On May 28th 2021, pirate metal band Alestorm has released one of their last concerts before COVID struck on CD and DVD. The show takes place at Poppodium 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands. First thing: this show looks and sounds amazing. How do I know that while it’s not released? Well, not because I reviewed it, because it’s up on youtube since April 2020. I let lead singer Christopher Bowes explain it himself.
“Oh wow! Live concerts! Remember those? Nah, me neither. Anyway, a couple of years ago we played a giant show at the 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands. It was a whole lot of fun. We even filmed the whole thing. And when we released the recording for free on YouTube last year, a whole bunch of you said you really liked it. And being the treasure-hungry sellout pirates that we are, it made us realize we could probably convince a bunch of you to buy it if we wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in a big wooden box. We even added some low-effort bonus features. Enjoy!”Christopher Bowes
I love how he just says it as it is. That is who Alestorm is. Just throw it out there and enjoy. Because this show is already available for free on Youtube, there are a lot of extra’s to devour when you buy it. There’s a double LP with a slipmat and a patch, as well as different colored limited edition LPs. If you buy the special edition, it’s quite literally a wooden box with a mediabook and a special vinyl that contains two new acoustic covers by Alestorm. Besides that, there’s also a regular CD version. So, even when it’s already out there, Alestorm provides us with a lot of extra items that will satisfy our hunger for more music. Especially in these COVID times where live music is impossible. This release is also an opportunity for the fans to support the band. If you want to buy it, you can pre-order it here.
After all this theory of where, how and what, let’s start with the music itself. The intro of the show shows us a long row of people who are waiting to get in. Then you see the sped up version of the last stage test to make sure all the lights and sounds work. At last, everybody waiting gets to their spot. Let the party begin!
One of their famous songs ‘Keelhauled’ is their opener. Loudly sang along by the crowd, Alestorm shows from the first to the last note that they are entertainers at heart. They are here to create a party and don’t leave until it’s over.
Seamlessly, they go into the next song ‘Alestorm’. Lead singer Christopher Bowes screams at the crowd: “Good evening Tilburg, we are Alestorm!” Another great party song. But let’s be honest, all Alestorm songs are party songs. In the instrumental part just before the chorus is repeated one more time, you see the band members walking toward each other, talking and smiling. They are truly enjoying themselves as much as the fans.
At the intro of the next song ‘Magnetic North‘, pianist Elliot Vernon casually chugs down half a beer bottle. Christopher Bowes starts dancing and the crowd goes absolutely wild. You hear him chuckling while singing this song. The band admits after this song that they are in for a party tonight. Like we didn’t know that already, but thanks for the confirmation. Next up is party song ‘Mexico‘. A song where you just have to jump and sing the chorus before the song starts.
Alestorm says that they don’t have nice, new songs, so they’ll play an old one. Of course we don’t mind! ‘Over the Seas‘ is played next. A song with low, heavier riffing and a nice solo near the end. A big part of the crowd sat down and started rowing. Amazing, just having fun and don’t care about anything else around you. This is proof. Lead guitarist Máté Bodor ends in a fast improvised solo.
Next up is another golden oldie: ‘The Sunkin’ Norwegian‘. According to Alestorm, this song is about drinking and sticking a whole pizza up your butt. ‘Drink up my friends, as much as you can!’ Christopher Bowes sings while holding up a beer.
During ‘No Grave But the Sea‘ they literally bring out a blow up rubber boat and put a crew member in it. He goes crowdsurfing, but never returns. Or at least we don’t see him return. He probably didn’t want to miss the party either. After the song, Christopher says that the guy in the rubber boat was Kristóf Heartmann, their tour manager, also mentioned in a song from their latest album called ‘Shit Boat’.
Durning ‘Nancy the Tavern Wench‘, there was even more rowing. A slow, deep song finished with the fastest and shortest song written by Alestorm or probably by any metal band ever: ‘Rumpelkombo‘.
After ‘Rumpelkombo‘, we have a short pause. Christopher asks us if we are ready for a battle. The crowd screams and Alestorm answers with ‘1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)‘. When this song finishes, Christopher calls 2 men on stage. Guitarist CJ Handsome and Beef Guy. Beef Guy has been at a lot of Alestorm shows and yeah, he is always thirsty. Followed by the instrumentals of ‘Drunken Sailor‘, Beef Guy chugs some beers down. And then that one, very fitting, is followed up by their cover of ‘Hangover‘ with an awesome rap in the middle by Beef Guy. The crowd already seems to know it, singing the song in advance.
Next up are ‘Pegleg Potion‘ and ‘Bar ünd Imbiss‘. And after that, it’s time for a wall of death. Although Christopher actually asks the crowd to have sex and they agree, it’s still a regular wall of death without orgasms after he counts to 4 in Dutch. ‘Captain Morgan’s Revenge‘ begins. Before the last chorus of this song starts, the crowd has to be completely silent… to scream ‘Sausages’!
The heavy riffs of ‘Shipwrecked‘ and the groovy beats on the keyboard played by Elliot Vernon, make the crowd go wild while we are already getting close to the end of this concert. This one is, after a break and the crowd screaming for more and an introduction of the band, followed up by the loved and well known iconic song called ‘Drink‘.
‘We are here to drink your beer and steal your rum at the point of a gun. Your alcohol to us will fall as we are here to drink your beer’.
What a perfect song as an encore song. The duck that had a job as a stage prop during this concert gets thrown into the crowd too. I wonder how much ducks were harmed during Alestorm shows, as they threw one into the crowd almost every show they did in 2019.
Christopher asks the crowd to kill the duck and pretend to be zombies that see the duck as fresh meat. Almost immediately the duck gets pulled down and disappears into the crowd. Duck, you will never be forgotten. ‘Wolves of the Sea‘ is played. A happy song where everybody waves and sings along with the chorus. I have to say, I appreciate Elliot’s delicate hip movements during this song.
For the perfect closer, they chose ‘Fucked With an Anchor‘. The nice sounding swear song that everybody can sing along with. Wether you are happy or angry, this is the song for you.
The setlist they chose is one filled with well known songs, hits, and hidden pearls you maybe haven’t heard of before if you’re not a die hard Alestorm fan.
What makes this show so awesome, is how much the crowd interacts with the band. You hear Christopher Bowes sing just as loud without a mic, you hear the crowd in the background. Amazing. This show has been the cure for my ‘no live music depression’. Let us thank the sound guy for this amazing audio, Jeff ‘Poison Man’ Sarabia. Not only can we hear the fans loud and clear, the band is loud and clear as well. The singing and the instruments are absolutely well balanced. It sounds as if you are there watching and partying with everybody.
Oh, and the credits state that no animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture, except for one giant inflatable duck. R.I.P inflatable duck.
If you want to watch this show, click on the video below. If you want to support the band, you can buy it here.
Release date: May 28th, 2021
Label: Napalm Records
- Magnetic North
- Over the Seas
- The Sunk’n Norweigian
- No Grave But the Sea
- Nancy the Tavern Wench
- 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
- Drunken Sailor
- Pegleg Potion
- Bar ünd Imbiss
- Captain Morgan’s Revenge
- Wolves of the Sea
- Fucked with an Anchor