Rated 4 out of 5 by He without a nickname from Katatonia - Shepherds bush I went to this event with a high degree of expectation as I've been a Katatonia fan since way back to the dark days of the first demo "Jvah elohim meth" and stuck with them through their many evolution's - a long time and a lot of hair has passed! The fact this would be one of 2 world wide shows where Katatonia would be performing a double set was an even bigger draw. Not only do we get the entire "Great Cold Distance" album live but also a promised collection of tracks from all eras of the band. For and old timer like me this was a major pull as so often the very early works get neglected by bands and even Katatonia have been known to shy away from the very early stuff in live sets - perhaps because they have been melodic prog metal so long now they think the fans will be less fond of the classic doom tinged death they once championed. The show sported 2 support bands - neither of which id ever heard of before. Vola were surprisingly good - very proggy even beyond Katatonia with a distinctly Opeth like vibe (before Opeth degenerated into a parody of pink floyd but that's another story) i went in with no expectation and were pleasantly surprised and have since picked up the album. good stuff. Next up there was Agent Fresco - i have to be honest i still have no idea what to make of them. i spent the whole set trying to figure them out and was left scratching my head. C;early they were very popular on the night however and were obviously stoked to be playing. The fans greeted both bands with open arms. The venue suited the show very well with good sound and a great atmosphere akin to a Colosseum with great views throughout. very suitable in tone and atmosphere. That brings us to the main event. Katatonia began with Leaders from Great Cold Distance and subsequently blasted through the entire album with the clinical precision you would expect. This album is heralded by many as their crowning achievement - personally i dont agree- Great yes but i myself prefer its flanking albums - Viva emptiness (which they played full back in 2010) and the immensely moody "Night Is the New Day" which gets its 10 nyear in 2019 (hint hint boys!) The irony is that my actual favorite album of Katatonia - "Brave Murder Day" was this year celebrating its 20th Anniversary so for me i would rather have had that as the crown jewel but i agree that likely was not possible given it was fronted by Opeths Mikael Akerfeldt who has long since retired his growl. The set was fantastic though with the songs sounding as powerful and vibrant as ever. Next came the second set - opening with a new track "last song before the fade" and an error where at one point the band simply stopped because drummer Daniel's laptop had packed up and the backing track vanished. this did get a few laughs with Jonas making light of the technical error. After this though it was plain sailing through some genuine greatest hits - including Teargas, a reworked saw you drown, Day, For my demons, Forsaker, Evidence and Lethean among others. This brings me to my single MAJOR complaint of the night that really annoyed me - the gig ran til 11pm. Great in terms of value for money however not all fans who go to London shows live IN London. Some of us have to get trains into the capital and those trains stop running at a certain point. as such my and several other fans all had to abandon ship mid way through the second set (i left just as Lethean started) in order to sprint to the tube station to get to Euston to catch our trains home and not be stranded in London til 6.30am. As it turned out this caused us to miss the last few songs of the gig - a HUGH annoyance to me as it turned out one of the last songs was "Gateways To Bereavement" from "Dance Of December Souls" Which has not been played live in 20 years and represented the only OLD Katatonia track on offer - and was a major reason for me wanting to go (At least it wasn't "Without God" though!). They also apparently did Ghost of The Sun Off Viva Emptiness As Encore. This really put a downer on the whole night given i had to miss a reason to go. watching a fan shot version on you tube doesn't cut the mustard. Personally i just put this down to bad booking or people not thinking about the wider fan base. As it was a double set by the band (one of only 2 on the tour) would it really have been that terrible to have cut 10 mins from each of the supports or even only have 1 support for the night so the show could have finished at say 10.30 giving EVERYONE the chance to see the whole performance?! As a rule this is why i rarely travel to London for gigs. unless you want to drive in and pay a fortune to park and assuming you don't get lost, you always have to miss part of the show due to trains. (11.25 latest on Saturdays and 9.30 on weekends? really?) This was the one blemish on an otherwise amazing show. As a performance i would give it 5 Stars but i cant given i didn't see the whole show and in truth i really didn't get one of the supports. Kataonia themselves though still stand proud as the best at what they do. next time you do an album celebration though guys if it has to be in London please at least time it so we can all see the show and get home happy!
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by Matt Reynolds from Great band. fantastic set Travelled to London to see katatonia with a friend who had never heard any of their music before. We both thought it was fantastic, I wish they would come to the UK more often. Great music and sound. Both support acts were really good.
Date published: 2016-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by Julius666 from An unique and amazing Show the perfect celebration for 10 years "The Great Cold distance".. my fave album, Katatonia gave us a Blasting and unique show, great feeling and emotions!!!
Date published: 2016-10-24