Made of actual fire
One month ago I was blown away by the intense SECRETS OF THE MOON show at Kulttempel, Oberhausen, and was already much looking forward to the next tour leg in April, this time as support of the so amazing and unique CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX. Bloody hell, what a great combination of bands!
The first show of this short but fine tour led us to • Gebäude 9 • in Cologne. Traffic was slow-moving but tolerable, at least for me, but seemingly less pleasant for the bands. When doors opened SOTM were still doing their soundcheck and the merch was still empty. Never mind, you can shop after the show too ;)
:: Pics :: Secrets Of The Moon ::
A comfortable beer-length later also the door to the hall got opened. And hardly that everybody had found its position lights went out and :: SECRETS OF THE MOON :: entered the stage, which, of course, was completely covered in smoke. As a support act the set was much shorter and thus focused on the new album Sun. The stage was relatively small and blocked with equipment, limiting movements and energetic outbursts of the band members.
It was quite interesting to watch the CBP fans (the fan camps were easily to distinguish) reacting on SECRETS OF THE MOON. At first they were quite skeptical but then interested. At the end SOTM scored benevolent applause from them too.
I don’t know how the sound appeared to be in the background, directly in front of stage it seemed to be quite unbalanced. Lights were almost completely dimmed and the show mostly a blurred matter for everyone due to the smoke. As already mentioned, it suits the atmosphere but visually it’s not really a highlight.
However, after 45 minutes Lucifer Speaks, the only old track tonight, heralded the finale of a great SECRETS OF THE MOON show.
Setlist: No More Colours, Dirty Black, Worship, Hole, Man Behind The Sun, Lucifer Speaks
:: Pics :: Crippled Black Phoenix ::
15 minutes change over were used by the fans to come close to the stage. The club is now well filled. And finally :: CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX :: got onto stage. It got quickly clear for whom the majority of fans were here tonight - the welcome was enthusiastic. Justin Greaves walked on stage with a stick (he has a broken fibula) and it seemed not to be the best idea to tour with such injuries. Ok, he might have looked like an old grumpy cat that way but he passed the show with flying colors (by the way without any fuss and a wheel chair as seen lately at some “rock stars”).
The narrowness on stage remained, less equipment now, more musicians instead ;) Justin introduced the new band members as there is: Jonas Stålhammar on guitar and Niall Hone on bass. There is also a new face at the keyboard: her name is Helen and she replaces Daisy Chapman, who is expecting a baby. Helen not only sang and played keys, she also played a trumpet, so that we had the pleasure to enjoy Born In A Hurricane live again.
Fans cheered the band wholeheartedly and increased their enthusiasm with every new song. And at the end even a love letter from fans to the band landed on stage.
Once let loose, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX play a 2 hours show (at least can’t remember a headlining show lasting less than 2 hrs, anyway), mostly a best-of through all of their records but they also played the brand new 14 minutes epic, New Dark Age. What a track! Live as stunning as on CD. Ah, goose bumps.
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX of course officially finished with Burnt Reynolds, which also causes goose flesh when everybody in the club was singing along full-throated. This naturally goes on while the band is off stage and it didn't take long to get them back to complete the song as an encore, followed by Maniac Beast as the very last track on this evening.
The band thanked the audience cordially and released the crowd into the night.
But many fans didn't want to leave that quickly and went to the merch for talks with the band members of both bands and shopping, while a DJ performed at his turn tables.
Such a wonderful evening, again, with two exceptionally great bands. Too bad I was set on-call right after. I was so hoping that I could make it to the last show of the tour in Hamburg too. Those of you, who still wants to see CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, they continue touring with the Converge : Bloodmoon festival tour that stops in 4 cities around Europe.
Setlist: Rise Up And Fight, Black Light Generator, Long Live Independence, The Brain/Poznan, Human Nature, No!, Burn In A Hurricane, New Dark Age, Fantastic Justice, Troublemaker, 444, We Forgotten Who We Are, Burnt Reynolds // Maniac Beast
Upshot: CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX once again proved to be an exceptionally great band, musically as well as live on stage. I can only recommend them warmly to everyone. If they are around, go and catch them! Even if it is 1x a week ;) I just wish they would finally have the economic success they deserve. I know it is difficult these days...
Same goes for SECRETS OF THE MOON, of course. Here I hope to see SOTM on more billings such as this one, to see them approaching a wider audience and to get out of the so narrow black metal scene.
At the end I’d have loved to see the Black Metal fans to be as opened minded towards CBP as the Prog fans have been towards SOTM.