It’s a Sunday evening when my friends Louie Lou and Lex accompany me on a walk from Tilburg station to the Little Devil, a small concert venue in the middle of the city. We arrived in Tilburg before the rest of our group did. They got delayed because of the, for some reason, not so functional train network in this beautiful country. We decided to be brave and just walk towards the venue to get a drink – no big deal. Words about being excited but not knowing exactly what to expect are spoken. The mean instigator of this group of concert goers, Daan, invited all of us and is the only one aware of what is about to happen. We cross a street and walk into a construction site but our google maps says that this is in fact the right way to the Little Devil. After manoeuvring a very small sidewalk portion we arrive at a bar with many people smoking outside on the sandy site, dressed in intimidating black clothes and leather jackets. We stand out like a sore thumb and I curse myself for being lazy when getting dressed – I typically look much cooler than I do right now.
While I regret my outfit choices the rest of the group walks in and we huddle together, protected by numbers. Louie Lou, Lex and I had walked into the bar minutes before and felt a little awkward, not really even because of bar space being covered in posters of death metal bands and men with so much hair on their heads, mostly because they had bought tea at the station with was too hot to finish before we walked into the bar. However, with the group walking in we felt confident enough to buy some beers and walk into the venue.
The support act was in the middle of their set: Mirusi Mergina is a soundscape artist whose music transports you to a dreamy, dark world by voice and synth based drones… It was honestly a little much for me. For someone that has to acclimate a little to every room I walk into being greeted with this very experimental, mantra-like noise music was an experience. I really had no time to actually get into the music as we only got to the venue 15 minutes before the end of the set, I’ll have to give them another listen for a fair chance.
Then, the main event, Liturgy. This is why Daan had invited us. He proclaimed that this was his most experimental musical choice and I secretly hoped it would not be soundscapes. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the band that came on. The venue was small and we got to the front, so close we could touch the guitarist if we wanted to. The concert was sold out but the audience was polite and everyone appeared to be in their own world enjoying the piercing black metal rhythms. The drummer was honestly the highlight for me: he made no mistakes drumming the extremely fast and complicated rhythms to support the rest of the band. He went so hard that he was drenched in sweat near the end. The structured black metal was alternated by the front woman singing solo in a sort of Gregorian chant accompanied by a loop station to create an ethereal atmosphere. And then back to headbanging. I felt almost electrified at the end of the show as I remembered why I am so fond of metal concerts. The music had you totally sucked up into the atmosphere the band was trying to create. All the thoughts of not fitting into the crowd of the bar had flown away, just like the time we spent dancing as it all seemed to only take a moment.