the loud bassoon concert scene

Cradle of Filth @ Riviera, Chicago, USA
22 November 2003

Absinthe: With your shiny new King Diamond t-shirt you managed to fit right in at Filth. The velvet cape, platform boots, and camisole probably helped as well, though. CoF was probably my fave of the bunch, even though we had to move up a level from the stage. It became quite violent down there. This time it really wasn't due to exhaustion, like at Helloween, but due to the unpleasant, but distinct possibility of getting a broken nose. Maybe this goes along with the theory of us being the creepy old guys, but the heaving throng of nutjobs at the front of the stage were really too much for me.

La Fée: I felt some compassion for the clueless, sweater-clad Dad trying to accompany his angsty teenage son into the heart of the pit, only to emerge minutes later looking sheepish and horrified.

Absinthe: Yeah. It's odd how CoF was so much more violent than King, Helloween, or Manson. I still really enjoyed the show. The setlist was a little unusual and focused on older material. Only two songs from their latest disc, Damnation and a Day, were played ("The Promise of Fever" and "Doberman Pharaoh"). The inclusion of the rarely performed, eight-minute-plus "A Gothic Wedding" was excellent, though. The acrobat during "Malice Through The Looking Glass" was pretty damn cool too. I wish King Diamond, or his vaudvillean grandfather, King Ruby, had an acrobat …

La Fée: Cradle was not super-catchy in terms of melodies, but the songs were extremely strong and ball-rockin'. The stage show was insane … the creepy dancing gargoyles were a definite highlight, and that acrobat was amazing. It's like two-thirds through the show, and all of a sudden were watching Cirque du Soleil … with a death-metal band playing twenty feet below this woman doing a cross between a trapeze act and a pole dance. All eyes were on her, perhaps a good percentage of the audience wanting her to fall … and somehow, the band was all but forgotten. When a death metal band can keep playing but make you forget that they're there, that's some serious sleight-of-hand.

Absinthe: CoF are definitely not known for their vocal melodies. Dani Filth can really only scream, death grunt, and growl menacingly. While it's very effective in this context, it can really never be considered "singing." There are nice melodies going on in the music at times, though. Hm, a black metal Circue Du Soleil could be interesting. We should organize it. We'd have to get Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, and Mayhem to perform the music and maybe HR Giger and David Lynch to make the stage and costumes. Do you think the Bellagio in Vegas would build us a theater like they did for "O"?

La Fée: Absolutely. If not, we can do it at my place. Should we get David Lee Roth to choreograph it? Or The Kids of Widney High?

Absinthe: Maybe, but I think Vic Chesnutt would do a better job on the choreography. Toni Basil could be his assistant, but I think she's dead. Hmmm, that might REALLY work out then …

Heavy Metal Bender '03 main page

Review by La Fée & Dr. Martin Absinthe