Last night was quite fun. After quite a long time, an interesting band decided to hold the concert in Belgrade - <a href="http://www.painofsalvation.com/POSdotcom/enter.html">Pain of Salvation</a>. Since we don't get many progressive bands playing here, I just had to go.
They were promoting their new album, but I've mostly listened to their older stuff (and liked them, of course). In addition they had an opening group called <a href="http://www.vonhertzenbrothers.com/">Von Hertzen Brothers</a> (also a progressive metal band).
There were some organizational problems (as with every concert in Serbia), like venue being changed, no proper official announcements, and concert being marked to start at 20:00, but being late 30-45 minutes, but ''c'est la vie''.
I must say that I've had some great time. I came mainly for Pain of Salvation, but Von Hertzen Brothers were great as well. In a way I even preferred the way they performed on stage since it was a bit more raw, with less bells and whistles etc. The singer was quite active, jumping up and down from stage to where the crowd was. Not many people were there at a time, though (most have come for PoS). I was particularly impressed by their drummer who had a number of great solos (a big bald fellow with a big beard).
Later on came the Pain of Salvation, and it was a fantastic experience as well. They played some of the newer songs, but I think I prefer their older style where they were much more progressive. New songs seem to be a bit too commercial for my taste. Lots of chicks liked it, though ;)
At some point Pain of Salvation had some technical problems, so their drummer had to take over as well, and threw a hell of a solo. Really impressive. In the end they left the stage, only to be cheered for to return for an encore, which they did (after some longer persuasion :). They played another quite fast song, and the crowd wanted more, so the singer had everyone in the concert hall sit down, and sang <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_%28Leonard_Cohen_song%29">Hallelujah</a> by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Cohen">Leonard Cohen</a>. It was a nice way to top off the evening, and afterwards most people dispersed to their homes.
We wanted to go out to some clubs afterwards instead, and after two tries (first one failed due to ticket price, the second due to being a "Karaoke Rock" night - which didn't sound quite well from the outside ;), we settled in a third spot called <a href="http://www.kuglas.com/">Kuglaš</a>. There was a quite good blues band playing there (''Don Giovani & Friends''), although we missed most of the gig.
I've made some photos of the concerts and uploaded them to the gallery <a href="/v/serbia/pos/">here</a>. Unfortunately, the audio on video clips is not so good (made with my new Nexus S telephone).
All in all, great night out. I hope that more similar bands will come by to Serbia.