Endless Dark had just finished their part in warming up the very moderate number of people already gathered at Amsterdam early on Saturday night when we joined them. The thin crowd expanded somewhat when indie-rock outfit Mammút stepped on stage to do their part. Performing material from their newly-released sophmore album Karkari, Mammút got a very welcome reception. Behind the strength of vocalist Katrína Mogensen, Mammút is an enjoyable live band, and their long-overdue return from a self-imposed hiatus is surely welcomed.
With the stated reason for the night’s show to raise funds for an upcoming tour in support of their last year’s release The Hope, Sign should be pleased with the turnout. When the band appeared on stage, Amsterdam was packed and crowd was ready to rock. For the last year, Sign has quietly been making a name for themselves in international rock circles, courtesy of Kerrang! magazine. The band was recently awarded a spot on an Iron Maiden tribute disk alongside established acts such as Metallica and Machine Head, with a cover of Maiden’s Run to the Hills. The band used this opportunity to debut the song in front of a live audience. A similar Kerrang! release where the band covered Youth Gone Wilde, had previously landed the band a spot on tour with Skid Row.
While this might suggest that the band plays heavy metal the old fashion way, Sign’s music is really power pop, thinly disguised as metal. The Darkness comes to mind. Sing-along choruses with a hard rock edge, written for mass consumption. But none of the above really matters, because onstage Sign look and act the part of bigger-than-life rockstars better than anyone since Mötley Crüe did 20 years ago. I’ve seen them play live about ten times in recent years and everytime I’ve been equally impressed with their stage persona and performance. Their perceived shortage of metal pedigree should not hold this band back as long as they can keep the cool.
Saturday, September 20
Sign proved they are ready, willing and able to rock.