Originally posted in Valkyrian Music
Feels like it was just the other day that I convinced my mom to take me to the airport and wait for Heavenwood, who were returning home from the recording sessions of their debut “Diva”, in Germany. But it wasn’t “just the other day” – it was 16 years ago, after they changed their name from Disgorged and signed with Massacre Records. And since the 2 years they went by the name Necroside (1990-1992) don’t seem to count, that’s what we were celebrating that night – the 20th anniversary of the band formerly known as Disgorged.
The show was scheduled for 10 p.m. but there wasn’t that many people at that time yet – Portuguese audience, always running late… So the band waited for about half an hour before kicking off the show precisely with a song from “Diva” – a song I can’t remember when I last heard it live – “Moonlight Girl”. The lyrics seemed to be forgotten by most, but when it came to the chorus, that was pretty vivid in everybody’s mind, resulting in a massive roar.
Beginning with something from their debut was a random act, in the terms that they weren’t following any kind of “timeline setlist”. From there they jumped to their third album “Redemption”, with “13th Moon”, and then went back to their second “Swallow” with “Rain Of July” – one of the many highlights of the show. This back-and-forth through their discography went on for the two hours that the concert lasted (give or take) – a lot more fun that way than a chronological performance, in my humble opinion.
Between rarely played tracks – at least in the last few years – such as “Soul Sister”, “Me & You” or “Season ‘98” (dedicated to all of us) and the mandatory hymns like “Flames Of Vanity”, “Bridge To Neverland” or “Emotional Wound” (among others), we also witnessed a drum solo by the talented Marcelo Aires. Also very skilled is the new session bass player Ricardo Oliveira, who was playing with the band for the first time. First of many, I hope.
Special thanks were given to former members “who are part of these 20 years” – José Barbosa (drums), Mário Rui Lemos (guitar) and João Soares (keyboards) from the original line-up under the nameHeavenwood, and Daniel Cardoso (drums, now keyboard player in Anathema) and Pedro Mendes (bass) who even though were “just” session musicians, they played a very important role in Heavenwood history.
A devoted fan, Sérgio Rocha, forged an “H” in some kind of metal and framed it in the same material as a gift to the band. “Because you (the fans) are also part of this. Thank you”, said Ernesto Guerra.
The encore featured “Poem For Matilde”, “Suicidal Letters” (that someone in the crowd had been asking for since the beginning…) and a surprising “Heartquake”.
When saying goodbye and announcing the free after-show party at Metalpoint – where the “heavencake”, an anniversary cake with a guitar (edible I think) on it, would be served – guitarist Ricardo Dias said that he hoped it wouldn’t take another 20 years to see us all together like that again. Nah! I think we will be there THROUGH the next 20 years, supporting this band as it so well deserves.