Meshuggah – Oslo concert review

While not being the most innovative band when it comes to live shows, Meshuggah is one of those live acts that cannot get old. Not yet at least. And this was one of the reason to see them live for th X-th time when they performed at Rockefeller in Oslo sometime in May.

There were two opening acts. Next life and Kong. I arrived at the venue during the Next Life gig and while initially I didn’t understand a thing out of their music, after few minutes I went close to the stage and I might not have closed my mouth for a while. The Norwegian trio performs some sick prog/thrash ‘stuff’ and they’re somewhere in the 10th gear, while their technical level has chances to soon beat half of the lineup of any modern day metal festival. They’re a band whose evolution I (and you) should keep an eye on.

Kongh acted as some sort of transition element after the initial Next Life violence. They play some softer sludge/doom kinda like metal, with songs that sounded like ballads to my ears. But I didn’t spend much time looking at their show, so it wouldn’t be fair to make too many comments on it.

The evening ended with the Meshuggah classical kind of chaos. A well organised chaos (well, except the stupid moshpit that seriously makes no sense at their concert). I don’t recall if the stage props include more than two huge banners with images from the new album and the backdrop, but I do recall the psychadelic light show. Which brought a lot of smiles due the fact that there’s a clip on youtube where you see how the lightguy handles that. The live experience of the result makes you appreciate the videoclip even more.

The kind of energy transmitted from the stage is hard to describe with words. The singer, Jens Kidman, puts to work all his anger and insanity, plus each vein on his face and neck, in order to reflect the pissed off attitude of the songs and to kick your ass to seriously give things a second and a third thought. His vocals are probably the best sounding non melodic ones ever.

Kidman is perfectly sustained by some of the tightest guitar, bass and drums playing machines on this planet. They are able to create some sort of musical reality of their own, so ugly in its distortion, yet so appealing in its perfection. The headbanging moves actually become some sort of body banging with this band and it’s incredible that even this seem to be sinchronised down to few milliseconds.

I’m running out of praise words for this band, so instead of writing long odes tot he guitar solos and super-awesome drumming and groovy bass lines, I recommend you go to a Meshuggah concert yourself. At least once. And find a place with a good view. Then just enjoy the chaos.

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