Pictures can show you what an event looked like. Recordings can tell you what it sounded like. But nothing short of being there can express how it felt.
That was especially the case when European neofolk trio Heilung performed at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently.
Heilung tapped into the deepest primal parts of humanity on Jan. 22, and it’s not hard to see why people have been turning the experience into a religion. Guttural growls combined with ethereal howls, and drums synced 2,000 heartbeats together.
With iron age authenticity a main premise, Heilung used skins, bones, and horns as instruments. Swords and spears provided additional noise, creating an all encompassing assault of sound. The Renne faire and cosplay crowds were out in full force at The Fillmore, their bearers fantasizing about another time in what seems like another world. Maybe they have to ignore the raping and pillaging, but at least the Vikings were relatively feminist.
Heiling played roughly 11 sweeping, majestic tracks, dedicating more than half the show to Futha, the band’s third studio album, released in 2019 via Season of Mist.
Stream Futha by Heilung on Spotify:
In addition to the core members of the band, there were backing vocalists and drummers. There was also a troop of warriors who performed various rituals throughout the show. Cleansing the stage before and after a performance may not be standard fare, but after the closing number with its nearly orgiastic dancing, it seemed necessary.
Heiling visited The Fillmore Silver Spring on the band’s first-ever North American tour. Within 72 hours of ticket sales going live, every venue that was originally announced had completely sold out.
Of the tour, Heilung commented: “Heilung is proud to announce our first tour in North America. Like our forefathers 1,000 years ago, we will cross the ocean and set foot on the land they called Vinland.”
Here are some pictures of Heiling performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Jan. 22, 2020. All photos copyright and courtesy of Katherine Gaines.