Tour Reviews



KAMELOT, DELAIN, BATTLE BEAST In Silver Spring, MD [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

 

The North American Tour by American power metal band Kamelot came to the Washington DC/Baltimore area recently. This is a tour I really wanted to cover as I am a big symphonic metal fan, and I had not seen  opening act Delain as of yet. On top of that one of the supporting bands was Battle Beast, who I had covered last year when they were supporting Sabaton. The recent album released by Kamelot, ‘The Shadow Theory’, has been very well received by fans and critics alike. Check out our recent review of the album (read here). Let me dive in to the review now, you can check out the photographs at the bottom of the page.

Battle Beast was the first band of the night. If you recall, Battle Beast first captured worldwide attention as the winner of Wacken Metal Battle some years back. They have made big strides over the years since, with the last release ‘Bringer of Pain’ being quite a success. As soon as the lights went out, a drum solo by Pyry Vikki started then proceedings with the lead singer Noora Louhimo bursting in to “Straight to the Heart” followed by “Bringer of Pain”. The lack of a local opening act meant that Battle Beast had a relatively longer setlist including eight songs, and I am not complaining about it at all, bring on more Battle Beast! However, if I recall correctly it was the exact same set list they played last year, and in the same order as well. I would have really liked to see some changes. On the other hand, this was a superior performance compared to the last one, a clear sign of the progress the band has made. The band is a joy to photograph, their energy on stage is simply phenomenal. An energetic performance by Noora Louhimo, with powerful yet melodic vocals, was well backed by the other band members. A fantastic start to the night, and Battle Beast left the stage to a resounding applause from the crowd. We have heard that the band is working on the upcoming album which will be released next year. Well, we can’t wait for that!

Dutch symphonic metal band Delain delivered a set that lasted close to an hour. This would be my first time seeing Delain. The set started with a drum solo, and soon after Charlotte Wessels wasted no time in setting the mood with “Hands of Gold” and “Suckerpunch”. Meren Bechtold was amazing on the guitar. The crowd enthusiastically sang with Charlotte Wessels pretty much throughout the set, and her stage persona lends very well to the kind of music the band plays. Delain wrapped up their set “We Are The Others”, one of my favorite songs by the band. They are in the process of writing a new album, which will be released sometime next year. Charlotte Wessels mentioned that they have been trying to do a US tour every year for the last few years. We will be eagerly waiting for the album and the tour next year.

Kamelot took the stage after a half hour long break after Delain’s set. They started their performance with “Phantom Divine”, the opening track from ‘The Shadow Theory’. The lighting, stage setup and the music generated quite a mood enhancing environment, a stark contrast to that of Battle Beat and Delain. Tommy Karevik took command of the stage and belted out the lyrics amidst his energetic antics on stage. Thomas Youngblood initially stayed near the sides of the stage, letting the other band members take control of the stage. Once the set progressed, he took center stage and blasted out some riffs. Lauren Hart, the vocalist of the death metal band Once Human, provided vocal support with some amazing screams and growls. Kamelot closed their set with “Liar Liar”, possibly their most popular song. The crowd was a happy bunch. I highly recommend this show. The stark differences between the styles of music played by the bands, yet bonded by the melody in the music, lends very well to this show being a resounding success. I have always been a huge fan of tours with bands that herald distinct styles, and this was one of the prime examples of that. Tons of dates are still left, so check out when they are heading your way.

INGESTED Decimated The UK With Headline ‘The Level Above Human’ Tour and America, You’re Next! [Photo Gallery]

The past few weeks saw the mighty kings of slam Ingested bring a full on aural assault across the UK on their headlining tour, giving it’s homeland fans what they have been waiting over 3 years for… a first glimpse at their upcoming 4th album and debut on Unique Leader records ‘The Level Above Human’*! In support of this career-defining album, their headline tour kicked off across various UK venues alongside the best in the UK metal scene, including Osiah, Abhorrent Decimation and Harbinger.

Now, the Mancunian death metal titans are in pursuit of global domination, bringing this game-changer of an album to 4 headline shows across Mexico, then North America with Bodysnatcher and Signs Of The Swarm. And then will embark on a ferocious stint at this years “Devastation On The Nation” tour alongside Aborted, Psycroptic, Disentomb, Arkaik, Vale of Pnath and more, including fellow brits Venom Prison who are embarking on their first ever North America tour! You do not want to miss this!

We caught up with Ingested at the sold-out London album launch show, which coincided with the first ever (and annual) Tone MGMT/Embedded Promotions showcase, at the club/venue Birthdays in Dalston, with the action taking place in the 200 capacity basement for a whole day of in-your-face brutality. Featuring the very best up-and-coming and rising artists across the spectrum of the UK death and tech metal scenes right now, the line-up was stacked with 8 bands as supports who are all causing a stir up and down the country, and should definitely be on your radar!

Here’s the low down! Continue reading

SHINEDOWN Rocks Out In Riverside, California! [Review & Photo Gallery]

Shinedown

Shinedown played a special show at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium on Thursday, April 12, presented by KCAL 96.7! Fans young and old, from near and far, gathered for an awesome night of music from one of rock’s heaviest hitters! Joining Shinedown for this performance, as well as a few other dates on the tour, was Savage After Midnight, who warmed the crowd up perfectly.

Shinedown

Even before Shinedown took the stage, screams echoed in the loud auditorium, the fans eagerly awaiting the band’s arrival on stage. One thing that can be said about Shinedown’s fans is that they’re dedicated. There were two fans from Arizona, who were following the band to attend a few of the west coast dates. Their loyalty did not go unnoticed, as they walked away with a few mementos. The audience packed into the spacious venue, and sang all of the lyrics back to Brent Smith. It was obvious this is a band that truly appreciates their fans.

Shinedown

They were completely amped up for their performance, which started out strong with “The Sound of Madness.” A steady energy filled the room, as the band moved through their set, the crowd getting more enthusiastic with each song. Shinedown fed off of the energy of the audience, and gave their all throughout the entire performance. The band was energetic including constant movement around the stage and bassist Eric Bass was seen constantly jumping around while still hitting each note perfectly. They played favorites including “Bully,” “Enemies,” and “Unity.” The lights dimmed and there was a brief few moments of silence, then the spotlight shinned down on guitarist Zach Myers as he played the opening riff to “45” and immediately the silence was interrupted with applause for one of the bands biggest hits. Fans from front to back sang along, and Brent allowing them a few times to finish the chorus holding the mic out towards the crowd.

Shinedown

Shinedown is set to release their latest studio album, ‘Attention Attention’, on May 4, 2018, and treated fans to one of the new songs, closing with “Devil.” Later this year, the band is also set to tour with rock and metal vets, Five Finger Death Punch, Starset and Bad Wolves followed by a tour with the mighty Godsmack, and will also be making festival appearances at Fort Rock, Carolina Rebellion, and Aftershock,  Shinedown is still going strong, and continue to prove that they aren’t going anywhere any time soon!

 

 

JINJER & UNCURED Bring Heaviness To Baltimore After CRADLE OF FILTH Cancels [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Last Friday evening I found myself traveling to Baltimore to cover Cradle of Filth’s Cryptorania World Tour, supported by Jinjer and Uncured. The doors opened a little late, and then at the very last minute Cradle of Filth cancelled their performance as Dani Filth had to be admitted to a local hospital due to some health issues. Chaos reigned supreme as soon as the news broke out. The disappointment of much of the crowd was palpable and many left the entry line to get into the immediately to head down to the nearest waterfront bars to douse their grief and sorrows of a ruined Friday evening. Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is a superlative piece of work, IMHO one of the best metal releases from last year, so nonetheless it was really dissappointing that I wouldn’t be able to experience Cradle Of Filth live on stage on this night. However, Jinjer and Uncured with little time to prepare decided to play extended sets in an effort to entertain the crowd and thus the night wouldn’t be a total waste.

 

Uncured, a progressive death metal quartet from New York City, was the first band of the night. I was very happy to hear them play a slightly longer set. Last year I had covered the very first show these young lads played as a band, when they had opened for Katatonia in the iconic 9:30 Club in Washington DC. (See that review here) On that occasion, the band was a largely an unknown entity to the crowd, having released their EP ‘Medusa’ only days before the show in DC. Well, much has changed since that show. These guys have been constantly on tour supporting bigger bands like Children of Bodom and Soulfly since that show, and have seen a remarkable growth in their fan base. The growing confidence clearly shows in their stage presence and interactions with the crowd. The Cox brothers delivered the harsh vocals and riffs with aplomb, and bassist Jon Kita kept the energy on the stage without the ebb. Their show is always a welcomes site to see and hear, their intrinsic riffage and heavy groove is always a great kick start to any show. They have been working as a supporting band, but with their talents increasing I could see this band headlining shows in the near future. I spoke with the band’s bassist Jon Kita after the show and he made mention about some upcoming releases in the near future. Additionally, they are set to play in some large festivals in Europe this summer, no mean feat given how young the band and it’s members are. Keep up the good work guys, we can’t wait for some new stuff!

Jinjer, a metalcore band from Ukraine, played an extended set consisting of thirteen songs. Jinjer’s style is a cornucopia of metalcore, progressive metal and nu metal. The main attraction of the set was the performance of vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk who screamed and growled through the set. The stage presence of Tatiana was impeccable, with the rest of the band playing second fiddle to her relentless energy.  I had no familiarity with Jinjer’s music prior to this show and have listened to ‘Cloud Factory’ and ‘King of Everything’ a few times since then. Their sound is unique and implements a ton of groove which bodes well with Tatiana’s complex vocal range which goes from incredible low harsh tones to a beautiful and melodic singing. The crowd had tons of Jinjer fans, and they made those die hard fans very happy with their performance.

It sure was disappointing not to be able to see Cradle Of Filth. I am sure cancelling a show is a last resort for them, and we certainly wish Dani Filth to get well soon. As per the supporting bands, the tour vehicle of Cradle Of Filth broke down the night before on the way to Baltimore from Pennsylvania and the band had to move everything to Baltimore by hiring a U-Haul truck. One can’t blame anyone for this unforeseen sequence of events. The rest of the lineup did their best to make up for it. While Jinjer had the better stage presence with Tatiana’s remarkable talents on vocals and her limitless energy on stage, Uncured delivered the more intense set.  Cradle Of Filth is back on the road, with plenty of shows still left. Catch them if and when you get a chance. Signing off now, until the next review!

 

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown And The Cold Stares In Whitesburg, KY [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown

 

Rock and Roll returned to Whitesburg, Kentucky and the Appalshop! Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown along with The Cold Stares reminded everyone in attendance what rock and roll was supposed to sound like and that it’s supposed to be played very very loudly!! You know that saying “If it’s too loud, you’re too old”? There was a wide range of ages represented in this audience, not one person left!

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Live Review : SEPULTURA ‘Machine Messiah’ In London, UK! [Photo Gallery]

Arriving a half hour early to any gig is perhaps not the best idea, especially when it is freezing cold with snow in the air, but I wasn’t the only one keen to get into Londons iconic Koko in Camden town ahead of tonight’s monumental performance. On their headlining tour in support of their record ‘Machine Messiah’ that just so happens to coincide with vocalist Derrick Green marking 20 years with the band, the mighty Brazilian legends Sepultura. There was a decent crowd joining me already and the vocal topic of choice was the Cannibal Corpse gig happening right around the corner, but we were all in agreement that tonight’s line-up of Fit For An Autopsy, Goatwhore and Obscura as supports was far too appealing.

Londons Koko is perhaps one of the most beautiful venues I have been too. Formerly one of the largest theatres outside of Londons West End, the venue itself boasts numerous viewing platforms with many touches celebrating its mixed and magical past as a theatre, cinema and now as a dedicated music venue. Inside the lights were already dim with the stage illuminated red and blue spotlights gleaming across the lower floor. Many fans rushed to the pit barrier to claim their front row spot for the evening and within about 10 minutes the 2000+ capacity venue was already looking full. Continue reading

JUDAS PRIEST & SAXON Bring British Heavy Metal To D.C. [Review & Photo Gallery]

Judas Priest

 

The Firepower tour of heavy metal pioneers Judas Priest rolled in to Washington DC last night to deliver a fiery dose of turbocharged New Wave of British heavy Metal in a sold out concert at The Anthem, the newest and hands down the glitziest concert venue in Washington DC. On support duty were New Wave of British Heavy Metal stalwarts, Saxon and Black Star Riders, a band comprising of multiple ex-Thin Lizzy members. Last year many had predicted that the Washington DC show to get sold out quickly, and that it exactly how it turned out. Enough with the prelude, its about time we dive into the review. Continue reading

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, EVERY TIME I DIE, Dominate Sold Out Show In Lexington [Review & Photo Gallery]

Motionless In White

 

It’s March in the Bluegrass which means everyone in the region has basketball on their minds. Although the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team is playing (which I listened to on the 2 hour drive north to Lexington) this day was about music. Not just any kind of music – Metal! Not just any normal volume – Very Loud! Continue reading

HARM’S WAY At “Gilman” In Berkeley, CA With QUEENSWAY, VEIN, & RINGWORM [Review & Photo Gallery]

Last Friday night (March 9th) I attended the Harm’s Way show at the Alternative Music Foundation in Berkeley, CA. The “Gilman,” as it is locally referred to because of its Gilman Street address, is a small, historical punk/hardcore venue that has hosted countless significant names in music for over the last thirty years. Groundbreaking and trendsetting acts that have gone on to receive huge notoriety or commercial success have roots that trace all the way back to early career performances there. Monumental names such as Green Day, The Offspring, AFI, Bad Religion, and Operation Ivy have all graced the Gilman stage at one time or another. Last Friday night, however, providing the metal-infused, adrenaline-fueled energy to lead today’s current generation of hardcore music was Chicago’s own Harm’s Way. Continue reading

SABATON, KREATOR & CYHRA Dominate Silver Spring, MD [Review & Photo Gallery]

Kreator

Sabaton, Kreator and Cyhra recently kicked off their North American tour and finally it reached the Washington DC/Baltimore area last Wednesday night.  This show in Silver Spring was one of the last ones of the North American tour, the wait was grueling. This is a tour I have been waiting to cover for a while, firstly because I am a huge fan of both bands, and secondly Sabaton is a great band to photograph.  I haven’t attended any show since Trans Siberian Orchestra in November, so I was extremely excited to be surrounded by metal heads. Let me dive into the review now, you can check out the photo gallery at the bottom of the page. 

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