Its hard to believe that a few days ago we witnessed Arch Enemy playing in front of thousands of people at this year’s edition of Brutal Assault festival considering where we are today. Norwich isn’t massively on the map when it comes to big touring bands but has had its fair share of shows and tours roll through. With the help of venues such as The Waterfront, a 700(ish) capacity venue, its hard to imagine such names as Arch Enemy really taking much notice but we are here and now and its happening.
We get to the venue for the first time and our first observation is that we are literally in the middle of a
residential area. Its made even more apparent by the signs asking the punters to be quiet upon leaving.
Although we arrive 30 mins early, it turns out our security friends weren’t so accommodating for us lovely press folks as the first band are on five minutes after doors open. But we finally manage to get in just as the first support act are finishing up their last song.
So who were the support you ask? Well that would be UK Blackened Metal Stalwarts The Infernal Sea. Now we have made it no secret that we love these guys and although we only saw one song of the performance, it was enough to know that they were once more putting on one of their intense shows. Shrouded in their signature green light and donning their plague masks, what a treat for those entering the venue. Usually in the case, you’d go straight to the bar but judging by the crowd size, the bands performance was more than enough to distract the punters for 30 minutes! Once finished, it looked and sounded as if the band had made some new fans as well as satisfying existing ones.
The venue is getting warm and sweaty now as pretty much everyone is in. Its still remarkable looking at the small stage and the small room that these fans are going to get to see their favorite band up close and personal. Before then, all six members of Soilwork fill that stage nicely and have themselves a pretty decent time. Frontman Bjorn Strid mentions how its been ten whole years since they’ve played this very venue right before treating the fans to what appears to be a favourite ‘let this river flow’ which provokes some cool sing-alongs. The band finish things up on a high note ending their set with ‘stabbing the drama’ a song well known from their back catalogue, and boy to the crowd eat it all up.
Arch Enemy on this small stage is weird. Don’t get us wrong, its cool but strange to see. It a great thing that
the band even with all of its success still takes the time to add venues like this on their tour cycle and spending time with fans that may not be able to get to the known venues across London with a few thousand other people. There is something more personal about tonight’s show and a real treat for the Arch Enemy fans in the room.
Apparently there are sound issues tonight for front woman Alissa White-Gluz but we don’t notice anything out of the ordinary from our side. Songs such as ‘Burning Angel’, ‘My Apocalypse’ and ‘Dead Eyes See No Future’ still pack a punch and get get the fans moving. The band play these songs as if they are still infront of the 20,000 people at Brutal Assault festival and all while never breaking a sweat in a room that has turned into a sauna.
A great show had by amazing fans that continue to show support for their smaller music venues and above all, a great show by bands such as Arch Enemy and Soilwork who continue to play in them!.