Fans started lining up at the entrance of the Opera House on Tuesday September 10th 2013 a good four hours before the doors were to open. Inside the venue Kamelot was finishing up their sound check and outside fans were giddy with excitement at hearing snippets of Kamelot songs. The crowd was noticeably younger than most metal shows. At times I felt like I was at a Kamelot-Con as fans tenaciously tried to impress each other with their in-depth knowledge of the band, but their enthusiasm was contagious as I too was eager to see what the band had in store for us.
The German string quartet Eklipse took the stage first. Having had the pleasure of interviewing cellist Helena and violinist Scarlett earlier in the day, I was quite excited to see their set firsthand. It takes time to soak in Eklipse's image as each gorgeous member has a unique image: from Hellena's fluffed up mohawk and red band across the eyes, to Scarlett's ey-patch and Viola's knee length red braid. Their red -lit electronic instruments give a rouge glow that lit the stage.
Scarlett and Miss. E on violins, Helena on cello and Viola on the viola take modern pop songs and interpret them as a string quartet. But the covers they play are transformed and sound more like an epic soundtrack than Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain". A few listeners seemed a bit confused as they tried to comprehend the faintly familiar songs but for the most part fans were gazing at Eklipse in complete awe and responded enthusiastically.
Their set felt a bit short and the ladies didn't seem to really get into their music until their last couple of songs. But metal fans mouthed the lyrics to Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River"and Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)", which proved just how much this band can prosper in the Metal scene.
Delain was up next, starting off with the opening track to their album We Are the Others (2012), "Mother Machine." Bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije, and guitarist Timo Somers headbanged their way through the heavy intro, sporting what looked like leather armour on one arm. Co-founder and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt could not make the tour due to personal reasons but vocalist Charlotte Wessels animated the crowd to fill the void. Delain received an amazing response from fans who knew the lyrics to every song and hung on Wessels' every move.
The energy van der Oije and Somers emit is contagious as they synchronize their headbanging to every song and demand more from the crowd. I've said it before and I'll say it again, synchronized headbanging just looks amazing and even more so when Wessels joined in with them. Delain leans a lot towards a poppier metal sound closely resembling the newer Within Temptation albums. However, they do incorporate some sporadic elements of heavier metal such as a few seconds of growls on the third song of the night, "Virtue and Vice." Much to my disappointment this was about as heavy as they got. Regardless, fans loved Delain and it didn't take much encouragement from Wessels to get the crowd to sing the easy-to-remember chorusto "Not Enough." They finished their set with the title track to their 2012 album We are the Others and left fans reeling with excitement for Kamelot.
Written by: Kirsti Heitz
Photographs from: Navneet Johal
Show date: September 10, 2013
Published: September 21, 2013
The lighting was amazing as it set the mood for the intro music. Each member took the stage one by one, riling up the crowd as they went to take their places. However it was a bit eerie if not completely mind blowing to see the ghost of Roy Khan's past (Ex-Vocalist Kamelot) take the stage as new vocalist Tommy Karevik came out dressed like Khan, singing like Khan, and looking like the spitting image of a younger Roy Khan right down to his little chin beard. My jaw dropped as Tommy moved about the stage, pointed smoothly to a young fan up front and provoked her to such excitement she almost passed out. Tommy is amazing at working the crowd into a frenzy. At some points it felt more like an NSYNC concert due to the screaming.
Kamelot opened with "Rule the World," a Kamelot anthem from their 2007 album Ghost Opera. They have an impressive set-up including a masked back-up singer on a raised platform who I later deduced was The Agonist vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. White-Gluz has a flair for the dramatic which complemented Kamelot's performance and gave fans a little something extra to scream for. Keyboardist Oliver Palotai had been replaced by Epica's Coen Janssen, sporting a shaved head and a NU motion Curved Keyboard in addition to his regular equipment. Janssen tried to portray the dramatic presence that Palotai has perfected but no one can perform the almost mannerisms that Palotai does that make fans love him.
Kamelot played a few songs off their new album Silverthorn (2013) like "Veritas", "Sacrimony" and "Song for Jolee". This last song slowed things down a bit for a moment, which I was thankful for because I was sure panties were going to start flying any second. But nothing beat that powerful Kamelot sound that came from their older ,Roy Khan-era songs like "The Human Stain," "When the Lights Are Down," "Ghost Opera" and "Karma." Even Karevik's version of "Don't You Cry" got me all doe-eyed and I understood fans' agitation when Karevik smiled at me and my heart really did flutter. However when they made the crowd sing an acapella solo of the chorus that made me cringe, the spell was broken.
Eklipse was brought out for Kamelot's new single "My Confession." Kamelot guitarist Thomas Youngblood chummed up to the ladies and blew each a kiss as they departed the stage. Throughout the set each musician got a few minutes to prove their skills in a solo which drove fans wild. Bassist Sean Tibbetts was the last one to pop and slap his way through his solo in Kamelot's encore. They finished the night with my personal favourite "March of Mephisto", with Alissa White-Gluz screaming the parts originally recorded by Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir leading fans into fits of hysteria.
Thomas Youngblood - guitars
Casey Grillo - drums
Oliver Palotai - keyboards
Sean Tibbetts - bass
Tommy Karevik - vocals
Labels: Noise, Steamhammer
Charlotte Wessels- vocals
Martijn Westerholt- keys
Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije- bass
Sander Zoer- drums
Timo Somers- guitar
Label: Napalm Records