When I was sent an invite to cover Nerd Fest 2012 my knee-jerk reaction was to say “no.” I don’t know about any of you, but when I hear the word nerd, I automatically think of horn-rimmed glasses, pocket protectors and buck teeth. However, after finding out Scythia were the headliners my initial negative reaction turned to positive. After all, Scythia, while largely unknown to the masses, are probably the one of the only folk metal bands that I actually like. Instead of cheesy, tacky drinking songs, Scythia play cheesy, tacky songs about quests and bears! In all seriousness, the band is quite good and I have enjoyed their albums immensely. The chance of seeing Scythia live was just to tempting to pass up so I agreed to go.
When I got to the venue, it was a bit of a strange site: Wizards and hobbit like people mingled with other people dressed medievally and viking horns were everywhere I looked. Different odds and ends were on sale and all in all I would say it looked like a Dungeons & Dragons convention-Not too far off from what I expected it to be.
While we went to the festival to primarily cover Scythia we did check out the other acts on the bill. While most were not really my thing, I do have to admit that the majority were quite interesting and were very suitable for the type of crowd that was in attendance. As we arrived about an hour and a half into the festival we missed the opening ceremony, sword fighters and a belly dancer. However we did catch Precious Metal, a burlesque dancer who got a lot of hoots and hollers from the crowd. Following her was D J Roy who did short stand-up comedy act which was quite funny at times. I missed Vesper Sephony, who did light spinning (I have no idea what that is), but did manage to catch the full set of the Whiskydicks-a celtic band who got the crowd moving and a huge round of applause-Not my kind of music, but I can appreciate their talent.
Finally, to end the night off Scythia took the stage and put on a hell of a show. The band was in fine form that night with singer Dave Kahn and Terry Savage acting like madmen and the rest of the band putting on an overall great performance. Morgan Zentner’s performance with the “Oboe of Death” was amazing and drummer Celine Derval did a great job as well.
The band played through a full range of songs from their discography. The highlight for me was hearing the songs come to life in a live setting as the band not only bring a level of theatricals, but the songs are also a lot more exciting as well. While the band’s recorded music is good, it really doesn’t do the band justice as in a live setting. Overall, it was a great night and I look forward to seeing Scythia live again in the future.
For those of you who have not heard the band before, you can stream their music on Bandcamp.
Photos taken by Dai Ishihara.