Date: October 15th, 2016
Venue: The Classic Grand, Glasgow
Line-up: Stream of Passion + Awake By Design + Splintered Halo
My short hop over the pond to Scotland was a trip I had almost never made, a trip I would have regretted if I hadn’t taken the plunge. Stream of Passion have quickly risen through the ranks of my favourite bands after hearing the beautiful track ‘When You Hurt Me The Most’ from their second album The Flame Within more than 4 years ago. Upon hearing the news that their upcoming UK tour was to be their last shows I quickly brushed away what hesitation I had and quickly went to secure my tickets for the show.
Opening the show were a local band called Splintered Halo. They’ve described their shows as “dramatic and sexually charged crowd pleasing affair that should not be missed” a statement which became quickly apparent when vocalist (and sole named band member) Evilyn came out to the stage in little clothing, exposing her many tattoos, and some sparkly red slippers reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz. Their music was very modern and heavy with little touches of quirkiness thanks to Evilyn’s vocal style which was a mixture of deep growls and child-like lullaby-esque singing. While their performance didn’t quite win me over I could appreciate that they were their own beast and quite proud to forge their own path of unique weirdness.
Next up were Euro metallers Awake by Design, who had been the main supporting band through the tour. The first thing that was instantly noticeable was their overall upbeat and positive energy all throughout their set. Vocalist Adrian Powell took to the stage in a flouncy fur collared jacket which was quickly disposed of once he started moving around the stage encouraging the masses to get on board with the energy. Guitarist Luke Hatton had some serious chops despite his youthful appearance and was backed up nicely by keyboardist Janson Sissions. Their hard rock mixed with heavy metal balladry was admittedly super cheesy but was well played giving an enjoyable set.
Next up were the band of the hour Stream of Passion performing their last ever show in Glasgow, which is also their third last show overall. Despite the saddening news of their breakup the atmosphere from both the band and the crowd were was very positive and excitable. The venue was a very intimate affair with the crowd being able to stand right in front of Marcela and company as they performed. Personally it was a rather bittersweet night as it would be my first and last time getting to see the band play live but I was determined to enjoy it as much as possible.
Opening the night with a pair of tracks from the bands fourth and final album A War of Our Own, ‘Monster’ and the title track, it was clear that we were witnessing something special. This was not a bad breaking up due to any ill-felt arguments or similar such reasons normally cited, instead we were treated to a performance from a band that were proud of what they had achieved in their short career and wanted nothing more than to celebrate that and leave things on their own terms.
Vocalist Marcela Bovio brought out her flying V violin for ‘In the End’ which was also the point where she started to warm to the crowd telling them stories of their years on tour. One story of note was their most recent; when it was revealed that the band had been stopped by the police who informed them that their truck was 800 kg overweight which she then jokingly told us all to buy extra t-shirts before we left to help them out.
Marcela’s vocal performance was simply stunning, she has such a command over her voice whether it’s the soaring choruses or the more subdued and quiet moments it just took control over the crowd. The rest of the band was often buried in a wave of swinging hair with bassist Johan van Stratum and guitarist Stephan Schultz coming across as the most energetic, each snapping guitar strings at some point in the night.
A few songs later and the band play their first cover ‘Street Spirit’ by Radiohead. Marcela tells us about a review she read which disliked the song they were playing but that she didn’t care and that the band enjoyed playing it and that’s all there was too it. It happened similarly again with their cover of Sonata Arctica’s ‘I Have a Right’ which brought a noticeably more upbeat reaction.
With ‘Haunted’ the band had finished up their set and it was time to say their final farewells, or so they thought. No sooner had they left the stage had the crowd began to stomp and chant for more from the band. Greatly humbled by the reaction the band came back out to play one more song to show their appreciation. Final song ‘Lost’ was introduced with a little background behind it, how Marcela wrote it when she made the move from Mexico to the Netherlands. Before hitting the main riff, Stephan broke one of his guitar strings which left Marcela in bewilderment but the problem was swiftly fixed and we were jokingly told to forget that had happened.
It’s sad to see them go but I’m thankful I made the effort to catch this amazing show and give the band a proper send off and best of wishes in their future endeavors.