Live Coverage || Boysetsfire, Raised Fist @ Schlachthof, 07/12/2019

Third day of strikes in France and I was scheduled to take a couple trains to Wiesbaden to catch the final date of the Boysetsfire tour, featuring Raised Fist, All Else Failed and Marathonmann. Now, had things been normal, I would have been at the venue early enough to catch all bands and chill. Had this been a normal trip? Hell no. My trains were cancelled so queue an 11-hour bus ride to the sold out Schlachthof. 

I rushed into the venue 3' after Raised Fist was scheduled to go on. I was tired, I was pissed, I was stressed but oh-so-grateful the band was still doing line check upon my entering the premises. When the Swedes got on, it was pure madness. I had forgotten what a RF show was about and I had genuinely missed these lunatics. The band was running on kerosene; they wouldn't stay still for a minute, casually slipping and getting back up only to smash into each other. Not bad for a band that claims they never rehearse. Or maybe this is the result of lack of rehearsal. But anyway, I digress. Raised Fist dropped their latest album, "Anthems", recently and crowd responded very warmly to the new songs that made it into the setlist, which also translate very well live. To be fair, however, it was the the older songs that got us into the mood; "Wounds" and especially "Friends & Traitors" got an extra round of cheers and movement from fans. After an hour, Raised Fist bid us farewell and I could alread feel my throat getting coarse. What a brilliant live band!
After a while, and with incense burning, Boysetsfire took over with "Requiem". At that point, I was certain I would lose my voice to the band. On "Release The Dogs" that followed, friends of the band stormed the stage wearing dog masks. For real. BSF was at the top of their game, performing an excellent show. Usually, people would pay full and undivided attention to the stage, right? Not at this concert. Pits (and occasional fights) would randomly erupt all over the floor and people would push everyone out of the way to run and join the madness, beers would go flying and strangers would come up to you, make a comment on the band and walk away to mind their business. Our voices echoed in the room, as the band would go above and beyond to make sure everyone was alright and having a good time, even cutting a track short when they noticed someone in the crowd wasn't feeling well. The raw energy exchanged between BSF and fans was incredible. Vocalist Nathan Gray's voice is so expressive that you have to be completely indifferent to the spectacle to not be moved by his charisma. "Rookie" closed the main set and the encore started with (a pre-recorded to my dismay intro of) "Walk Astray" and the entire venue chanting along, "Empire" and "After The Eulogy". As always, we wrapped up the show with Nathan barking "where's your anger?", and the audience responding, loud and clear, "where's your fucking rage?".
By the end of the evening, I had a sore throat, my entire body ached, but my soul was full of happiness. The night went by in the blink of an eye and made the entire experience worth the hassle.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photography.

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