Alestorm @ Mojoes – Joliet, IL

Mojoes Joliet

Review by Dan Scheiman

Upon entering Mojoes, I found myself surrounded by obviously intoxicated metalheads dressed in pirate costumes celebrating as if they had just found the treasure they had been searching for their entire lives. Going into this show I wasn’t very familiar with Alestorm’s work, but now that I’ve seen them, they will certainly be a staple in my collection of drinking music and party songs. This Scottish metal band can pull off power metal riffs as heavy as Blind Guardian, polka breakdowns as enjoyable as Finntroll, and occasional chops that would rival the likes of Dragon Force.
As Alestorm opened with “Monkey Island,” the crowd appeared to transform into a band of happy drunken monkeys. Some were assaulting one another, others just screaming and flailing a beer above their head. Overall, this was one of the most entertaing crowds I’ve ever witnessed. Some fans were dressed in kilts, some with braided beards, and others literally looked like they came straight out of the pirate era. It was clear that the intentions of the majority of the crowd were to drink, dance, and celebrate the fantasy of being a pirate.
Shortly after finishing “Nancy the Tavern Wench,” vocalist and keytarist Elliot Vernon gazed off into the crowd and demanded they fetch him a little person of his choosing. Sure enough, shortly after the request, a very small girl was lifted onto the stage. The band then announced it was time for “the midget test” and had the girl stand back to back with guitarist Dani Evans. She happened to be just slightly shorter, therefore she passed the test. Elliot then explained that the next song was about chopping up a midget. The entire band proceeded to dance with this extremely happen and giggly fan throughout the entirety of “Midget Saw.”
Ending the first set with “Drink, ” a crowd favorite, then starting off their encore with “1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)” really woke the crowd back up. Elliot explained just before playing that 1741 is about one of the most epic battles in the history of pirates. All of a sudden the canon props on the ends of the stage began firing off into the audience. The canons intermittently erupted giant clouds of smoke as the mob of pirates in Mojoes got more and more unruly. I have never seen such chaos during the last few songs of a concert performance. The entire crowd was chanting the lyrics and storming the stage as if they were part of the battle themselves. Once the “war” was over, Alestorm celebrated with songs of rum, and the audience danced and embraced with a roaring cheer.

Dan Scheiman With an entirely open and unbiased obsession with music, Dan decided to take the opportunity given to him to share his thoughts for On Stage Review. Having been to hundreds of concerts of a variety of styles and genres over the years, he's no stranger to live music. He has been playing bass guitar for over twelve years now and has been dabbling in vocal work, drums, and piano for almost as long. Growing up listening to metal and industrial then transitioning into jazz and classical, and now having a particular love for funk or anything that grooves; his perspective comes from a well-rounded musical background and some amateur experience as a musician. He has too many favorite bands to list, but some of his favorite live experiences include: Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree, Papadosio, Tool, The Ocean, Animals As Leaders, Lettuce, and of course, Victor Wooten.