By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
When I heard that Scottish pirate metal band was coming to Tampa to kick off their North American 2018 tour, I was more than thrilled! I wanted to see them at Vans Warped one year but missed them—so this was a very welcome surprise. I have seen some of their naughty sea shanty metal songs and absolutely loved them. Not only was this a treat but Alestorm was traveling with concept symphonic metal band Gloryhammer, which also features Christopher Bowes on the keyboards (lead singer for Alestorm).
When I arrived to The Orpheum in Ybor City, Tampa, the entire upper level was packed as well as the floor level. A local band was warming up the audience at the time and it looked to be a really raucous fun night. I noticed a lot of pirate hats and black “metal” clothing. The lighting was particularly dark, with colored lights, and fog, and I knew the photography would be a challenge.
I perched next to the stage and chatted with a really nice lady who was on a scooter. She and her husband are big Alestorm fans, and she saw them a couple of years ago, saying, “They put on a real energetic show! You are gonna’ love them!”
Gloryhammer came out and carried on their role as outerspace aliens from another galaxy, as each person in the band was in character. Swiss-born Thomas Winkler was the consummate lead singer—full of charisma and he sang, often swinging a large hammer. His vocals were outstanding, almost operatic, and the band was a joy, honestly. Every time he would raise his arms, the audience would cheer on cue. The audience all mouthed and sang the lyrics, raising their arms into devil horns, and head bobbing the entire time.
During the set a goblin came on the stage and various characters as Winkler fought them off. As the story went on, one of the band members was crowned king. It was very entertaining and the music totally rocked. I highly recommend checking out Gloryhammer.
The crowd was totally warmed up and ready for Alestorm when they hit the stage. Christopher Bowes was wearing a t-shirt, kilt, and carrying his key-tar. Elliot Vernon was perched up high on the stage, playing the Scottish ditties on the keys, which give the folk metal that Highland feel. Gareth Murdock and Máté Bodor were moving around the stage, ripping into the guitar and bass. Peter Alcorn was behind the drum kit, keeping the beat. They were dancing about and the crowd went wild! There was plenty of fist-pumping and at one point a couple of guys tried to climb on the stage but were pushed back onto the crowd in crowd-surfing fashion. At one point a guy wearing a shark head came out on the stage , singing with a microphone. Lots of mayhem, singalongs, and pirate fun!
The show was absolutely amazing and it was such a memorable experience as the crowd was singing in unison to “Fucked With An Anchor”, making me feel like I was in a pub in Glasgow….fuck you, you’re a fucking wanker, we’re gonna’ punch you right in the balls…Hysterically fun! Fans of Celtic punk or folk metal are sure to enjoy the Alestorm/Gloryhammer show!
MEMBERS OF ALESTORM
- Christopher Bowes – lead vocals, keytar
- Gareth Murdock – bass, backing vocals
- Peter Alcorn – drums
- Elliot Vernon – keyboards, unclean vocals
- Máté Bodor – guitars, backing vocals
- Over the eas
- Magnetic North
- The Sunk’n Norwegion
- No Grave but the Sea
- 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
- Nancy the Tavern Wench
- Bar und Imbiss
- Pegleg Potion
- Captain Morgan’s Revenge
- Wenches & Mead
- Fucked With an Anchor
MEMBERS OF GLORYHAMMER
- Christopher Bowes – keyboards, Zargothrax, Dark Sorcerer of Auchtermuchty
- Paul Templing – guitars, Ser Proletius, Grand Master of the Templar Knights of Crail
- James Cartwright – bass, Hootsman, Barbarian Warrior of Unst
- Ben Turk – drums, Ralathor, the Mysterious Hermit of Cowdenbeath
- Thomas Winkler – vocals, Angus McFife, Crown Prince of Dundee, Heir to the Kingdom of Fife
- Infernus Ad Astra
- Rise of the Chaos Wizards
- Legend of the Astral Hammer
- Hail to Crail
- Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy
- Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!
- Magic Dragon
- The Hollywood Hootsman
- Universe on Fire
- Angus McFife
- The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee