WARDRUNA Live || San Francisco || Regency Ballroom || September 15 2018

We’ve all heard this: tastes differ. Something you enjoy may be a pain for others. For me, it’s always been pretty simple: do whatever makes your heart content, as long as it does not bring the physical (or severe moral, for that matter) pain, to someone else. I am endlessly happy to meet and communicate with people who share this principle. Alas, this kind of acceptance is quite rare and more often than not, we’re weighed down by someone’s beliefs, constrained by rules and obligations, and don’t feel free enough to simply, be… While I’ve stepped away from religion and other “traditional” mainstreams a long time ago, I am still a person bound by social rules that come with a workforce package. On this night, however, an opportunity to break away from all this dogmatism presented itself in a wondrous live performance by WARDRUNA.

Since having discovered the band a few years ago (long before watching the Vikings series), I’ve wanted to see them live. There is something ethereal about their performance, something that needs to be experienced with a full set of visual and audial receptors. Finally, the day has come. WARDRUNA visited San Francisco and opened the night with a blow… into actual ceremonial bronze lurs, setting the ambience from the very beginning.

This opening was breathtaking. I did not set any expectations to allow for more of an “ad-hoc” perception, and there it was: pure, magical, and tantalizing. One of my favorite compositions followed, and below is its semi-decent interpretation:

There were more, of course, and I felt guilty for recording this – the performance was so sincere and unreal…

Eventually, Kvitrafn’s speech has left me speechless:

 Upon hearing this, recording the actual song didn’t feel right. The entire set was so unique; more of a spiritual occurrence. (For someone who is as non-spiritual as me, this is quite a big deal). The audience was silent until the last cord. It was dark, sad, and simultaneously, so comforting. I’m one of those weirdos who really enjoys all the gothic and grotesque, and the experience it was all that, plus deeply emotional. Now I know which song will be on for my funeral.

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Scorpions Live || Oracle Arena Oakland, CA October 4 2017

On a Wednesday night of October 4, 2017 Scorpions performed at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, to hit the impressive mark of 49 years on the road… A legendary band, a modern icon of classic rock-n’-roll, was rocking out like it was 1975. With staying true to their style throughout the years, Scorpions sounded heavy and rock-solid, both vocally and instrumentally.

The band opened with a few classics from the 70s, performing with regards to the Bay Area and Oakland in particular – a gesture, not all too common among such iconic bands. Mr. Klaus described his choice of repertoire as a bow to the long-time fans, staying with the band through the decades. As the best confirmation to his words, the audience was as diverse as the Bay Area itself: regardless of demographics or lifestyle, hundreds of people participated in a great, authentic show Scorpions put together.

The first molten-metal, slow classic, one of the band’s most famous and regarded for compositions, Send me an Angel, filled the arena approximately 30 minutes into the show. With the audience singing in unison, the entire venue was filled with perfectly suitable golden flecks of light, produced by a gigantic retro disco-ball suspended from the center of the stage. As the song progressed, there was warmth in the air, and even – such a rarity these days – a few lighters ignited by the thoughtful fans.

As a beautiful and thoughtful continuation of this musical journey, more iconic compositions followed:

  • Still loving you
  • No one like you
  • Rock you like a hurricane
  • We built this house
  • and many more…

Remarkably, the band performed at such a high level of rock craft that entire venue was filled with their powerful chords. In real life, they sound much heavier than online or even on records, which is another benefit of seeing the band live. No narrations or media assets can truly describe the unforgettable experience Scorpions brought to the fans that night, and yet I sincerely hope this post serves as a humble nod to the band’s legacy.