Posted 9/22/2013 by cal
It’s hard not to get a little depressed thinking about the precipitous downfall of Milwaukee Metal Fest
. Once upon a time, our town was the unofficial U.S. capitol of metal, and every year we’d get a chance to see performances by all the European masters who would never otherwise set foot in Wisconsin. One such year was 2001, when the burgeoning fest was on the brink of disaster but none of us fans had any inkling of it, and Anathema
played its first U.S. show ever on the heels of its masterpiece of melodramatic ambient prog, Judgement
. The magnitude of the event was lost on me at the time, but from the opening notes of “Airbag” (a brief introductory tease of the Radiohead tune) to the rousing “Comfortably Numb” closer it was one of the most magnificent sets of live music I’d ever experienced. Naturally, the band never managed to build up enough of a following Stateside to justify a tour here, so I assumed my chances of ever seeing Anathema live again were slim, but apparently last year’s excellent Weather Systems
garnered just enough of a response; 23 years into its career, the band launched its first U.S. tour ever. No Milwaukee date obviously, but Reggie’s Rock Club
was a sellout, and justifiably so.