Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Epicurean, Luna Mortis, Cypher Seer
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
I guess it was safe to say that I had not gotten my fill of Heavy Metal served up by its German experts yet because after last night’s Doro Pesch show at the Gramercy Theatre I would find myself making my way over to The Fillmore NY to see the one and only EdGuy. Tonight a number of my friends and others in the Metal faithful were headed a little farther uptown to see Motorhead perform at the Roseland Ballroom, but at the end of the day I had to say that I was looking for the kind of rousing fun that is more easily found within the music of Tobias Sammet and his merry men, as opposed to the crunching surge of how Motorhead does it. The show tonight would also feature an opener whom I wanted to see along with one whom I had recently enjoyed so as just mentioned I was standing by my choice. When I got to the venue I found that the local openers of Cypher Seer were already playing and here is how the night went down.
Cypher Seer: I’ve heard good things about these guys for awhile and though I’ve not yet managed to catch them, tonight would give me a reasonable idea of what they were all about. They were showing themselves to be capable musicians and the sound was very “eighties Power Metal” with some modern touch and I was fine with that since the genres sound is so pure and enticing. I also noticed that one of their guitarists, Rod Mariani, was someone whom I recognized as working with Arctic Flame. I’m not sure if he has left their ranks or not, but did recall him mentioning that he was also working with Cypher Seer. These days’ musicians are making themselves interchangeable as they aim for the stars so it would not surprise me to find him working in both acts. I enjoyed that which they were doing and noticed that their latest CD entitled “Blood For New Life” and comes care of Sentinel Steel Records. I wish them all the best and apologize for not snaring quality photos of them. Tonight it seemed as though the pit security was more concerned with a couple of flash shots from the professionals as opposed to the crowd who were video recording the whole show and not stopping once with their own hand held snappers. It happens. Now it was time for Luna Mortis.
Luna Mortis: Madison, Wisconsin’s own Luna Mortis was an interesting study in the Metal aesthetic and at points in their set reminded me a little bit of The Agonist based on the way that singer Mary Zimmer blended her growling and her clean singing. Of course the two bands sound very different and I didn’t say this to make the readers think less or more of either of them, but lately we have seen a large amount of predominantly male bands fronted by a female singer. I love seeing the women show their male counterparts that they are to be taken seriously and I was really enjoying how well Mary Z. handled the stage. Tonight she would announce that this was their very first time in NYC and the crowd was showing to be very receptive of them. That’s always nice to see. A familiar face in the band to me was guitarist Brian Koenig, who is the bands principle writer when it comes to the music. I saw Brian months ago filling in on guitar with Epicurean when they opened up for Rotting Christ. This is his main band and he shines in it. The group is signed to Century Media Records and their label debut is entitled “The Absence”. Tonight I was pretty much just enjoying what they did and was not able to take notice of a set list to compare it against the album. They didn’t play for more than what seemed to be 35-40 minutes and one would assume that all of the tunes delivered with excellence came from the recording which was on sale and ready to be signed by the band for those fans who wanted that done. I hope they come back to NYC soon as I really liked them. Epicurean was up next and I had more background on these guys.
Epicurean: If memory served me right, tonight would make the third time that I have seen Epicurean on stage and each time they manage to surprise me not only with music but with who is joining them in the band for the gig. During the Rotting Christ show we had Brian from Luna Mortis on point helping out and with Kreator/Exodus they had two new guitarists at hand but tonight Brian would be back along with his other Luna Mortis guitarist Cory. Lead singer John Laramy said something about travel visas not being ready for the other guys and oh well, he was lucky to have Brian and Cory in place. Despite this shift in the balance the guys sounded great and it was a pleasure to see them moved up in the roster of how the show ran. Of course with the balance requiring them to utilize the Luna Mortis axe slingers I think that I would have swapped the slot to Luna Mortis since they were at full command but in the end I felt that this just allowed Brian and Cory to show the world how good they were on guitar and better promote what they did in their main band. They sure seemed to know the Epicurean stuff and the music of the band is worth digging into since its got several elements involved in it. It has a progressive vibe but it super heavy and drummer John Densmer is a powerful hitter back there. Most of the set that they did came from their Metal Blade Records release “A Consequence Of Design” and if you don’t have the recording be sure to pick one up since its rather good. My hope for Epicurean going forward is that they find more stability in the guitarist’s role and get guys who can not only help the band tour with relative ease but also deliver more and more intelligent Metal as time presses on. Now it was time for the party to really start as EdGuy prepared to hit the stage.
EdGuy: So here we were at EdGuy’s fifth official USA and New York City appearance, and while this is only the third time that the band has headlined, they have enough fans in the region to always make it feel like the circus, a rousing party and a comedy roast all in one event. The band has been releasing video and new music relentlessly over the past couple of years and their latest efforts included a “Singles” compilation along with a live CD/DVD entitled “Fucking With F**e” and the latter found the band caught on camera during their “Tinnitus Sanctus” world tour. If you have never seen EdGuy before then you are missing a good time and I mean that as no matter what is plaguing me at the end of a miserable workaday drudgery, these guys manage to make me find the energy to laugh out loud again and again. As always the master of ceremony is Mr. Tobias Sammet who is part singer, part TV product pitchman and part carnival barker all in one person. You might be laughing at me for the description but once you see Toby in action you will most likely agree with me. I could not get over the fact about how the band was playing on “9-9-9” as in German this means “No” three times and if this was your own view about the show, it was going to get down to business with or without you.
The band started off with the interesting choice of “Dead or Rock” which is not really one of my own favorites from the new album and followed it with “Speedhoven (also new) and moved steadily along to their classic “Tears Of A Mandrake”. Toby would take a moment to thank everyone who decided to attend the show tonight despite their being a Motorhead show on the same night and while many people applauded and cheered him for saying this, some others chose to boo when he said Motorhead and I have to be honest with the readers here, that the majority of people who might have chosen that show over this one would not have been fun to have around in this particular setting. While the number was far less than at the Roseland, we sure made up for it in overall energy and crowd enthusiasm. Its two different sides of the Metal fence when it comes down to it and that’s what makes this music so much fun to be a part of. Toby also got a heavy amount of cheers when he said that everyone should expect EdGuy to return next year as well and then it was back to the show at hand. He would break the crowd into two sections during the “Lavatory Love Machine” song and instead of saying girls against the boys or the left against the right he would entice everyone’s energy by pitting the “pussy section” against the “metal section”. Needless to say the “Metal section” was far louder tonight. Tobias was raring to go at this point and he had the crowd eating out of his hand when he inquired as to whether any pussies were in the audience. Apparently one of the guys down in the front yelled out “right here” and Tobias taunted him and wondered aloud whether the band was in New York City or San Francisco. He then said that he might disclose a story about when the band was out there last time and how Dirk had gone out for a fag. He then switched gears and described the bands brief interaction with a rather tall transvestite and dedicated the ballad “Save Me” to all the girls and the men who want to be them. He would look at Dirk with this quip and just show how unsafe his own band is when he starts talking.
The drum solo was fun but some people find themselves disinterested with it and I will agree that most drum solos tend to steal the momentum from a show unless its Neil Peart at a Rush show, but they do give the singer and guitarists a breather I will say that much. Someone called out for “Spooks In The Attic” but Toby said we had something else in mind as “Babylon” was delivered to excellence and really shook the walls of the Fillmore NY. Clearly the show was as Toby described as being “a small party, but the better party”. If you were there you could see the absolute level of fun that guitarists Eggi, Dirk and Jens were having on stage and the smiles that seldom left their faces. That kind of energy really comes down off from the stage and hits the crowd, causing it to be returned in kind. The closing numbers were the oft used “Sacrifice” and “King Of Fools”. All in all, the core of the set list tonight came from “Rocket Ride” and “Tinnitus Sanctus” and my only gripe was in the omission of “Mysteria” which is always a tune that I enjoy hearing them do. Oh well, maybe on the next time around.
As expected the EdGuy show was a hoot and a half and while there could have been more people in the venue, it seemed as though everyone left drained of their energy and smiling based on the good time that they had during the set. Afterwards a friend came down from the Motorhead show and told me that she felt it was “meh” at best and perhaps it was because the bands drummer Mikkey Dee was being filled in for by Guns ‘N Roses’ own Matt Sorum. I guess the Metal race car that is Motorhead handled a little weirder in her eyes with a different driver. I didn’t honestly care and felt that all of the people here at The Fillmore had gotten what they expected and then some. Like I said earlier, these are two distinct groups of fans and each will support what they prefer no matter what else is happening in town. The German Metal invasion of NYC would continue on Saturday as Primal Fear would be over at the Gramercy Theatre but I would sadly not be taking part in that one based on a scheduling conflict. My next adventure would continue as Stratovarius arrived on Wednesday.
Epicurean Set List:
1. The Author and The Architect
2. Behind The Chapel Walls
4. Of Malice and Majesty
5. The Departure
EdGuy Set List:
1. Dead or Rock
3. Tears of a Mandrake
4. Lavatory Love Machine
5. Vain Glory Opera
6. Ministry of Saints
7. Drum Solo
8. Pride of Creation
9. Save Me
10. Superheroes –
12. Sacrifice – encore
13. King of Fools – encore
Official Website: http://www.edguy.net
Official Website: http://www.epicureanmetal.om
Official Website: http://www.lunamortis.com