Concert Review: Аркона [Arkona] (2016)

Shouldn’t seeing the same band twice in two years at the same venue yield similar results? I was really impressed last year with the energy and composition that Аркона (Arkona) brought while touring with fellow folk metal band Heidevolk, so it was safe to assume that another year of development now supporting symphonic metal band Epica could be even better, right?

The Agonist
Studio Seven was surprisingly crowded, certainly not for the generic metalcore band The Agonist. Their former singer made “a smart career move” joining Arch Enemy, though sound mixing could’ve helped.
Swag? No
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ [2/5]

Arkona
Sound mixing impaired the performance, with the drumming nearly drowning out everything else, regardless of standing near the sound booth or stage. Still, distinct melodies shot through the murky mix.
Swag? CDs and shirt
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]

Fleshgod Apocalypse
The sound mixing got worse! It was like watching a drum solo with a band playing next door. Despite leaving after the obligatory three songs, I’d give them another try.
Swag? No
Rating: N/A

Epica
(Left early.)

Now it’s easy to blame the audio engineer.
Concerts often have minor sound issues. You’ll see pointing hand gestures or hear “can I have more [x] on my [y]?” Rusty Coathanger of punk band The Coathangers cursed out the sound guy then once resolved he ran up onstage for comradery. Spider One of industrial rock band Powerman 5000 stopped and restarted “Supernova Goes Pop” after their speakers cut out. High on Fire‘s sound crew improperly tuned their instruments before their first song. Dark Tranquillity‘s sound machine died. Now since I didn’t curse out the sound guy or at least try to encourage adjusting the audio channels, the most I can say is that mixing is like any support job.
You don’t even notice the work if everything’s working.

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