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Concert Review: Arch Enemy/Kreator (October 24, 2014, Best Buy Theater, NYC)
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Arch Enemy Kreator North American tour 2014

The NYC Doom Crew set out for a fine night of metal on October 24, 2014 to see Kreator and Arch Enemy live at the Best Buy theater in New York, NY. The venue is on the “fancy” side where security and ushers there will tell you to “enjoy the show” upon arrival and to “have a nice night” as you depart. There’s plenty of standing room around the stage and then one small level up, with stadium general admission seating all the way the back. And the sound – it’s fantastic. While it’s not the kind of place you’d expect a metal tour like this one to fit right into to, but thankfully it did. (I’ve seen other metal shows there, and those too were a good fit.)

California’s Huntress was the opener band for this stop on this North America, and while I was really looking forward to seeing them, I unfortunately just missed their set. (Check out their latest album, Starbound Beast.) German metal titans Kreator, who released the live album Dying Alive last year, were the direct support for headliners Arch Enemy, touring for latest effort War Eternal, their first album with new singer Alissa White-Gluz.

Kreator Band Photo

Kreator, who released their latest studio album, Phantom Antichrist, in 2012, is a Slayer-caliber thrash metal outfit, yet for some reason they never broke out in the same way as their Big 4 (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) contemporaries. I’ve been going Kreator concerts since the late 1980s and seeing them live again recently I can easily say they are better than ever. Frontman Mille Petrozza held court over the audience with his calls for a “circle pit,” which were answered by the audience with just that. It was a very old-school experience as the band tore through classics such as “Pleasure To Kill,” “Extreme Aggression,” and “Endless Pain,” but their newer material like “Violent Revolution,” “Civilization Collapse,” and “Phantom Antichrist” is totally crushing and comes across superbly in a live setting. I can’t say enough about how totally, unbelievably awesome Kreator is and how this band deserves the utmost respect from metal fans the world over.

I was so thrilled with their performance that I went right to the merch booth with the intention of buying tons of stuff. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a credit card machine for this tour date, so instead of getting the Kreator hoodie that I wanted, I settled on an inexpensive winter hat (which came in handy soon after). Strangely enough, I was at the gym the other day and the guy in front of me was wearing that EXACT Kreator hoodie. What are the odds of that?!?!? A very cool moment.

Arch Enemy Band Photo

While I’ve seen Kreator many times, this was my first experience with Arch Enemy. I was only slightly familiar with the band’s back catalog, but had been giving their new album, War Eternal, a lot of attention recently. I’ll admit, the draw for me was the addition of singer Alissa White-Gluz, as everything about her is downright appealing to me. The former Agonist front woman is a vegan and big into animal rights (she’s also dating former Misfits guitarist Doyle, who is also a vegan). Now, if you’ve been reading Geeks Of Doom for a while, you likely picked up on the fact that many of us here are veg and as a site we support a lot of animal rights and animal sanctuary charities. So, right there, she caught my attention. Then I remembered seeing the blue-haired growler on an old episode of MTV’s Made where she coached a young girl who wanted to be a “metal screamer” and she was so professional and insightful. She really impressed me. Finally, when I got my hands on the new Arch Enemy album and heard White-Gluz growl through tunes like “You Will Know My Name,” “As the Pages Burn,” and the title track, I just knew I had to see her perform live and I was willing to beat she’d totally kick ass. And then, she totally did.

At the Best Buy Theater show, when Arch Enemy from Sweden came on, the diminutive White-Gluz, clad in tattered pants and tank top, immediately commanded the stage, jumping onto a platform to stand above her male bandmates and connect with the audience. Her singing style is of the guttural “Cookie Monster” style and hearing such a tremendous, demonic-like voice come out of such a small girl, who happens to be gorgeous, is a shock at first, but the 29-year-old Canadian singer is a true performer. Not only did she nail the new songs, on which she appears on War Eternal, but she went beyond doing justice to the older material — she took them to the next level. When she was done screaming out the chorus for “You Will Know My Name,” you knew that yes, everyone WILL know her name — it’s Alissa White-Gluz and she is a force to be reckoned with. (An aside – when I first saw her, I thought she looked like a heavy metal Katy Perry — turns out, according to White-Gluz’s Instagram account, a lot of people think the same thing.)

The Kreator/Arch Enemy performance was one of the best heavy metal shows I’ve seen this year, and just further solidified my love for Kreator and has made an Arch Enemy fan out of me. The tour is halfway through North America, so check out the full list of tour dates here below and if it’s coming to your area, I strongly suggest you gave a ticket and get ready to bang your head through a great group of metal acts. Geeks Of Doom’s fellow resident metalhead Ides Bergenwill be seeing these bands when this tour stops at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA, so be on the lookout next week for his write-up of the concert.

Tour Dates

Arch Enemy/Kreator North American Tour Dates:

Oct. 23 – Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
Oct. 24 – Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
Oct. 25 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Oct. 26 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY
Oct. 27 – Metropolis – Montreal, QC
Oct. 28 – Imperial Theater – Quebec City, QC
Oct. 29 – The Opera House – Toronto, ON
Nov. 01 – The Garrick Centre – Winnipeg, MB
Nov. 02 – Riddell Centre – Regina, SK
Nov. 03 – Macewan Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB
Nov. 04 – Union Hall – Edmonton, AB
Nov. 06 – Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
Nov. 07 – Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
Nov. 08 – Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
Nov. 10 – Regency Center – San Francisco, CA
Nov. 11 – House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
Nov. 12 – House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
Nov. 14 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Nov. 15 – Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
Nov. 16 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
Nov. 18 – Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
Nov. 19 – Mojoes – Joliet, IL
Nov. 20 – The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
Nov. 21 – Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
Nov. 22 – Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
Nov. 23 – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH

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