Dutch Symphonic giants, Within Temptation, are currently marching through the North America on The Resist Tour. This run has an international flavor as Sweden’s In Flames and Smash Into Pieces rounded out the three-band bill. Despite a winter storm engulfing Minneapolis, people rolled into the Skyway Theatre for a night of music.
Smash Into Pieces would kick off the evening. The immediate attention getter was drummer The Apocalypse DJ. The figure was dressed in all black with mask that lit up in colored squares. The kit was an electronic Roland V-Drum, which you don’t see very often at a rock show. The band released the album ‘Evolver’ in 2018 and opened the night with “Like This.” Musically they fused a rock vibe with a strong pop sense to create accessible catchy songs. Vocalist Chris Adam Hedman Sorbye lead the band through a short set and interacted with a crowd that was singing right along with him. This was my first encounter with these guys, but clearly they have developed a fan base that was excited to see them. Benjamin Jennebo and Per Bergquist flanked both sides of the singer with guitars and played off the crowd. Some of the other songs they played included “Higher,” “Stronger,” and “Let Me Be Your Superhero.” They put on a good show and ended with the song “Boomerang.”
In Flames has just released ‘I, The Mask’ and opened up their set with the lead track off that album called “Voices.” This band needs no introduction to metal fans around the world. They helped develop Swedish melodic death metal and through thirteen albums have won over legions of fans, many of which, packed the Skyway Theatre. Singer Anders Friden took control and the intensity elevated quickly as the bands sonic assault consumed the theatre. Lead guitarist Bjorn Gelotte was greeted by a tremendous response, as fans couldn’t wait to see him play. The rhythm section consisted of bassist Bryce Paul and drummer Tanner Wayne. Niclas Engelin, rhythm guitarist, was unable to perform on this tour so the band went out a found a ringer, Chris Broderick (Megadeth, Jag Panzer, Nevermore, Act Of Defiance) to fill in. He fitted right in and the only complaint against him, according to Friden, was that he ate too much tuna. He suggested Broderick start a band called Tuna and the crowd quickly broke into a “Tuna” chant.
In Flames managed twelves songs and it was history lesson to bands catalog and legacy. Pulling out songs from ‘Siren Charms’ that included “Everything’s Gone” and “Monsters In The Ballroom” to “Pinball Map” from ‘Clayman’ and “Where Dead Ships Dwell” and “ All For Me” from ‘Sounds Of A Playground Fading.’ Although the band has continued to evolve and shift gears a bit over the past few albums, one thing still remains, In Flames is a beast live and that’s were the magic is found when you talk about them. Vocally Friden still delivers the goods and the new material “(This Is Our) House” and “I Am Above” sounded fantastic. The biggest roar from the crowd came during “Cloud Connected” which sounded as fresh today as it did when it was released back in 2002. Bidding farewell with the fitting song title “The End,” In Flames walked off the stage to a tremendous applause.
Headlining the evening was the powerhouse symphonic outfit Within Temptation. Led by lead singer Sharon den Adel the band maneuvered through a triumphant set that included material form the recent release ‘Resist’ to classics like “Stand My Ground” from ‘The Silent Force’ album released in 2004. Taking the stage with a giant white flag and cloaked in a white coat with a hood, Adel set the table for an aspiring musical performance along with a stimulating visual effect. The new album was the priority early as “Raise Your Banner,” “The Reckoning,” and then “Endless War” opened the show.
The musical force that powered the music was brilliant. The instrumentation was just as chilling as the vocals that danced within it. The band consisted of guitarists Stefan Helleblad and Ruud Jolie. Drummer Mike Coolen along with keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg and Jeroen van Veen on bass. The sound was massive and with the changing backgrounds the show came across like epic journey with Within Temptation guiding you way.
The set included “Paradise (What About Us?),” “In Vain,” and “Supernova.” A couple standouts for me were “Faster” and “In The Middle Of The Night,” both found on ‘The Unforgiving” album. The band concluded the set with “Mother Earth.” I don’t think I could say enough how great Adel’s voice sounded and how grand their material came across. It was a great performance.
The Resist Tour featuring Within Temptation, In Flames, and Smash Into Pieces was a fun night. I enjoyed that each band offered something different and was unique from each other. I’m sure most people were experiencing one or two of these bands for the first time and hopefully discovered something they liked. Check out this tour if it’s coming your way.