Tankard, Abigail Roll Through Australia

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Tankard

I know, I know, this is VERY late. Combined with my sister visiting from China, going to visit my relatives out in the country, and getting back to university, I haven’t had much time to sit down and write this review up. Forgive me.

I’ll say this right now, I hadn’t even listened to Tankard by the time this tour came around, and I still haven’t. So why did I decide to go, you ask? One word: Abigail.

The legendary Japanese blackened thrashers were joining Tankard on their Australia trek, and I fucking love them. I had to go, regardless of whether I liked Tankard.

First thing’s first: the main bands’ sound was, apart from a few microphone squeaks, flawless. It was like listening to vinyl. I don’t know how to describe it than utter perfection. The lighting was a bit basic but I wasn’t complaining. Also, being in the pit for most of Abigail and Tankard meant that I wasn’t being blinded by the strobes, which was good. A great effort by the Hi Fi, for sure.

Desecrator were pretty great, actually. I hadn’t seen or listened to them before and I’m not a massive thrasher by any means, but I dug it. Solid riffing and a down-to-earth attitude made for great tune and funny, energetic stage performance.

The drums could have had a bit more punch, but I think that was a sound thing rather than the way they played. All in all they played really well and had a catchy, memorable performance I’ll happily see again.

Elm Street weren’t as good as I remember. Still great, but not fantastic this time around, but I couldn’t quite pick out what exactly it was. The vocals were a bit too loud, and the guitars didn’t have as much crunch as the last time I’d seen them. Then again, the last time I saw them was with Iced Earth and they were barely on 10 minutes.

They looked like they were having a great time jamming out though, and a couple of really big ES fans fuelled their fire, no doubt.

Finally, Abigail hit the stage, armed with hilarious song titles and heavy as balls crusty thrash. Man, I can’t even describe how great they were. Shredding mercilessly through their classics, which unfortunately didn’t include Forever Street Metal Bitch, their stage performance was rigid, but they engaged with the audience enough to make it work.

The pit during their set was also pretty great. Not all that big, but vigorous to say the least. The lighting was mostly white with the occasional strobe, and it wasn’t too easy on the eyes, but I wasn’t complaining. It was fucking Abigail, man.

Instrumentally and vocally they were on the top of their game, and I was far from disappointed with their performance when they finally left the stage.

Tankard were also pretty spectacular. The German old-school thrashers tore through their set with no effort at all, fuelled by beer and the resulting beer guts to whip the crowd into a frenzy, and they loved it. For a band that’s been around for god knows how long, their performance was way more energetic and engaging than other “dad metal” bands I’ve seen, like Morbid Angel (I don’t count Iced Earth as dad metal because let’s be real, there’s only one original member in the band now and everyone knows Jon Schaffer is immortal).

Musically, the band was tight, playing like only a seasoned band like them could. It was really impressive to see just how well they played together while jumping around and having a laugh, something I’d only seen Anthrax be able to pull off just as well.

The mix complimented their style brilliantly, with thundering drums just underneath the thick bass with enough HF for the widdly solos on top. It was pretty great, and I’ll definitely be checking their studio efforts out.

You know the drill. Go see the bands mentioned if you get the chance, since they’re all pretty awesome, and if you haven’t checked them out, go do that too. I saw Corrosion of Conformity a few days ago, so stay tuned for that review as well, should be coming up soon. Until then.

Tankard setlist:
1. Zombie Attack
2. Time Warp
3. The Morning After
4. Need Money for Beer
5. Fooled By Your Guts
6. Not One Day Dead (But One Day Mad)
7. The Beauty and the Beast
8. Slipping from Reality
9. Stay Thirsty!
10. Rapid Fire (A Tyrant’s Elegy)
11. Rules for Fools
12. Maniac Forces
13. Die with a Beer in Your Hand
14. R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)
15. Space Beer
16. Rectifier
17. Chemical Invasion
18. Alien
19. A Girl Called Cerveza
20. (Empty) Tankard

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