Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gigs of 2011

As the weather gets ever gloomier and nothing terribly exciting goes on in my life of late, I find myself daydreaming of last summer. And as all films (films of memories included) should have appropriate soundtracks , I tried to imagine what soundtrack my last summer would have had. That got me thinking of all the music, new or familiar, that I got to experience this past year. Hence this retrospective post.

So, what would the soundtrack of 2011 be?

Well, my birthdays are always medieval, so the soundtrack of my 30th birthday would have to be Holloenek, newly discovered medieval band from Hungary. They were fun just like that day was fun.

Soon it was August and it was time for the Artmania festival in Sibiu: 3 days a year of pure artistic, architectural, gastronomic and, of course, musical bliss. And oh, what a city!

In the morning, I had my breakfast in the courtyard of this

to the tune of Lacuna Coil's sound check, and in the evening I blew bubbles with Morti under the obscure light of this,
to the tune of our own laughter (just like back then...) and at night I experienced the much expected annual catharsis, under the shadow of this,

 while,  on stage, Tony Kakko did his power (metal) walk,

Tarja Turunen did exactly what was expected of her (namely, to blow everybody's minds), 

and Lacuna Coil left me breathless with unexpected awe:

But Sibiu had other artistic surprises in store for me, too. A tattoo festival was taking place at the same time with Artmania, and the special guest there was this delicate, beautiful, incredibly expressive Japanese dancer, whose traditional dance left quite an impression in my memory.

But the summer progressed, and there was no time to waste. The Peninsula festival, in our very own Tg Mures, brought Guano Apes, which I will remember as being utterly forgettable,

and the Hungarians from Tankcsapda, whose lyrics I do not understand, but who were so much more fun to watch and listen to:

I usually don't need much of an excuse to visit Sibiu, but at the end of August, it had a damn good reason to call me again. The medieval festival was a bland, dusty, badly organised affair, which made me waste a whole day in the scorching sun, without offering anything interesting to do or see. But they brought Corvus Corax in the evening, and that made it all worth the sunburn. I didn't know much about them, but that night, I left as a die-hard fan. The self-proclaimed kings of medieval music really lived up to their title. 
I could go on for another couple of pages telling you why I think Corvus Corax are so epic, but I'll just go on to what was the highlight of 2011 for me. Finally, after years of yearning and bad timing and failed attempts, finally, in November, I got to see Amorphis. With all the excitement, I forgot to charge the batteries in my camera, so all I have as proof of a great concert is this:

In conclusion, the winners of the Soundtrack for 2011 award? It would have to be a tie between Amorphis, for their emotional significance in my life, and Corvus Corax, for their sheer newly discovered awesomeness. As such, feel free to pick the one you prefer: