Ever since this tour was announced, I had an alert set in my calendar…. Almost 6 months in advance. The venue for this event is far from ideal for shows, but it has a certain ‘cozy’ vibe that other venues lack. Located in San Francisco, The Parkside has some shows here and there, but due to its small capacity we wanted to get tickets as soon as possible.
Finally the day of the show arrived and we got headed our way to the venue, which by the time we arrived had a line all the way around the block. In a very efficient manner people checked for our will call tickets and guest lists spots. After a very painless and efficient time lining up, we made our way to the small venue and the bar for some cold ones.
Kicking off the show we had a local band that rarely plays live called ION. With their atmospheric Black Metal similar to Wolves in the Throne Room and Ash Borer, the band provided the perfect warm-up for the main acts. You can find more info about the band here or listen to some of their tracks here.
Being huge fans of Melodic Death Metal, we have been following Omnium Gatherum for many years since their killer debut release “Spirits and August Light” back in 2003. Having missed the band the last time they came to the USA we really wanted to check them out. Unlike Insomnium, the band made it to this tour with 80% of their actual members. However, the replacement drummer Tuomo Latvala nailed all the tracks to perfection during their set.
Kicking off with “Everfields” the band instantly filled the small venue with their crushing sound, which was delivered in a very crisp and vibrant way. For such a small venue, the band’s sound engineer made them sound like a million bucks. The room was filled to capacity and people headbanging were bumping into others just standing, making for a very hilarious time. There was a sizeable mosh pit developing in front of the stage, making this very tight for everybody else trying to just enjoy the show. Markus Vanhala delivered one of the best performances we have ever witnessed, nailing every single solo and melodic section of the band’s intricate songs. By the end of their set the room temperature was probably around 40-45 degrees… Celsius, but the sweating and constantly getting hit by people moshing was totally worth it for seeing O.G. kick ass with their crushing music.
Omnium Gatherum set list:
The Sonic Sign
New World Shadows
Arriving with only half their ‘original’ line-up, Insomnium took the stage with great expectation from the completely packed room. Opening with “The Primeval Dark”, we instantly noticed that Niilo’s replacement Mike Bear was doing an excellent job handling the growls and the bass guitar. Playing through a different playlist than last time they played at Slim’s. The most important aspect of the band: the guitars, was brilliantly handled by the stand-in Nick Cordle and Markus Vanhala, but the song selection seems to have been influenced by the guitarist configuration and focusing on heavier songs.
Insomnium set list:
The Primeval Dark
While We Sleep
Down With the Sun
Black Heart Rebellion
Drawn to Black
Out to the Sea
Every Hour Wounds
The Promethean Song
Weighed Down With Sorrow
With a room packed and everybody full of sweat, the band delivered on all their expectations and everybody was super pleased by the show. We would like to thank the people over al LifeForce records for hooking us up for this show. We wish we could have taken some nice pictures, but the venue was not really conducive of this. However, we are greatly looking forward to the Omnium Gatherum returning to the states and playing a longer set on a more suitable venue.