Veil of Maya Brings The Intensity To The Amsterdam


I had do something to help me from feeling as adult as I did after enjoying the Michael Bublé. It honestly scared me how much I loved that show. Maybe it was the comfy seats or the calmness of it but what I read it as was me growing up and that’s something that I swore to myself a long time ago that I would never do (well at least when it comes to shows and what not). So I found a show that would take me back to my roots. I may have seen majority of the bands playing said show a million times before but I just needed to feel that bass and see excited people in a pit. I just needed to feel young again so, there I was, at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul for the Veil of Maya show.

Unfortunately there was a lot of confusion about the start time. With a ticket and Facebook event that said start time at 6 but then an e-mail I got saying a start at 5:30, there weren’t many people there for opening act Cryptodira. With a dramatic intro, the four piece took the stage with no hesitation and instantly reminded me of my roots. Their music was loud and in your face but strayed away from being aggressive which, for an opening act, is kind of nice. Their music and the music to follow was definitely a far fry from the crooning of Michael Bublé so to be eased into it was super refreshing. About half way through their short set, vocalist Scott Acquavella apologized to the quickly growing audience for the stripped down performance. I was so confused. this was stripped down? He went on to explain that he had just gotten out of the hospital a couple of hours prior and literally could not see anything so he couldn’t play guitar. It was impossible to not feel bad for him. Second night of the tour and they were already hitting roadblocks? But, again, had he not said anything, I doubt I would have even batted an eye. Knowing that that wasn’t everything only intrigues me and I truly hope this New York band can find their way back to the Midwest soon!

Following Cryptodira was Strawberry Girls. It had been awhile since I had seen this instrumental trio and the last time I just wasn’t ready to be a fan of instrumental music. I’m just all about the lyrics. Always have been, always will be but I feel like over the years I have warmed up to the idea of instrumental bands so being able to have a second chance to fall in love with this group was amazing. I was instantly captivated by this trio’s interesting rhythms and complicated song structures. Nothing about the music made sense to me but somehow it was all perfect. With a clear beat but one that moved around throughout the set keeping it moving quicker than I would have liked, Strawberry Girls had a set that was perfect for the people coming in “on time”. With very little to say inbetween songs, their set was clearly all about the music just as it should be and, by the end, I had finally come to terms with the idea of loving an instrumental metal band.

That realization of love for this genre that had been elusive in my life came at the perfect time and I was finally able to appreciate Intervals the way all of my friends do. Sure, I’ve seen them before and, like Strawberry Girls, there was never a doubt in my mind about this group’s talent but I just never really got the allure. I let myself go last night and fell into the world that Intervals’ sound and show leads you to and IO honestly never wanted to leave. With an extreme light show that matched the music to a T, Intervals’ set was the first set where the audience was starting to get into it. With a small pit forming in the center of the nearly sold out audience, there was a sense of energy in the small room that even the band couldn’t ignore and commented on a couple of times throughout the set. Like Strawberry Girls, Intervals is an instrumental band but they had a completely different sound. A bit more metal and a bit more in your face, Intervals’ music fit in perfectly after that of Strawberry Girls. Sets were quick last night and I feel like as soon as I started noticing the little nuances of Intervals’ members, they were leaving the stage. Disappointed in myself for not having let myself fall into their world previously, I was beyond thankful to have had another chance and to finally be understanding this world of instrumental metal.

Closing out the already powerful and intense night of music was the one and only Veil of Maya. I have honestly lost count of how many times I have seen this group live but there’s a clear reason why I keep coming back for more. They have a stage show that leans towards aggressive but focuses more on the power aspect of things. From the chugging guitars to the primal growl of vocalist Lukas Magyar there’s no denying the strength behind this band and the individual members. Beyond the perfection of their live show is the way that these guys are constantly grinding. Seriously, if you just look up the amount of past tours they have done it’s truly staggering. To be on such a grind and still have such a perfect live show is something that I have always and will always admire this act for. With six full length albums out in the world, these guys could have easily played for hours on end but their perfectly curated set had to come to an end and, unfortunately, that end was much sooner than I wanted it to be. I may get to see these guys time and time again (and I’m sure I will get another chance in the near future) but that doesn’t make the end of their sets any easier on me. I could have stood there for at least another hour watching these masters of their craft.

From The Dollyrots on Sunday to Michael Bublé on Monday, this week has already been a weird one for me. That being said, it was nice to get back to my metal roots last night as a kind of breather before I conquer the rest of the week.