Mexico City Circo Volador
Today is Mexican Independence Day; a cause for nationwide celebration and, for many folks, a day off work into the bargain. Mexico City’s central Plaza De La Constitución is reportedly packed, despite the rain, but tonight, a couple of thousand black-clad folks have chosen to break with tradition and celebrate in the company of some quality Scandinavian metal merchants.
Amorphis may not have as high a profile as tonight’s headliners, but most of the folks present at the increasingly humid Circo Volador are clearly au fait with the band’s abrasive metallic assault. Vocalist Tomi Joutsen is a fine master of ceremonies: all throat-shredding growls and flailing dreadlocks, he whips the crowd into action despite the facts that it’s still relatively early, and that the queue for the bar is still annoyingly huge.
“Gimme some fucking noise!” growls Children Of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho; a redundant request if ever there was one, given that the chants of ‘BO-DOM! BO-DOM!’ start long before the band arrive, and morph into utter hysteria as Alexi and co. rip into the monolithic, ‘Sad But True‘-esque grooves of ‘Sixpounder‘.
Faced with a crowd which put the party into partisan, the band certainly rise to the occasion; draping the stage in Mexican flags, attempting some endearingly bad Spanish banter, and – in the case of keyboard player Janne Wirman – sporting a glittery sombrero. COB’s sense of humour continues to serve them well, and musically they sound utterly immense; unleashing savage black metal anthems like ‘In Your Face‘ and old favourite ‘Lake Bodom‘ on a crowd that seemingly just can’t get enough of these guys. Seas of pumping fists? Check. Roars of approval at every guitar solo? Check. Sweat-drenched mayhem in the pit? Oh yes, and then some.
As the closing ‘Hatecrew Deathroll‘ sees the crowd chanting the chorus like an unholy mantra, one can’t help but think that whilst Mexican revolutionary leader Miguel Hidalgo might not have wholly approved of their cause, he would have been impressed by their conviction. A great night for Mexican metal fans, and for COB, a blinder of a performance that hints at still greater things to come.