Amon Amarth Concert Review – 05.06.11 in Philadelphia, PA

Amon AmarthWhat a weird night Friday was. I had VIP passes for Amon Amarth as well as a video interview with the entire band before the show only to find out that their PR agent had to cancel the interview because they were busy filming a brand new music video. They were doing the band shots before the concert and the rest of the video would be shot live that night. While I was sad about not being able to interview the band, I was cool with it because I was a part of history. I would have the chance of being in an Amon Amarth interview. How sweet is that?

A few weeks back, I got to talk to Amon Amarth drummer Fredrik Andersson and did an audio interview with him (listen to it here). We got to talk a ton about Surtur Rising, the previous albums, his influences, metal in general and so much more. Not being able to do a video interview with the band was not that big of a deal to me since I just talked to Fredrik anyway. Hearing the news of the music video shoot was so sweet though.

The other odd thing that happened was that when I went to pick up the the VIP tickets, they handed me a blue bracelet. Being a total noob to getting free passes, I asked the guy what the bracelet was for. He told me that it was a photo pass. I entered the arena and went to the upstairs bar for a drink not really thinking about what the photo pass was for. I thought that it had to do with the interview that was already canceled. At this point, I was still not aware of what the photo pass was for. Since the band started about a half hour late due to them arriving late at the arena because of the video shoot, I looked up what a photo pass was for on my phone (I told you I was a noob). Well, apparently I could have walked into the arena with a photo camera and been snapping shots all night. Just as I was about to go back to the car to get my camera, the band hit the stage and there was no way I was leaving then.

Amon Amarth Live
Since everyone now knows what a complete jackass I am, I guess that I will talk about the actual concert.

For those of you who have kept up with the Amon Amarth tour that they are on now (or listened to my audio interview with Fredrik), you know that the tour was set up at the last minute and there was no time to get an opening band. In order to make it worthwhile for their fans, Amon Amarth was doing a double set. The first set was Surtur Rising in its entirety and the second set was a normal set.

Here is the full setlist:

First Set
War of the Gods
Töck’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II
Destroyer of the Universe
Slaves of Fear
Live Without Regrets
The Last Stand of Frej
For Victory or Death
Wrath of the Norsemen
A Beast Am I
Doom Over Dead Man

Second Set
Twilight of the Thunder God
Masters of War
Live for the Kill
With Oden On Our Side
Guardians of Asgaard
Varyags of Miklagaard
Thousand Years of Oppression
Without Fear
Victorious March / Gods of War Arise / Death in Fire
Death in Fire (* more on this below)

Cry of the Black Birds
Runes to My Memory
The Pursuit of Vikings

Note: This performance was filmed.

Amon Amarth Horn
First off, for anyone to listens to the Metal Podcast, you know that I am in love with Surtur Rising. The album is brilliant and I may even like it more than Fate of Norns or Twilight of the Thunder God. Hearing Surtur Rising live in its entirety was freaking awesome. First off, War of the Gods and Tocks Taunt were awesome. After those two, Johan came out to the spotlight, and after some chanting of Johan’s beard, he informed the crowd that they were filming a video that night. I still am not sure if they were shooting a music video or a DVD video. If they were shooting a music video, I guess that it was for Destroyer of the Universe since that was the next song (which of course kicked ass).

Obviously, it goes without saying that the remainder of the first set kicked major ass, but For Victory or Death was the highlight of those remaining 7 songs. We all know that it is a great song, but the power of hearing it live was something else.

So, after the first set and a short “beer break” as Johan put it, they came out thundering (pun intended) to Twilight of the Thunder God. The intensity was amazing and the crowd chanting all of the words was amazing. The only other song that generated that kind of response that evening was Guardians of Asgaard. That is such an amazing song live. The next few tracks were intense as well, but Thousand Years of Oppression seemed to get the crowd into it a little more than any other.

After Without Fear, they played a melody of Victorious March / Gods of War Arise / Death in Fire, but Olavi screwed up, so Johan decided that they should play Death in Fire in its entirety. The crowd was not going to argue with him on that one.

After Death in Fire, we come up to the encores. Assuming that we were getting 3 encore songs, you pretty much know which 3 are going to be played. First up was Cry of the Black Birds, which is another one of my favorites. It was a great version. As expected, Runes to My Memory came up next and that was pretty intense with the crowd participation. As expected, the final song for the evening was The Pursuit of Vikings which kicked ass as well.

Amon Amarth Live at Wacken 2009

By the time that the concert was over, my neck was sore from 2 hours of headbanging, but I knew that they also had made at least one more fan that night. I brought a friend of mine to the show since I had 2 passes. He was not really into Amon Amarth before the show, but was afterward.