When do you strike it out on your own? That question applies for entrepreneurial-minded people in any industry, really, especially those who don’t enjoy living under a boss, rules that aren’t their own, and all that. Conversely, when you’re under the tutelage of another, let’s focus on bands now, you can pick up on what works and what doesn’t work. Xandria may have jumped the gun too soon with this headlining endeavor for one reason.
Xandria’s opening bands were terrible!
Eschewing the usual format, I’ll summarize the bands, continue my rant, then conclude with a review of Xandria.
Crappy opening bands
The first band Vesuvian were the single least-practiced band I’ve seen at least since I started writing reviews. They’re a local band so they’re not Xandria’s fault, though hearing one or two of their songs should have been enough for them to throw them out. What Thou Wilt, after warming up, were passable and with some practice could be decent. Once Human were below average metalcore. Kobra & The Lotus were below average symphonic metal.
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ [0/5]
Striking it out on your own (being the headliner) means being your own boss.
Most people don’t actually like running the whole show. You own all responsibility. If anything fails, it’s on you. You can’t turn to someone else for blame or advice. My consulting business required me to be legal and advertising and the workforce and I only gave it up because there’s more potential for me in writing than running a meager business. I’ll let employers handle all that so I can just clock in, do the work, clock out, and use my remaining effort for writing.
That’s also the difference between being an opener (employee) and headliner (employer).
The headliner manages the quality. How well do these bands (employees) represent you with fans (clients)? How is audience reception? It’s easy to find people that will temporarily join you (bands on a tour or employees for your department) if you’re handling everything. Getting the right people in also involves figuring out when they’re not a good fit, canning them, and finding better people. A bad employee will bring down your department and a bad department can bring down your company.
One bad band will kill the momentum of the night, let alone four crappy bands. The crowd kept thinning. There might’ve been less than one hundred people in the venue during Xandria’s set. I’ve never seen Studio Seven that empty!
Their biggest strength is not relying entirely on their classical soprano singer. It’s easy finding a solid musician and building a band around them so it was nice that the backing band had moments to shine. As a good enough band with some catchy songs, they were a decent though forgettable opening act for Sonata Arctica, and have potential. They just need touring experience with bigger bands and find better opening bands before headlining again.
Swag: Considered, then no
Bias: Enjoyed newest album
Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]
Good, if you can’t see Nightwish instead.