Starting with a puff of smoke, Children Of Bodom scarred the good people of Minneapolis when they brought their own brand of hardcore to the Quest Club. Alexi and the boys thrashed the night away, showing their U.S. fans how to do a real metal show ... from start to Finnish!
A Very Bodom Night
By Shea Rehm
Photos by Donna Rickles
It all starts at the corner brick building down on Fifth Street, it?s dark out there as everyone huddles near the door hoping to escape the cold winter air that hit like a hard flying ice cube. The fans bear a slight resemblance to the kind who sleep until four and don?t shower until the sun goes down.
Metal, and all of it?s consuming sub genres: black, thrash, speed, and what have you, have been accused of everything over its years of existence from musical low mindedness to sub par politics to trendy Satanism. But despite its detractors, metal persists. Tonight, under the sundry light,
Children Of Bodom told why, with sharp ferocity, providing the soundtrack to some heavy stuff.
Inside the darkened club the fans linger around the floor listening to Motley Crue over the speakers singing ?Girls, girls, girls / Long legs and burgundy lips,? dodging freefalling water bottles from the balcony, and speculating about which songs the band is going to play. ??Are You Dead
Yet.? That?s an awesome song,? a boy dressed in head to toe black says running his hand through his mop of dyed black hair, ?I?d give anything to hear them play that.? Over near the right of the stage cold air streams in through the cracked door and chants of ?Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!? starts echoing throughout the room.
Smoke begins to float across the stage ensuing massive cheers and screams from the congregated cluster of fans.
Children Of Bodom burst straight into ?Living Dead Beat? with a no bars frontal attack on the chilled atmosphere that existed a few seconds earlier. Singer and guitar pinup Alexi Laiho hunches over his
Flying V guitar and rests his foot on the monitor in the middle of the stage, convincing the audience that the blistering guitar solos are mere child?s play. ?Minneapolis hate crew, how the fuck are you doing tonight?? he screams into the microphone; the crowd cheers with fierce shouts.
Droning chords from the keyboard start off after the shouts subside, courtesy of
Children Of Bodom?s keyboard virtuoso Janne Warman. Laiho and guitarist Roope Latvala stand, center stage, face to face flying through the notes and arpeggios like twin tornados.
Near the front of the stage a young couple stands absorbed in the spectacle onstage, the girl attempts to peer through the spaces among the copious heads in front of her. The boy notices her trouble and picks her up, putting his arms around her waist above the crowd and she raises her arms into the air screaming above the music. He sets her down then kisses her on the forehead showing that facades can be deceiving.
As the notes to ?Hate Me? vibrate from side to side, the fans lining the U-shaped balcony hang over the railing throwing their
ascension towards the ceiling and head banging, hair flying though the air. Laiho addresses the pack of admirers again, ?It?s cold as
mother fucking shit out there,? he declares, ?We all got sick last night, especially that
mother fucker behind the keyboards, but you guys woke us up out here.?
The red and white spotlight sweeps across the floor casting shadows onside walls as the bands goes into ?Angels Don?t Kill,? slower and more held out from the previous songs. As it ends a crazy pounding helicopter-like drum solo owing to drummer Jaska Raatikainen, takes off, his silhouette reflecting off the pillars on the floor.
Earlier, as I walked out of the parking ramp across the street, I was reminded of a friend of mine who commented that all metal bands seemed the same to her, bringing to my consideration that to casual listeners it must seem rather interchangeable. The grim names, predictably dire topics, and growling vocals are just shared traits of the genre, all present themselves through the course of
Children Of Bodom?s set.
Back inside the Quest Club: ?Bodom after midnight. Bodom after midnight.? the audience chants along with
Laiho during the similarly titled song. Bassist Hennka Blacksmith stands on the edge of the stage raising his bass over his head as audience members grab their camera phones and hold them up trying to capture the moment. The band continues with their set counting ?Follow the Reaper,? a squealing guitar fest and ?Are You Dead Yet,? a definite crowd favorite, among the array of songs.
The band walks off stage and the crowd wants more and, again, begins to chant ?Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!? Latvala walks alone back onto the stage and breaks into a grinding sheet rhythm at a breakneck momentum. The rest of the band staggers back onstage, Laiho and Blacksmith stand facing each other smiling amid the chaos on stage.
?Let?s see those metal fingers up to the sky,? Laiho chides the crowd one last time and they scream in response. Then, after the last note is played and the band has cleared off stage, the Beastie Boys leave the flock of fans with the party
sentiment ... ?You gotta fight for your right to party? blares over the speakers.
Henkka T. Blacksmith
Afterwards, there is the melancholy of over, empty water bottles and cups line the floor and frustration hangs around the space; one has to shout to be heard after the roar of music, but no one cares a bit. In the end maybe it?s no different, no better, no worse, then an offer of shelter during the storm and giving powerless young people a sensation of power. And that is enough.
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