Review: Eluveitie live at Bassline, JHB

“South African Folk metal fans were privileged with the opportunity to see Swiss band Eluveitie perform in Cape Town on Friday 23 October and in Johannesburg on Saturday 24 October, 2015. Written independently by Jossie Ayame at Just Jossie, here is a first-hand account of the experience.” ~ Darkfiend, M4A


I had been waiting for this day to come since the announcement over a year ago. I bought my Eluveitie tickets on 28 October 2014 – the day they went on sale – to make sure I was guaranteed to see one of my favourite bands live on their first tour to South Africa. And holy crap was it worth it!

We first attended the pre-party at Iron Tusk, and when the time came, we walked (in a large group – this is Newtown after all) to Bassline where the show took place. Props to the guys from Witchdoctor Productions and Iron Tusk by the way, for making it feel safe to walk around in a dodgy area of Joburg at night and making it become a metal hangout! I wasn’t expecting such a huge amount of people to attend the show, when we got to the venue half an hour before the doors opened, there were already at least 100 (maybe 200 – I’m bad at estimating numbers) people there. I didn’t realise there were so many people in South Africa that share my love for folk metal.

At Eluveitie pre party
At the pre-party

The crowd got really fired up right from the second the band started walking on stage. They definitely made one hell of an entrance – opening with ‘King’, followed by ‘Otherworld’. They are one of the few bands where I can honestly say that their live performance is a thousand times better than their recorded music, which is already incredible. Their stage presence was phenomenal. They involved the crowd often. They sang ‘The Call Of The Mountains’ in their native tongue – Swiss-German – instead of in English, and it made the song even more beautiful and moving than it already is. I was overcome with emotion when they played my three favourite songs – ‘Slanias Song’, ‘Omnos’ and ‘Brictom’. I really wasn’t expecting to hear my favourite songs so when it happened the tears started flowing. It was such a beautiful moment.

Chrigel and Anna Murphy

After Anna Murphy movingly sang ‘Scorched Earth’, they started an acoustic set which included many of my favourite instrumental Eluveitie songs. Unfortunately, I have no photos of this because I was enjoying the show too much! Some people even started dancing to the acoustic songs!

After their acoustic set, they continued to play a second “metal” set which included some of their heavier numbers, starting with one of their most powerful songs, ‘Helvetios’, and which had the whole crowd singing along. Before they played ‘Quoth The Raven’, they challenged the crowd to give security something to do by trying to push the barriers forward. I got quite squished as I was right in front, but overall, it was a fun experience and the security were such good sports and also enjoyed it. After playing another of my favourites, they left the stage as if they were done, but we all knew they had one song left to do – they couldn’t play a show without playing ‘Inis Mona’. And sure enough, they came for one hell of an encore to finish with one of their most iconic songs. ‘Inis Mona’ was actually the first folk metal song I ever heard, and sparked my love for the genre, so I was ecstatic! What an incredible performance! If you weren’t there, you missed out!

I was lucky enough to get the setlist, as well as the drummer’s drumstick after the show!

Spoils for the night!
My spoils for the night!

Thank you again to Witchdoctor Productions for bringing this legendary band to South Africa. I will never forget this incredible experience!

If you want to see more amazing folk metal, don’t forget to buy your tickets for Finntroll! The shows are on 27th November (Cape Town) and 28th November (Johannesburg) and tickets can be purchased here. I’m sure this show will be just as epic!

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