What, Dark Tranquillity Not Worthy? An Open Letter To L.A. Metalheads

Hey man, missed you at the Dark Tranquillity show last night. What happened? Thought you were a troo metalhead.

Don’t tell me you couldn’t score a ticket – by late afternoon yesterday, they were still available. And don’t tell me that you couldn’t afford one, either – tix were only $21.68, fees included.

So what was it, then? Sure, the last couple of times Dark Tranquillity have swung through town, they’ve opened for other bands (Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy) and played mostly new material. But they told us in advance that on this headlining tour, they’d be dipping into most of their back catalog – and they did.

OK, so they didn’t touch Skydancer – but it’s not like Anders Fridén was on tap to take the mic if they had. But hell, man, they visited The Gallery – and then revisited it. Plus “Final Resistance,” “The Lesser Faith,” “Misery’s Crown” … it wasn’t a We Are the Void tour as much as it was a Greatest Hits one.

But that still wasn’t good enough for you, apparently.

Mikael Stanne, a consummate metal showman, tried to make the best of it, smiling the whole time and playing straight to the crowd. But he must’ve known that the excitement level at the Key Club appeared to be only three or four rows deep.

If you had been up front, you wouldn’t have even been scathed. The pit was but a whimper, threatening not a soul. And you’d probably see more fist-pumping at an LA Sparks game.

So how sad was it, then, that Stanne called the show the best one of the tour? He clearly wanted it to be – it was their last North American gig for the year, and a few days ago, he took the time to hype it on YouTube:

But it just can’t be that a 20-year old band, playing the last and supposedly best show of their tour, would be onstage just shy of 75 minutes. And play no encore.

And if that really was Dark Tranquillity’s best show this time around, then hats off to them – especially the bored-looking Martin Henriksson – for stomaching what must’ve been a tough trek. More than two decades as a band, years spent crafting essential contributions to underground metal, and that’s the thanks they get. A couple of hundred half-hearted heathens.

All the while, In Flames draw throngs at venues like Club Nokia and the Fox Theater.

You’d go see them again, right? So why not DT? Airfare isn’t any cheaper for them than it is for their kindred spirits.

Yeah, I’ll grant you, it was kinda cheesy when Dark Tranquillity played the video for “Shadow in Our Blood” while they played the song. But aside from that, it was a high-quality metal show performed by a top-notch band.

Wasn’t it?

I must be wrong, because you weren’t there.

Related:

• “In Flames Album Discography: Drummer Touches ‘Em All
Extreme-Metal Word Search
• “An Extremely Long Conversation About Extreme Metal With Albert Mudrain

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2 Responses to “What, Dark Tranquillity Not Worthy? An Open Letter To L.A. Metalheads”

  1. Best review I’ve ever read! I will never forget your kind words.

  2. Best review I´ve ever read! Thanks your your kind words! Unforgettable!

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