I've been on short rations for concerts lately so it was good to get out to see Trail of Tears and Unexpect. Didn't make it in time for Crimson Shadows - still need to check those guys out in a live setting - and missed the beginning of Unexpect's set, but it was all still well worth the drive.
'Twas my third time seeing Unexpect. They're one of the bands I appreciate more on stage than on my cd player. Their energy is near explosive but they manage to keep it all so tightly coordinated.
At first it was rather sad seeing how few people had turned up for Trail of Tears, though the problem is their relatively low profile around here rather than under-promotion. An initially tentative audience warmed up pretty quickly, which made a big difference, and the band quickly got past the small numbers to deliver an intense and heavy performance worthy of a much bigger context. The backing track sounded a little loud for a couple of songs and Catherine seemed a little under-utilized but those were my only real complaints. They played a wide range of material (including a request for "When Silence Cries"). Catherine pulled off the lower vocal lines as beautifully as the soprano parts (though I could still hear Kjetil Nordus in my head sometimes). I'm not sure this tour will encourage them to come back to North America anytime soon, but I will be there if they do.