In This Moment has been touring non-stop since their release ‘Ritual’ back in 2017. They have become one of rocks most theatrical bands and they brought their elaborate stage show to the Verizon Civic Center in Mankato, Minnesota and members of the Blood Legion were there to greet them. It was a great touring package as Sevendust, Light The Torch, and Hyde also took the stage.
Hyde is best known as the vocalist for L’Arc-en-Ciel and Vamps. He is one of Japan’s most prolific artists and it’s been thirteen years since he has toured the U.S. The band was all masked and Hyde’s mask covered half his face until pulling it off during the third song. His eyes glowed which gave the singer an ominous presence. I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs but they sounded great. Hyde commanded the stage and the songs were catchy and his energy was high. There was steadfast group of fans that were singing every word of the songs and I thought for the people, like me, who were seeing and hearing Hyde for the first time were quite impressed.
The Howard Jones led Light The Torch was next. Still riding on the album ‘Revival’ which was released in 2018, they opened with “The Bitter End.” The rest of the band is made up of guitarist Francesco Artusato, bassist Ryan Wombacher, and drummer Mike Sciulara. The musicianship was tight and they put out a monstrous sound. The energy of Jones throughout the set was impressive. There were not many moments that he stood still as he worked the entire stage trying to get the crowed involved. He sounded great and songs like ‘Safety Of Disbelief,” “The Sound Of Violence,” and “The God I Deserve” were fantastic. This is the second time catching these guys and they haven’t disappointed me yet.
Watching Sevendust was like seeing Mike Tyson in his prime. There wasn’t a lot of finesse, dancing around, or patient jabbing. He walked into the ring to knock you out, and do it in rapid fashion. That’s what Sevendust does. They hit the stage with a devastating intensity and proceed to throw musical haymakers at the crowd. From the moment they cranked into the opener “Black” they had the crowd in the palm of their hand. The band has been battering stages for over two decades and it was great to see that desire and passion is still burning. Vocalist Lajon Witherspoon, the axe of attack of John Connolly and Clint Lowery and a rhythm section of Vince Hornsby on bass and drummer Morgan Rose, rounded out the lineup that was tight and hit with consistent precision. They cruised through some great songs like “Denial,” “Waffle,” and “Bitch” and the crowd fed off their intensity. They released ‘All I See Is War’ in 2018 and continue to earn the respect of long time loyal and fans and gain new ones with each performance.
In This Moment is headlining this tour and has changed up some of the presentations and stage set-up. They have taking a page from Alice Cooper’s book and welcomed fans to their nightmare. The show revolves around powerhouse singer Maria Brink as she continues to showcase an incredible voice every night. Her stage presence embraces the crowd and it’s hard to take your eyes off her. The heavy sonic assault that provides the soundtrack for Brink’s voice were provided by guitarists Chris Howorth and Randy Weitzel, drummer Kent Diimmel and Travis Johnson on bass.
There is nothing quite like going to a live concert. For the performers there is always a certain amount of risk walking on the stage as things can go wrong at any moment. This was on of those shows where things began to derail around the band and it began before the show even started. Problems delayed the show for a half hour and when they took the stage some of the stage pieces began to falter and it pecked away at the delivery of the show. They pushed through the set but I felt it was probably a relief to get through this one by the band members.
The set was made up with a familiar cast of characters. Songs included were “River Of Fire,” “Roots,” Adrenalize,” and “Blood.” What caught me off guard was the amount of covers. The show opened with “Fly Like An Eagle,” a Steve Miller Band song, and later they played “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and “In The Air Tonight” originally done by Phil Collins. The last one, I expected, as they recorded that song and have played it in the past. The other two seemed odd although I appreciated how they put their own spin on them. The band has such a great catalog of music that I would love to seem them reach back to those earlier records and pull out “Beautiful Tragedy” or “The Gun Show” as opposed to doing someone else’s songs. The set came to a close with “Whore” and it still gets a massive response every time it is played.
The transformation from the ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ album to the ‘Ritual’ release in both look and sound has been huge for In This Moment. There will always be push back against bands evolving and changing and In This Moment has experienced that but continue on an upward trajectory. With new music coming this year I would suspect the band will be awfully busy the rest of the year. Despite a slightly off night in Mankato, they still continue to be a band I will always go see. The beautiful thing about this genre of music, call it metal, rock, alternative, or metalcore is there is room for everybody. If you looking for a straight-up stripped down rock show with only a set of drums and amplifiers on the stage, there are plenty of bands to see. If you want a stage show with bands in make-up, there are plenty to choose as well. InThis Moment still puts on one of the must see theatrical rock shows out there and if you haven’t experienced a show yet, go catch one and see for yourself.