On an extremely hot and humid summer Tuesday, The Reaching Into Infinity World Tour by DragonForce, arrived at Washington DC. This show certainly delivered with one of the most intense & intimate shows I had ever witnessed! We had recently reviewed ‘Reaching Into Infinity’, the latest album of DragonForce that hit the shelves during mid May (read review here). This was the first time I had attended a show at Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC, and I did not really know what to expect of the venue. Well, I have been to a lot of concerts of big bands, and let me tell you, for the crowd in the front rows, a concert cannot get any more intimate. The tiny stage at the venue means that you can nearly touch the band members with your nose. I had to literally lean backwards with my camera glued to my eye to make sure that my camera does not end up touching the guitars, or worse I get hit by the guitars. Just take a look at the photographs and you will see that even with my wide angle lens, I could barely get the musicians in the frame. These are the kind of shows in which I depend upon the kindness of metalheads attending the concerts to give me 5 minutes in a good spot to get the photographs, and then I move out of the way. It would have been damn near impossible to photograph this event, without the kindness and help of front row crowd. If you were one of the guys who helped me get the photographs, a big shout out to you, thank you for all the help, Metal Nexus & I really appreciate it!
The lineup of this show was short, just DragonForce and Once Human, with Once Human starting the night. Once Human is a band featuring ex Machine Head and Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader and Australian vocalist Lauren Hart. Last year we had covered them in our State of The Art series. They have released the debut album ‘Evolution’ which got excellent reviews from the critics. I will not claim to be the most qualified person to judge the delivery of harsh vocals by Lauren Hart, especially with my ear plugs shoved inside my ears. The multiple times Lauren Hart addressed the band, it became quite clear to me that she could be an excellent vocalist singing clean vocals as well. I can tell with certainty that the crowd had a great time and thoroughly soaked in the performance. Once Human certainly had a good number of fans in the crowd. Logan Mader pulled off multiple jumps on the tiny stage during the short set. The band ended the performance by covering “Davidian” by Machine Head, a song that was co-written by Logan Mader. An energetic show overall, perfectly paving the way for DragonForce. Well played Once Human!
As soon as the lights went out before DragonForce took the stage, the front rows suddenly got a lot more tightly packed. DragonForce wasted no time in setting the tempo with a blistering performance of “Ashes of The Dawn”. The soaring vocals of Marc Hudson, and the impeccable blazing fast guitar work by Herman Li and Sam Totman in “Ashes of The Dawn” is one of the finest examples of the strengths of DragonForce, and the performance was spot on album quality stuff. The recent album ‘Reaching Into Infinity’ has got mixed reviews (guess what was our assessment, or check out our review here ?), with many praising the ambitious exploration of new ideas and detractors blasting the band for the same. Personally, I love bands that experiment to a certain degree, and I could not be happier with the results from ‘Reaching Into Infinity’. “Ashes of the Dawn”, IMHO, is the standout track of the latest album. The tracks “Seasons” “Judgement Day”, “Hero of Our Time” (don’t recall the order) followed the opening track, and the performance of every single one of these songs was without any blemish. The interaction of Marc Hudson with the crowd was one of the most pleasing aspects of this super intimate show. One old drunk guy in the front of the stage was causing trouble to the folks around him, and started speaking nonsense to Marc Hudson when he was addressed the crowd after the 3rd song. Marc Hudson thundered, “this is my show dude, get the hell out of here… I thought old people are supposed to be nice”. And then security was called and the heckler was banished for the rest of the night. The kids in the front of the stage, of which a couple of them could not have been more than 10 years old, had a great time watching such a phenomenal band perform up close. The band possibly had a fun time in Washington DC, for they tweeted a photo of a drunken visit to Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol at 3 AM. Hope they come back to the DMV area soon. Check out the reaming 6 dates or so in Northern America if you are close to any of the cities, you will love it! We will be bringing you many more reviews in the days to come, so keep following us. Adios!
There are still some dates left on this tour. Make sure to get out and catch two amazing bands!