Children Of Bodom @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (12/17/2006)

Children Of Bodom are fast proving themselves to be a rising star for the Metal genre and each of their shows pulls out all of the stops in terms of excitement. Tonight the band would be back in NYC and bring along Viking warriors Amon Amarth and France’s Gojira. Check out our thoughts and images from this kick ass show below the logo.

Logo - Children Of Bodom

Artist: Children Of Bodom
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Amon Amarth, Gojira
Date: 12/17/2006
Label: Spinefarm Records

Tickets for this show sold faster than hotcakes at a County Fair and how could this not be the case when you were putting new sensations Gojira and Viking Warriors of Metal Amon Amarth together with Children Of Bodom. Bodom or CoB as their fans are known to refer to them has been proving on a regular basis that they are indeed one of the most exciting bands of our time. Their shows are nothing less than energetic, exhilarating and just an overall damned good time. Here are some thoughts of the evening.

The show was kicked off by Sanctity who recently came off an opening slot on Gigantour. It’s a great move for their career to have done a tour like that and then to open up for CoB just shows that they are considered a quality brand of Metal. We missed most of their set this time around, but I am sure they will be back very soon. Their debut album is due in 2007 on Roadrunner Records. Gojira would come up next and this is a band that is set to impress. If you are a fan of Mastodon and music that rolls along their style then you will enjoy them. Hailing from France, these rockers performed a tight and interesting set that would focus on material from their album “From Mars To Sirius”. I really took notice of the crowd enjoying them and feel that we shall see a lot of good things coming from them in the future. Keep your eyes out for them, and grab that album which comes to you on Prosthetic Records – it’s a keeper.

As their opening music came across the venue speakers Amon Amarth arrived like the Viking Warriors that they are. A thunderous opener of “Valhal Awaits Me” shot the point home very early in the audience who greeted the band with raised fists and horns. Their latest release “With Oden On Our Side” is a great follow up to “The Fate Of Norns” and is an album that should be able to bring an entirely new group of fans to their cause. Lead singer Johan Clegg is definitely a serious individual and there he stood, shirtless and well-bearded with a horn slung from his belt. Those that have seen the band walking around after their sets might have seen him drinking from this in the past. His growls through every song drove the point home again and again. If you have not heard the new recording, its really a recommendation as it employs their classic Death Metal style with songs about Viking lore, but this time around there is a stronger sense of classic Metal that I think reaches a larger demographic. I was happy to see them get the reception that they did.

It was not long before Children Of Bodom would hit the stage and what I have enjoyed bearing witness to was their continual rise as far as the size of the venues they have hit when appearing on this side of the Atlantic. My own earliest memory would be L’Amour and B.B. Kings where they were openers, to Irving Plaza and now Nokia Theatre where they would very rightfully headline. It was also interesting to recall that the band performed at Irving Plaza a little over a year to the day of this show and this particular run of shows had Amon Amarth featured as part of the package. Bodom last arrived to support “Are You Dead Yet”, and while this tour is still underway, the band has added the release of both a CD and DVD from this tour entitled “Stockholm Knockout”, an incredible concert recording that literally brings you down to the front row, the photo pit and on to the stage during a Bodom gig. As far as video concerts go this one really drove the point home and made you feel as though you were experiencing a show firsthand in person. It was also great to find this show so to be sold out so quickly and while you might find that to be an odd comment based on the status of the band worldwide – you have to admit that not every group fills the room as easily as CoB manages to do. Lead singer/guitarist Alexi Laiho definitely goes down in the record books as one of the most interesting and exciting front people in Metal today.

He is unrelenting in his delivery and drive and seems to have a never depleting supply of energy, which he demonstrates by running all around the stage when he has the chance to do so. It all boils up as he is singing and you can almost feel that he is just aching to run off to some other part of the stage and incite the crowd even more. Much of the set would be the same as the last time around and that was fine with me since it was a very solid set of tunes. Musically the band crosses the line of Neo-Classical, blends it with Progressive and adds just a twist of Death Metal to it for a fine cocktail of Metal that is not too easy to forget. Most of the audience knew the words to the songs tonight and you know that always works for the performer. The acoustics of the Nokia Theatre are incredible so you know that they heard what was going on down in the front very easily up on the stage. The selling out of this venue brings the information that about 2000 people attended and while I would love to see them climb higher in terms of venue, I think this is probably the biggest audience they have performed for on their own in this part of the world. The stage décor was primarily amps and equipment but the group did have a very massive and KISS-like COB logo flashing behind them. It was the only part that I felt did not work for them, since they are not a band about images and more about Metal delivery. It looked cool but I feel it would not have been missed at all if they dropped it from their stage setup.

The ever-climbing status of this band has been incredible to follow and the fact that the legions turn out repeatedly is a good sign for this music. I would love to see CoB be a part of the next Gigantour more than an Ozzfest so let’s cross our fingers. Alexi asks the question “Are You Dead Yet?” and judging by the audience reactions to his words the answer is a resounding “Hell No!!!!”. Check out the DVD if this sparks you, as it is something that you would enjoy.

Amon Amarth Set List:
1. Valhall Awaits Me
2. Runes To My Memory
3. Death In Fire
4. Fate Of Norns
5. Asator
6. Cry Of The Blackbirds
7. An Ancient Sign
8. Pursuit Of Vikings

CoB Set list:
1. Hate Me!
2. Children Of Decadence
3. Chokehold
4. Sixpounder
5. Living Dead Beat
6. Are You Dead Yet?
7. Children Of Bodom
8. Needled 24/7
9. Angels Don’t Kill
10. Were Not Gonna Fall
11. Mask Of Sanity
12. Deadnight Warrior
13. Bodom Beach Terror
14. In Your Face
15. Downfall

Now for some side stuff. Speaking of stars, just take a look at some of the people wandering around the venue between sets.  That’s Reed St. Mark (former drummer of Celtic Frost) and Richard Christy (former drummer of Death and Iced Earth).  We were happy to get this shot of them together.

Drummer's Collected: Reed St. Mark & Richard Christy

Official Web site: www.cobhc.com
Official Web site: www.amonamarth.com
Official Web site: www.gojira.com
Official Web site: www.sanctityweb.com

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