The air was thick in Melbourne town - the mists of Bodom had creeped over from their petrified ice-laden homes in Finland to settle at the Corner Hotel - Children of Bodom coming to rip this town apart.
The day started off with a celebratory day off from my University, too excited to go to class. I headed over to my mate Ian's house, a rabid CoB fan if you ever saw one. He memorized every undecipherable lyric, tried to learn every Alexi Laiho lick and melody and even smoked the same brand of cigarettes that Alexi does. (It's Lucky Strikes, if you must know.) Our bodom-fever reaching ridiculous proportions, we decided to head over to the Corner Hotel early. It was a thirty-minute train ride from where we live and we arrived at about 5, the doors opening at 7:30. We commiserated with fans that rocked up early, with some questioning their loyalty of attending while their friends were sick and unable, underage fans trying to get in and the usual scalpers. Luckily, for one of my friends unable to buy a ticket to the sold out show, managed to secure one through another person who had to pull out. Luckiest man alive, no? After many beers and secretive sips of whiskey, we finally headed into the Corner, the stage draped in the flag of Bodom, colored a still and eerie green.
After an arduous and personal-space defying hour, the support, Pathogen finally entered the stage to a pumped up crowd. They played an energetic set, the crowd responding well. They were scarcely known in the Melbourne metal scene (no one had heard of them until they stepped out on stage.) Their mix of Metallica-inspired thrash and mellower progressive death elements striking a chord with the entire crowd, rocking out through their entire set.
Then, the wait. The agonizing, nail-biting wait. Chants of Bodom could be heard throughout Melbourne town - the roof was gonna be lifted off this joint. Then, as if lightning struck, Alexi started shredding out Hate Me! The crowd went absolutely fucking nuts (as they rightly should in the presence of Bodom). The mosh crushed me (As I was standing front-center toward the stage) and my other mates had some particularly nasty battle injuries as a result. I went wild, rocking out constantly, in awe of the skills of Roope Latvala (who admittedly, is quite funny - the most uncoordinated guitarist i've ever seen) and the blisteringly fast keys of Janne Warmen who has a soft spot for Britney Spears - he would play some of her songs between breaks. They then proceeded to play all their "Bodom" themed classics first up: Silent Night, Bodom Night; Bodom Beach Terror; Bodom after Midnight; Children of Bodom. They also played In Your Face from their new album, as well as Are You Dead Yet - both very well responded to. Alexi talked about how much he loved Australia, and poked fun of the Sydney/Melbourne rivalry - "Those motherfuckers in Sydney can make more noise than you!" although the other band members barely interacted with the crowd at all. Bodom ploughed through some more great tracks, including Deadnight Warrior, Sixpounder (With Roope the only member with a voice low enough to shout "pounder" in the chorus - That man is hilarious) Follow The Reaper, Angels Don't Kill, Needled 24/7 and Everytime I Die. They departed only to be screamed back on for an energetic encore that consisted of Hate Crew Deathroll and my personal favorite, Downfall. Every metalhead was in awe, their multifarious injuries and customary ringing in the ears merely a badge of contentment and hyperactivity - Melbourne had been Bodomized, and had loved every second of it.
*Photos taken by Ian Mather and DeeDee Finntonia (C) Thoricaned Media and HARM.us Webzine