Alestorm

Live at The House of Blues

Hollywood, California

November 16th, 2012

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

Alestorm are a Pirate themed, Drinking based, Metal band that hails out of Scotland. They play what they consider "True Scottish Pirate Metal" but they have a very tongue in cheek attitude in general.

They are currently touring with the Dutch Symphonic Metal masters, Epica and have to us to bring their booze soaked, riff driven form of merriment.

All of Alestorm's songs deal with Pirate based concepts and involve the things pirates love most, drinking and whoring and fighting.

They started off the set with "The Sunk'n Norwegian" which involves all the things that pirates love in one song. The chorus demands "One More Drink!" and both the band and the audience complied.

Lead singer Christopher Bowes leads the charge, also playing keytar that brings in traditional sounds such as accordian and horns. They fall somewhere between Power Metal and Folk Metal but really its moot, they are wholly Pirate Metal.

The singer came to the stage donning a hat from the workers as the local favorite food chain, In 'N Out although knowing where their sense of humor lies, I am sure it is more for the innuendo than to advertise the burgers.

Next up was a song that epitomizes two of a pirate's loves, "Wenches & Mead". Continuing in that vein they did "Keelhauled" which refers both to the destruction of a ship as well as getting so drunk that you've basically scuttled yourself for the night. The whole band had huge smiles on their faces and love what they do.

The guitarist, Dani Evans would shred and sing and occasionally look fierce but was generally pretty jolly. Their bassist Gareth Murdock was equally jovial and also lent his voice to the chorus. Their current drummer is Peter Alcorn and since I saw them last they added an additional keyboard player, Elliot Vernon.

"Rumpelkombo" was followed by "Nancy the Tavern Wench" which brought us to a real mosh inducing number, "Death Throes of the Terrorsquid" which has undertones of Thrash Metal with its speed and ferocity.

Never deviating from their mythos, "Shipwrecked" kept the booze flowing down the audience's gullet and moving around the floor. Just in case anyone had not caught on to what they were all about yet, they did "Pirate Song" which lays it out as plainly as a can be.

The comical bantering of the lead singer between songs would always bring a smile but now he was in the mood for some violence so he had the crowd in the front part into two halves, leaving a wide open spot right in front of him.

As "Captain Morgan's Revenge" kicked into high gear he gave the signal and the "Wall of Death" as it is called in the mosh pit circle, charged at each other and slammed into a chaotic mosh fest in the dead center.

Their set time was now drawing to a close but they had one more song for us, another complicated song title that sums up a Pirate's life, "Rum".

Towards the end of the song the singer peeled off his keytar and handed it over to the keyboardist who moved to center stage while Christopher ran and dove out onto the audience, crowd surfing across the fans.

Once again Alestorm put on an energetic show full of fun and good times. They play a blazing bad ass breed of metal mixed with all the right bits to be a classic drinking band and an all around great time.

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