An Evening With Eluveitie & Folk Metal In LA

September 26, 2015
Fonda Theater- Los Angeles, CA

 Dutch symphonic metal band Epica was originally the headliner for this tour. Front woman Simone Simmons had to fly back home to the Netherlands due to a family emergency. At what was first a few dates cancelled ended up with them dropping out of the tour completely leaving them to reschedule in the Spring of 2016. As to not cancel the whole tour and disappoint fans, the folk metal band from Switzerland Eluveitie continued the tour as headliner and turned the rest of the tour into An Evening with Eluveitie & Friends alongside The Agonist and Martina Edoff.

Eluveitie released their newest album Origins on August1, 2014. Since then, Eluveitie has been actively touring to promote the album as well as bring, as frontman Chrigel Glanzmann puts it, “pure fucking folk metal” to fans all around the world. One of the 19 stops on the tour was at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, California where folk metal fans and European metal fans in general all gathered to dance and drink to two hours of folk metal music from Eluveitie. At 9:30pm, the curtains to the venue lifted and fans yelled out as the 8 members of Eluveitie came on stage to start the show with the first single from the new album, King. People not familiar with folk metal might wonder exactly what makes folk metal, folk metal. Aside from traditional rock/metal instruments, folk metal sees the use of folk instruments like the violin, bagpipes, flutes, mandola, whistles, and of course Anna Murphy’s hurdy gurdy among others giving folk metal at what seems like an infinite number of possibilities with sounds. As King was being played, you could see all 8 members using their instruments perfectly in sync to create the band’s beautiful music while Glanzmann provided his harsh vocals that folk metal is known for. The highlight of King is when the band’s newest violin player Shir-Ran Yinon takes the opportunity to show off her skills by playing the violin solo on the song to perfection to show the fans why she was chosen as the new violin player while Glanzmann and Matteo Sisti played their flutes during the violin solo giving the song an Irish sound.

eluvsc-16The next songs that were played were Nil, Thousandfold, and AnDro. The main thing that sets apart Eluveitie from other bands is that a lot of their songs are sung in Gaulish (Goh-lish), the extinct ancient language of the Celtics. You can hear how the language is spoken and sung as they start to play the next song Slania’s Song as hurdy gurdy player Anna Murphy starts the beginning of the song with clean vocals singing in Gaulish which gives the song a beautiful sound and Glanzmann soon follows with harsh vocals. The next song Omnos is another example of one of their Gaulish-sung songs. Call of the Mountains was the next song and this gave Murphy the chance to sing in clean vocals so she can utilize her beautiful voice. This song was extra special because the band picked this song to be sung in the band’s native Swiss-German language. Murphy would sing the chorus then have the crowd sing “hejo, hejo” as Murphy said this is the best crowd to sing along with her. After they played From Darkness, Glanzmann tells the Los Angeles crowd that they have been an amazing and energetic audience. He also makes note how security up front looks bored, but to give them a round of applause for doing their job. Now to give security a bit of excitement, Glanzmann asked that for this next song, for crowd surfers to come out. As the band played Kingdom Come Undone, crowd surfers made an appearance throughout the whole song as they came one after another. For the song Neverland, Glanzmann said he wants a huge mosh pit to pure fucking folk metal! The crowd delivered exceeding the band’s expectations. To end the first metal set, Murphy once again took the stage to clean singing by herself to the song Scorched Earth. It was beautifully sung in Gaulish and had the crowd watching in awe as all eyes were on Murphy. The band made note that as a special treat for the remaining tour dates, they would perform a never before performed acoustic set. Glanzmann and Sisti came on stage to perform some traditional folk music with Glanzmann on the mandola and Sisti on the flute. The crowd seemed to enjoy the acoustic songs as they clapped along. As they started to play Slania, Yonin came on stage to join them while Glanzmann talked about how folk music is among some of the oldest music known to man and while it may be old, it never loses its soul. The acoustic set continued with Hope and Carnutian Forest before being joined by the rest of the band for the closing acoustic song, Memento. The band took a quick break while drummer Merlin Sutter gave a quick drum intro to the first song of the second metal set Helvetios as the band came back out ready to continue delivering folk metal. Meet the Enemy is one of the band’s more aggressive songs as mosh pits continued to break out and Murphy got a chance to use her vocals as she started to cleanly sing, “we will not” and switched to harsh vocals screaming “BOOOOW!”. Glanzmann announced the departure of Epica from the tour, but assured fans that they will return soon. For now, they dedicated A Rose for Epona to Epica. This is one of Eluveitie‘s most beautiful songs and what makes it even more beautiful is that Murphy sings this song using her clean vocals and is a song that everyone can sing along to. The Siege was the next song and this another one of the band’s more aggressive songs as another mosh pit broke out and both Glanzmann and Murphy took vocal duties by being dual harsh singers and delivering a powerful metal performance. Glanzmann thanked everyone for coming out and that they’ve been an amazing audience and dedicated Quoth the Raven to everyone. For Tegernako, Glanzmann asked the crowd if they could dance with them. This song was probably the most fun song of the night with its strong Irish-folk sound as fans danced, moshed, jumped, and clapped along. Eluveitie finished the set with Alesia, another song where Murphy took the lead on vocals and gave fans the chance to sing along and one last chance for the fans to enjoy this special night. The band finished the song and left the stage. The show seemed to be over, but fans wanted more. For a couple of minutes, the fans chanted “one more song!”. Eluveitie listened and played their most famous song, Inis Mona. This is a song all Eluveitie fans know and they could be seen singing along. Glanzmann allowed the fans to sing the chorus, “I close my eyes, Inis Mona! And reminisce of those palmy days!”. The band finished the song to a loud audience cheering them on. The band bowed to the fans and clapped as well as a job well done of keeping the energy alive throughout the whole night. What felt like a two hour performance still felt like a regular one hour performance to some fans. This was a truly special night where fans come together no matter what their background to enjoy one of the best bands in folk metal.

Review by: Misael Ruiz