On Friday, March 22nd, the Arena Wien hosted two Norwegian rock bands. In the course of about two hours, they served the audience a wholesome brew of rock, hard rock, blues and heavy metal.
I don’t know in how far Norwegians value punctuality – the gig, however, started an hour later than was announced. This should turn out as rather clever, though: the visitors arrive only sluggishly. But the moment Thulsa Doom start their first song, the hall fills abruptly. It doesn’t get full – for that the Norwegians probably aren’t famous enough – but there is a decent number of people. Just enough to still be able to move about freely, have a good view onto the stage and get your drinks quickly.
»See me rollin’«
Thulsa Doom is a five-piece that might confuse a little upon first sight. Here, the young (Fast Winston Doom a.k.a. Halvor Winsnes barefoot on drums) meets the fairly old (Doom Perignon a.k.a. Henning Solvang on guitar and Angelov Doom a.k.a. Egil Hegerberg on bass), and in between there’s the middle-aged section (El Doom a.k.a. Ole Petter Andreassen on guitar and Papa Doom a.k.a. Jacob Krogvold on vocals). How does that go together? Well, it just does! After all, the line up hasn’t changed since 2003. Since 2001, four studio albums have been released, the youngest (»A Keen Eye for the Obvious«) in February 2018. From that one, the band plays quite a few during their one hour set, including »Eloquent Profanity« and the very impressive »Lady Nina« – greetings from Thin Lizzy included.
It shall be emphasised that the band does have a lot of stage experience and knows how to include the audience successfully. It seems to be one of Thulsa Doom’s desires to manifest themselves in their spectators‘ memories with their show. The singer achieves this in the last third of the set, when he jumps off the stange and wanders through the crowd while he keeps singing. He actually rips this off for two whole songs, looking the visitors in the eye, circulating the audience with his immensely long microphone cable until he ultimately joins the light technician at his desk before heading back to the stage.
Thulsa Doom are indeed a valuable recommendation for everybody who is longing for rock with some substance these days, yet doesn’t sound dusty. And even if bassist Angelov Doom explains to the crowd (in German): »We have none understanding from German…please can you help me? I have to go to the railway station. What are we doing here? We don’t know anyone!« it becomes clear pretty quickly that the played music is able to overcome such borders impressively.
Keith Moon reincarnated?
After this tasty first half of tonight’s line up, Spidergawd march onto the stage at 10 p.m. sharp. Interesting is how the instruments are set up: the drumset is equipped far above average and forms the heart of the stage with its central position in the front. Obviously, this band wants the attention to be paid to their drummer. This will soon turn out to be a decision never to be questioned again. Even if it’s a cheeky claim: Kenneth Kapstad may well be one of the best drummers out there at the moment. I, in any case, can’t remember the last time I was this impressed by one. I was as well impressed by the other band member Per Borten (guitar), Hallvard Gaardløs (bass), Rolf Martin Snustad (baritone saxophone) and the newest member on guitar, whose name was unfortunately not understandable and can’t be found anywhere.
What’s special about Spidergawd is, for one, the attractive mixture of heavy metal, hard and blues rock; secondly, the strong presence of drums and saxophone, and thirdly the fact that all four members around rhythm machine Kapstad are really talented singers. The band in fact enjoys to showcase this: The lead vocals switch with almost every new song, the other three complete the sound with their backing vocals. How often do you see a rock five-piece out of which four members cannot only decently sing, but even show this in alteration? It was definitely a first for me.
Spidergawd play their set, consisting of songs from all their albums »I« to »V«, loudly and energetically, yet elegantly. Towards the end, one fan audibly asks for one of the crowds‘ favourites »Is This Love…?,« which visibly delights the musicians. Borten, however, reverently asks for permission to play a number of other songs before that. The fan shan’t be disappointed, though: For the encore, the guitarist remembers his promise: »Right, we need to play the song for this guy« he says before starting to play the one song that Borten has written for his »wifey who you can meet at the merch stand.« It is also the one song where the musician reveals more vocal facettes than before. But that’s exactly where the show ends, unfortunately.
Author: Robin Frank
Read the German version of this article on skug.at