For the first time ever in history, Rivoli Theater in Porto opened its doors to the Heavy Metal Community and we were there to be a part of this clash of different worlds. I know this kind of thing happens in other places, like it did in Japan when Slayer came around for the first time, but I had never seen a metal show where everyone was sitting down.
Moments after I sat, a mechanical female voice echoed through the theatre in English and Portuguese announcing the show was about to begin, pleading that we behave ourselves and to enjoy the show.
Smoke and a red glare started to fill the room, we heard the sounds of the docks, the ships and the black tidal waves moan as “Redemptus” stepped on stage to bathe the sitting down sober audience in their post sludge doom goodness. The audience wasn’t showing it because I’m quite sure everyone was confused about being in chairs the whole time (it was also not a choice, you couldn’t be standing up during the show) but it was an amazing first show, the acoustics where delicious and every bass line made the inside of our bones vibrate. The front man of other bands such as Verdun and Besta, as always had tremendous stage presence and he preached for everyone to open their eyes and to be ok with themselves even though society wants us to live with an 18 year old body all our lives, fuck that, I wanna sag someday.
A first show to remember, people clapped wildly between songs, there weren’t a lot of other ways to show support and for the first time I saw a sludge, doom show without spotting a single joint or smoking one myself. It’s alright tough, my friends were already passing around three or four when I got to the entrance before the show, so this report for Redemptus was an alcohol free slightly on drugs report instead of the usual formula.
After Redemptus, we went for beer so the next show could be truly in the spirit of ourselves.
As I returned to the room with more alcohol in my system and with a big smile, the lady opened the door for me (they had staff members holding the door for you, how fancy is that shit?) and I was immediately blasted with the familiar sonic wave of “Equaleft”. A torrent of technical groove metal and the fastest and heaviest band of the night, they got everyone’s heads to move gently back and forth which is the Rivoli equivalent of everyone going fucking nuts and flying all over the place so be exited. A lot of horns were thrown up as well to the sound of “Tremble”, “Invigorate”, “The Chameleons”, “Maniac”, “When Ruin Becomes a Bliss” and others, the vocalist even brought his trademark lightsabre to the party. They were without a doubt the most intense and energy filled band of the night with an awesome stage presence, it was strange seeing an “Equaleft” show whithout the violent swirling mosh pits and the audience carrying Inglês and his lightsabre on their shoulders around the room, but it was still a nice experience.
Afterwards we got a little more dazed before the final show and came back with a bigger smile to watch the granddaddies of Heavy Metal in our country, the epic and old school “Tarantula”. A nostalgic as well as historic moment, once again these guys break barriers for the genre in our humble little ass of Europe as they got everyone to wave their arms and sing along to old and recent songs alike. They revisited their album “Kingdom of Lusitania” and played songs that hadn’t been played in decades, like “The Great Dragon” and “End of the Rainbow”.
In a moment of symbolic contemplation, the band got everyone in the room to shout out “You can always touch the sky” a bunch of times. They played other songs like “Afterlife” and “Dream Maker” and as the show ended, everyone in the room got up to cheer and applaud the band. It was at this moment that I realized, someone sitting in the back right side of the room during the previous show left a piece of gum on the seat in front of him which I sat in during Tarantula’s show. To that person I say, FUCK YOU, piece of fucking human garbage, you cunt motherfucker, I hope everyone you like gets face cancer and dies slowly in front of you in the biggest agony possible, you retarded waste of meat, you are an embarrassment to humanity and I hope you die screaming and begging for your life as everyone else laughs at your tears. Our community was allowed in for the first time in history in Rivoli and you had to leave a piece of fucking gum on the seat, ruining a chair, my pants and staining our reputation, was there not enough room in your mouth to fit your your daddy’s dick? I hope your dad is dead, it would make this joke that funnier.
Anyway, Tarantula were so snazzy and great, they got the audience so riled up that they played another song before saying goodbye.
I must say, it was a strange occurrence, seeing metal music live without the constant smell of beer and smoke, without hair waving everywhere, without people banging their heads and hands against the stage, without people flying around, falling over on their heads and hitting someone in the face with their boots by accident, without sweat and bruises and a metal show where the seats were reserved, so we had to remember not to sit in the wrong numbered chair.
Not by any means a wild, rabid metal night, but an historic one and definitely an interesting experience. We did fill up the house properly, so maybe city hall will let us do this more often, maybe with less chairs and gum and more beer and joints.
Text by J.P. Alves