Sunday morning and it’s time to nibble on second breakfast, rest our sore feet and look back on the last few days of the Weatherstock V Concert series.
I managed to attend The Shades concert on Friday (5th July) which was held at the Stage across from the Prancing Pony Inn. On saturday (6th) I was witness to the extravaganza that was Die Meisterbarden von Bree. Very different bands, totally opposite in style and genre but both equally entertaining, these concerts were so much fun.
The Shades who are a six piece band, from the Laurelin Server, consist of:
Achazia: Composer and plays the flute
Abergar:Composer, Storyteller and plays the theorbo
Eovina: Composer and plays the harp
Aranthalion: Plays the harp
Kosei: Plays the lute, drums and bagpipe
Erihael: Plays the lute
The audience were entertained on a pleasant afternoon for ninety minutes. The music conveying so effortlessly the ambience of LOTRO and Lord of the Rings Lore. They opened with “Afraid of the Dark” I felt this melody conveyed a feeling of hope, a peaceful joy after a passing sadness. Followed by “When Night Falls” a haunting melody about the ending of day.
“The Three Hunters”- A favourite tune of Abergar is a musical tale of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas as they run to try and save Merry and Pippin who have been captured by Orcs. The strumming rhythm of the lutes conveying the regular footfalls of our three heros.
The audience hushed as Lady Eovina began to sing “The Fire Inside”, beautiful, yet sad and happy at the same time. I think this is a romantic song. We were further treated to a new composition by Achazia, The Dance of Doriath. A song inspired by the first meeting of Beren and Luthien Tinuviel.
Abergar throughout the performance gave the audience a little bit of information about each melody or song, setting the scene so beautifully for our imaginations to wander while the musicians played on.
The musical journey didn’t stop there as the songs continued through another hour taking us through times past and distant lands. Eovina’s Butterfly composition was played with a delicate beauty evoking a wonder of nature. Amon Sul which I find has a catchy chorus, was an aptly themed song in light of our location on the 20th July.
I particularly enjoyed the Shire themed songs “Little Delving”, “The Shire” and “Washed Feet” (I have very clean feet!). I thought they were by far the best songs of the evening, but I have to admit I am a teeny-weeny bit biased!
The afternoon drew to a close with “The Last Dance” but with shouts of ENCORE! echoing throughout Bree Town, we were treated to a final number entitled “The Blackguard’s Kiss” A shocking recounting of a Dwarf who kisses an Elven Princess and is pursued by her displeased Father. After this the audience continued to demand more! The Shades played the night in with another final song: “The Wrath of Winter” with a dedication to all the beautiful women in the audience, which included Floradine and Myself! Fireworks, cheers and applause ended a wonderful evening.
Finding a winner of Weatherstock this year is not going to be an easy task.
What prompted you to start a band?
The Shades started November 2007. It was right after the book 9 “shores of Evendim” Update, when the multisync music system were introduced. We decided to create a band and we called the band The Shades.
The founder was myself and Abergar. In 2008: Eovina, Semjase and Kosei joined, and in 2010 our last member Erihael joined. We have had several band members during the years. Eovina, Abergar, Semjase, Kosei, Erihael is the ones I consider as key members, and that have been loyal to the band in thick and thin and that are the present members in The Shades today.
How did you decide what to call the band?
The name was more or less based on our Kinship name “The Shadows”, we thought it would be fun to have some kind of connection, but also because “The Shadows” band name has been used before of someone less important of course
Do you compose or transcribe your own music? How about original music?
We were first noticed when I manage to transcribe “The Bard song” of Blind Guardian in 2007, it was not so many good transcriber-programs at that time, so I remember I was pulling my hair to get it right in the ABC code, I also had to play the solo-part from scratch on my keyboard, so it was a song I worked on for nearly a week. I did publish the song, besides some Beowulf songs. Suddenly I could hear the songs in every corner’s on the server, which for me was quite amazing and flattering.
We suddenly understood that the music-system in Lotro was something quite unique, and it was definitely more people interesting in the music system than ourselves. I took the chance to transcribe some of my original songs: “Storm”, “My dream” and “Nightingale”. I do think this was quite unique at that time, and we got a lot of attention. There were few bands that did multisynced music with original songs back then.
Well we play original music ONLY, and we write the lyrics ourselves. We are very consistent in what we do, that is why I think people like us still. There will be no surprises from the Shades. The Shades contains of many music-minded people. We have musicians along and composers. So is not all about Achazia. But also about Abergar, Eovina, Erihael, Kosei and Semjase! If it wasn’t for them Shades would be history I think.
What genre does your band like to play the most?
The music is more or less the same as I think people appreciate the Ballade/Melancoly apperance around us. But of course we always work on doing things better and more exciting, we won’t stay status quo.
Our last concert we had in our homesteads in Langdell. Our theme was Lady of the Golden wood. It was a musical about Galadriel. We worked on something new again, changing the Garden items outside. To create different backdrops to the Story. So we had Abergar as narrator. Actors. Original Music. + Lyrics to the song. We used months to practice that. So it should explain why our concerts are seldom hosted.
Do you regularly hold public concerts? And if so, when and where?
We have had one or two concert pr year. This is to make them a little exclusive, and we do not want people to go sick and tired of us
The Shades have done several concerts. There is one concert we do remember very well, it was in Bree Festival ground June 15, 2008. The Concert format we had was also something new, we had along Mugendo (in-game friend) that told stories between the song. We also worked a lot on details like dance coordination, firebreath in sync and smoke rings in sync.
It was a solemn moment when Satine our Community Manager in Europe dropped by as in-game character and held a speech for us and gave us gift. We all truly felt like rock-stars at that moment.
From there we got many request playing on birthday, weddings, even funerals, kin events. We even played in Ettenmoors on a wedding and the audience got slayed by a horde of Creeps one hour later. Funny enough The Shades was left alone. So I sort of got a feeling how it must have been to play on a sinking ship
We have had eight concerts all in all. One concert a friend taped in all it’s length, unfortunately I am not able to find it anymore. But I have a short version here:
Do you perform with a band outfit? If so, how did you decide what to wear?
Well we started to perform in black and white at our first concert in 2008, so this color have always followed us until today. I think as we are the Shades and play songs whitin the melancoly genre, we thought soft/moody color would be nice
What is your favorite part of performing music?
Meeting new people, being able to show our music, getting feedback and lots of cheering. We love everyone that takes the time to listen to us. Means more than anything!
If you could say one thing to encourage others to start playing music, what would it be?
Do it! Dont hesitate. Life is to short to use energy on ponder what to do or not! Music is one of the fundemental values of a human beeing, we are a musical minded creatures. I believe everyone has talent for something within music. So if your interest and lust is there, everything is possible..
The music of The Shades can be found on Achazia’s UTube Channel
Part 2. of this article featuring: Die Meisterbarden Von Bree will follow shortly.