March 13, 2014 Children of Bodom, Death Angel, & Týr thrash through Observatory in Santa Ana, CA 2-2-14
On the first night that promised to be rain-free in the past week for Southern California, an almost sold out crowd of fans stood in line at the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA in anticipation for a very diverse lineup of metal: Children of Bodom with Death Angel and Týr.
Týr opened up the night as a prime example of the diversity in this touring bill. Hailing from Faroe Islands, Týr is known for their powerful, folk metal anthems sung in their native language, as well as English. Opening up with one of their heavier hitting tracks, “Hold the Heathen Hammer High”, the crowd was in uproar with fists pumped in the air chanting every single word of the song. Heri Joensen’s voice was well pitched, and he did a great job owning the stage alongside bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen. The band’s opening set consisted of newer songs off their latest album Valkyrja (2013), with such songs like “Blood of Heroes” and “Shadow of the Swastika”. Fans cheered with appreciation and love for Tyr, taking in all the band offered and anticipate a lengthy performance on their next stateside tour.
California’s own Thrash Metal band Death Angel hit the stage next. The road warriors recently wrapped up a headlining world tour for their most-recent album, The Dream Calls for Blood (2013). Not wanting to go home quite yet, the band is back again in 2014. Having performed at The Observatory three months earlier, fans were ecstatic to see the band on the larger stage this time around. Vocalist Mark Osegueda brought energy consistently, and after a couple songs in, he spoke to the audience saying, “Back in the day, they wouldn’t always let thrash bands like us play in Hollywood, and so we had to play out here. Some of the most amazing shows have been in this area!” He continued as the crowd cheered on, “We want to thank all of you for coming out tonight! But most of all Santa Ana, we want to thank you for the inspiration over all these years.” They continued on playing a great mix of new and old songs such as “Mistress of Pain” and “The Dream Calls for Blood.” The mosh pits went insane through the assembly of thrashing classics, and that is exactly the way the veterans like it. Death Angel is one of the bands that every California metal fan appreciates, and will most likely never miss a show, year after year.
The time had come for Children of Bodom to hit the stage. This band from Espoo, Finland has been around since 1997 and is one of the biggest and most recognized bands in their genre. After a successful run on the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the boys grace America soil again in early 2014 promoting their new album Halo of Blood (2013).
Children of Bodom emerged onto the stage one by one, as everyone chanted “Bodom! Bodom!”. Playing a 75 minute set for their dedicated audience, they band offered a balance performance consisting of songs old and new. As soon as “The Living Dead Beat” began, the crowd went into a frenzy, with people flying and surfing all over the place. The energy that was put out by lead vocalist and guitarist Alexi Laiho was supercharged as he interacted with the audience. Laiho and his band mates displayed a unique camaraderie on the stage, clearly built through years of touring and writing together. Keyboardist Janne Viljami “Warman” did a fantastic job busting out a few fillers in between songs, keeping the vibe loose and fun. Closing out the evening, Children of Bodom bashed the room with fan favorite “In Your Face.” Full of energy, enthusiasm, and passion for what they do, Children of Bodom definitely did not disappoint their audience at The Observatory.Written by Karina Diane Parker