An unsuspected and common rainy day, like so many in the autumnal season, would give place to a night to remember in Porto.
It was around 6:30 PM and there was already a line forming at the entrance of the Hard Club venue. There could be distinguished at least three different languages, as some faithful fans wanted to take the chance to see yet another show of the tour. Some even had the opportunity to chat with Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell), who recognized a foreigner fan on the queue.
30 minutes later it was time to open the doors and allow the eager crowd into the room and secure the front rows for the upcoming shows.
Silver Dust was the first act to grace the stage. This power rock Swiss band, formed in 2013 and making their live debut in Portugal, had the hard task to open the show for two huge names in the metal scene, but that didn’t seem to baffle them. The visual elements of their performance, such as the attire, caught the early attention of the crowd. There was a small screen placed in the stage middle to aid the storytelling and to further immerse the attendees in an eerie and theatrical atmosphere filled with surprises. It was a display of brilliant technique, showmanship and rhythms that forced the spectators to get off their feet and jump in approval. It’s safe to say that this band was very warmly welcomed.
After a great opening act, good mood and anxiety were perceivable in everyone’s face as they got ready to meet the Greek Hellenic black metal band Rotting Christ once again.
Soon, all hell broke loose when Rotting Christ, the band formed by the Tolis brothers appeared under the spotlights. By then, Hard Club was almost sold out. Intensity, power and devotion were shared by the band and the audience as they stepped on a journey that mainly went through the band’s latest four albums. The built up energy and resilience of the band resulted on a Wall of Death as the fast-passed “Societas Satanas” (Thou Art Lord cover) exploded, joined by a headbanging fest and circle pit. There was still time for some classics such as “King of a Stellar War”, the very expected “Forest of N’gai” and the final song “Non Serviam” to be played as the crowd chanted along, ending an amazing performance that was cheered by everyone with liveliness.
Thanks to a fantastic job by the stage crew and venue throughout the night, at 10:00PM, as planned, it was time for the headliners Moonspell to show their worth. A seemingly lost and scared, in-character, Fernando Ribeiro walked into the stage holding a lantern, a scene very reminiscent of the old days. He found his way into the microphone and quickly verbalized his expression kicking the show with the first song “Em nome do medo” (translates to “In the name of fear”).
The audience was ecstatic and the dB’s went up as Moonspell’s frontman gave some passionate speeches, praising the importance of both Portuguese tour dates scheduled and sharing his love and thankfulness to Porto’s audience and city, as well as his home country Portugal.
The album that gave name to the tour was very well represented in the setlist. As songs like “1755”, “In Tremor Dei”, “Ruínas”, “Evento” and “Todos os Santos” were brilliantly performed and chanted by the crowd in support, word by word. This reminded everyone of the tragic historical date as a massive earthquake shattered Lisbon into multiple fires in 1755. The city rose again. And so did the horn signs in Porto as the show went on presenting the fans with more classics, particularly the song known by some as the non-official Portuguese metal anthem: “Alma Matter”. Sending shivers through people’s spine as they all sang in unison loud and clear directly at a stage adorned with the colours of the Portuguese flag. The most special moment was the precursor of an encore that fittingly finished the day with the very requested “Full Moon Madness”.
Overall, it was a very professional gig sound and organization wise, leaving little to no room to negative critiques.
Concert organized by Prime Artists.
Photos (smartphone) & text by: Joana Oliveira