Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles were curating a new film festival specifically for the rabid genre community: Beyond Fest. With the mad maestro behind Death Waltz Records by their side as c0-promoters, they announced that legendary prog-rock gods Goblin were making their collective stateside debut. If you’re a die hard horrorphile (or just someone with great taste in music), you know how massive of a deal this is. I snatched a pair of VIP tickets without hesitation as soon as they went on sale over the summer, and impatiently endured the long wait till their October show.
A week ago Goblin played a mere 10 feet from my seat, and I’m still in awe. You have to understand, I never imagined in my dreams that I would see Goblin in the flesh. I think it’s safe to say the same could be said of every attendee who packed into the sold out auditorium. It used to be one of those things where I had just accepted I’d continue to be a disciple of their music through multiple rewatches of Dario Argento’s films, and that was ok. So when the time came to make the 5 hour drive from my native Arizona to LA, it didn’t feel real. As Icons co-creator Robg and I made our way into the Egyptian, it still didn’t feel real. Only when Massimo, guitarist & co-founding member, began to sound check his guitar (with beer in-hand, mind you) did fantasy collide into reality.
After a brief meet & greet and signing with all the members, we once again took our seats for the main show. The lights dimmed, and the theater fell silent before unanimously exploding with excitement; after 40 years, Goblin had taken the stage. Each filed in towards their respective instrument ready to shred: Claudio Simonetti on keyboards, Massimo Morante on guitar, Maurizio Guarini on additional keyboards, and newish members Bruno Previtali on bass & Titta Tani on drums.
And shred they did.
Goblin jammed for a good twenty minutes or so just to warm us up, before serenading the crowd with the haunting electronic symphonies that we’ve come to adore. Full sets were given to “Profondo Rosso“, “Roller“, “Suspiria“, “Tenebre“, and “Dawn of the Dead“. Psychedelic footage from Argento’s films adorned the screen above while Goblin preformed, creating an insane atmosphere that resulted in the best possible audio/visual experience imaginable. Hearing Claudio say “witch! witch!” while prompting us to chant the “la, la, la, la, la” crawl that opens SUSPIRIA was as surreal as it was unforgettable. These guys were in rare form, feeding into our exuberance like a famished zombie with its prey in sight. Massimo playfully conducted with his hands, saying “rock forever” while throwing the devil’s horns up. Rock forever, indeed.
Death Waltz Records still has some copies of the tour EP on red vinyl, and I cannot recommend it enough. For now it’s the closest thing to having Goblin in your home, until they grace our shores once more. If you were unable to attend, check out the video our pal Ryan over at Shock Till You Drop shot from Goblin‘s performance below.