘Astronomy Domine’. A great night and like I said, a band that can entertain anyone – even passers by and in fairness, that’s the real challenge. Entertaining fans is like shooting fish in a barrel anyway.

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