Amon Amarth at House of Blues, 1/23/2014


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The headliners' spirit of epic adventure was illustrated perfectly by their massive stage backdrop, which featured an over-the-top painting of the mighty Thor riding into battle on a goat-drawn chariot, thundering toward a crusty frost giant. Now that is some heavy-metal album art, folks. It wasn't quite as awe-worthy as the band's Viking-ship drum riser from last summer's Mayhem Festival, but it set the scene nicely, to say the least.

Amon Amarth was greeted lustily by fans crowding the floor and balcony alike, and hirsute front man Johan Hegg wasted no time letting them know he expected hard partying on the night.

"I know it's Wednesday, but in Sweden, Wednesday is 'Little Saturday,'" Hegg said.

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That led straight into "Death in Fire," which had heads banging from the waist almost immediately. Hegg was guzzling from a drinking horn filled with some local beer or another from Southern Star Brewing Co., and the audience seemed in a mood to get loose, as well.

They sang along to the epic death of "Cry of the Blackbird" and banged along to the ripping guitar solo on "Destroyer of the Universe." Near the stage, the middle of the floor churned into a miniature Ragnarok as Hegg egged the berserkers on.

"C'mon Houston, let's see some violence!" he commanded.

There was violence, but it was accompanied by a lot of smiles and backslapping in the crowd. By the time Amon Amarth encored with "Twilight of the Thunder God," the metal fans in attendance had become one, pumping their devil horns in the air and howling for Loki. Grinning, Hegg thanked the crowd for its weeknight insanity, offering us this benediction:

"You are true fucking Vikings!"

I'll raise a horn to that.

Personal Bias: I watched that Secrets of the Viking Sword show on Netflix.

The Crowd: Hairy.

Overheard in the Crowd: "When does the metal start?"

Random Notebook Dump: We are true Vikings.


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Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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