While we have watched many a stream lately, we have yet to see a dual-headlining show. Fortunately, bands seem to want to try everything these days, so Crimson Sun and Red Moon Architect banded together to put on a show for us on June 5th, 2020, via East Coast Events‘ Stream TV.
Follow the set as a playlist on Spotify:
Crimson Sun was first up on the roster. I personally missed their album release show at the notoriously bad quality venue in Bar Loose’s basement earlier this year, so this was a great chance for me to hear their new material and lo and behold! The mix was far better than I’ve ever heard in that dungeon basement, even if it wasn’t perfect. If you read our review of Fates, you may recall that the main complain was the overall mix and master of the music so it was great to instantly hear songs like “Beast Within,” “Virtual Reality,” and “Fate of Nora” really come to life in live format.
Regarding the performance, Sini Seppälä is a delightful and charismatic front to the band, saying thank you after the songs but not awkwardly pretending there is an invisible crowd like some bands. She did encourage the viewers to pretend they were there and to take photos and share them online, and later on, drew our attention to their special stream edition shirt, made in partnership with local tattoo artist Ilari Musta and printed on recycled textiles (bonus!).
With only two albums under their belt, the newest of which was released earlier this year, the set leaned toward the new material but naturally included some gems from their first album such as “Towards the Light” and “Memories Burning.” The only thing that was missing was the cheers, as the band put so much effort forth that I felt obligated to cheer at my screen in the hopes that they’d somehow feel the good juju.
Seppälä told a bit of backstory about the common fear of jumping in and trying new things, reminding us that life is short before “Trailblazer.” While the mix quality of the synth sound and backing instrumentals was rough at times, it is worth noting that Seppälä sounded utterly fantastic, possibly even better than on the new album. It was frankly hard to pay attention to anyone but her as she really knocked this performance out of the park. Not to throw shade on the guys either, all of the playing was great and Joni Junnila‘s solos were superb, but she was just that good. They finished off their set with the very appropriate “The Last Day on Earth,” a slightly slower tempo but more epic track, and then “Awaken” from their first album.
Crimson Sun Setlist:
1. The Beast Within
2. Virtual Reality
3. Fate of Nora
4. Towards the Light
5. The Prison
6. Memories Burning
8. We are One
9. Essence of Creation
10. The Last Day on Earth
There was a brief hiatus as the bands switched over, much like it would be if we were there in person, only without the huge toilet queues. I had not personally listened to Red Moon Architect before this stream, knowing little about them beyond sharing bassist Jukka Jauhiainen with Crimson Sun, so it was a nice opportunity to try them out.
The band was a bit stiff/nervous to start with during “Wish for a Tear” (with the exception of Jauhiainen, who was already warmed up), but after a few songs they got into a good groove. With a much darker and gloomy, atmospheric mood, it was almost a shame that the sun had come out after a great deal of rain on and off during the day. Dual vocalists Anni Viljanen and Ville Rutanen did an excellent job of the beauty and the beast sound, with the growls in a deep an ominous register while the clean vocals had an echoey, ambient sound that made for a superb contrast.
There was almost no talking between songs, with with the black and gloomy atmosphere, this felt more appropriate for their style than trying to chat with a camera, which was more suitable for their predecessors. The set included nice, ambient tracks like “Funeral,” “Abscond,” and the Finnish-titled “Synkooppi,” and the set ended with “NDE” and “Rising Tide.”
Red Moon Architect setlist (minus “Rise”):
1. Wish for a Tear
6. Rise (new song)
8. Rising Tide
The dual-headlining stream was indeed a fun idea and a nice way to celebrate two bands with very different soundscapes. While we were in it for Crimson Sun – and boy did they deliver – RMA‘s ambient, gloomy, atmospheric music was enjoyable, making this a great event to experience a new band, as well as a new album from a band we already know and love. Here’s hoping that we’ll see them on stage soon!