After all I made it to Lisbon, to MORE THAN A THOUSAND’s very last show. I had seen three gigs of this farewell tour, but the “swan song” is always special. And it was in every way – not only did they play a longer set, it was the best MTAT concert I’ve ever seen. But I’ll get there; first things first – in this case, ASH IS A ROBOT. Not my cup of tea, as the contrasts within their songwriting may be ingenious and out-of-the-box but they simply clash with my personal taste.I do recognize their talent and frontman Cláudio’s outgoing posture on stage, but that’s it. So, as this day meant so much, I did my best to focus on those features and I actually had fun watching Cláudio’s moves. Technical details: I know they played “Karma Never Sleeps”, I think they played “Philophobia Part 1”, and as Cláudio said something about an upcoming album, and they had released a new single a couple of weeks before, I’m going to guess they also played “Schrödinger Whale” (ASH IS A ROBOT’s fans, there’s a thing called setlist.fm… would you be so kind and start using it, please? Thanks!).
While HILLS HAVE EYES were setting their gear, I teased guitarist Miguel about the setlist sheet and how he should know it by heart by now. He replied that it would be different that night so even if it was a nice surprise to see “The Bringer Of Rain” opening the show – featuring Denisa, just like the studio version! -, I wasn’t caught completely off guard.
Another change was the shorter length of the set but, like singer Fábio said, “it was for a good cause” (the cause being a bigger set for MORE THAN A THOUSAND). He also talked about his love and respect for MTAT and how people saying HHE sounded the same as them was a compliment and not an insult. I believe you, Fábio, but I still haven’t found such similarities, whatever period of your career those people were referring to…
Also a delightful surprise was “Make It Right”. When they’re not headlining, meaning they have less time to perform, they usually leave the ballads out. No need, really – it’s a different burst of emotion but just as powerful as the heaviest and/or fastest song they have, so it simply fits.
MTAT–Vasco joined for “Anyway, It’s Gone”, which I was sure he would, and I guess there’s nothing else relevant to mention. That it was thrilling and I had a blast? Bitch, please – it’s HILLS HAVE EYES; when do “thrilling” and “blast” stay out of the description?
Predicting the riot – it already been chaotic in HILLS HAVE EYES – I chose safety and stepped back for MORE THAN A THOUSAND. But even far from the stage, my heart skipped a beat when “Feed The Caskets” throbbed through the venue.
Funny, I’ve had my fair share of MTAT gigs and Vasco’s voice faltered here and there in every one of them. This time, and despite the longer gig, meaning bigger effort, he stood on key all along. It was like everything was set to be just perfect.
“Trip To Goth’am City”, “I Am The Anchor”, “Walking On The Devil’s Trail”, “The Hollow” – bassist Mike’s favorite, according to Vasco -, “A Sharp Tongue Can Cut Your Own Throat” and “Ordinary Explanation” were the extra songs the other farewell gigs didn’t witness. Hey, this was the very last, not in their hometown Setúbal but close enough – it had to be different. The magic was the same, though; we wouldn’t be singing along these guys anymore but that didn’t make us less loud than all the other times we screamed those lyrics, word by word. What else can I say? It was a good farewell.