Two months ago, if someone were to ask us about Yngwie Malmsteen, Aftermath would have most likely responded, "Gesundheit," and continued about our day.
Yngwie who? Yngwie fucking Malmsteen, that's who! (We saw this very phrase on a shirt at the merch booth.)
Flipping his hair and guitar around his neck; kicking his legs high into the air, testing the quality of his skin-tight leather pants; and repeatedly dropping to one knee as he put his guitars strings to the test, Malmsteen and his band kept his fans' hands high in the air as they bobbed their heads to heavy metal for nearly two hours Tuesday night at House of Blues.
He even performed the Star Spangled Banner in such a way that anyone who might have forgotten how bad-ass American is was given a reminder.
The crowd was sparse but enthusiastic, but they were clearly in attendance to see Malmsteen. The rest of the band, while extremely talented, were not the focal point of the evening.
Near the end of the show, the lead vocalist seemed to get a bit upset with fans. "Can we slow it down a bit?" he asked the crowd. "I want to play you something soft and melodic." But fans couldn't have cared less what he wanted and instead began to shout for Malmsteen, who had just walked offstage after a five-minute solo.
The vocalist pleaded with the crowd, but they didn't budge, and he eventually walked offstage as Malmsteen reappeared. The band went ahead and played a softer song next, after Malmsteen had placated the crowd with his skill, but we couldn't help but wonder why the crowd had been so uncooperative with the singer.
Malmsteen and crew performed for nearly two hours, including an encore, and it seemed like the least fans could have done was give Malmsteen a break while humoring his band's vocalist. We know that music is an industry driven by consumer demand and that it's important to give fans what they want and paid for, but sheesh...was five minutes too much to ask?
To the crowd's credit though, the singer's banter didn't quite fit with the Malmsteen's persona and image. Near the end of the show, Malmsteen completely took over, performing a bluesy ballad, in which he was the lead vocalist. On top of being one of the most amazing guitarists we've ever had the pleasure of hearing perform, the dude's also got some pipes on him. By far, the blues reinterpretation was our favorite part of the evening.
We left House of Blues, barely able to hear ourselves think. And the day after, nothing has improved. We called a friend of ours, a doctor, explained to him what had happened, and he simply told us, "Well, it sounds like you were at one hell of a concert."
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Personal Bias: We've attended a lot of '80s-era metal shows lately, so we figured...why not?
Overheard in the Crowd: "It needs to sound like a BLT sandwich, not a bacon sandwich with fixins."
Random Notebook Dump: At one point during the evening, while trying to break a chicken wing in half, we accidentally flung hot sauce into our eyes. And yes, it was just as awful as you can imagine.