Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kamelot/ Delain/ Eklipse @ Baltimore Soundstage 9/3/2013

We went to see one of my favourite Power metal bands of all time; KAMELOT in godforsakenbaltimore. We saw not as many people as we usually see- Dorothy, Lindsey, Marie (and her dood), Annie, and photographergirl. Bobbie and someone else were allegedly there but we didn't see them.


 When we got there, Dorothy was talking to a blue haired girl, which answered our question as to who would /not be doing background vocals for Kamelot. Alissa from the Agonist was the blue hair in case you didn't know. Maybe I should have asked for a picture. OH WELL.

There was a line to get in, cause it was slightly after doors (got there too early). We hit the bar for some sweet sweet berry beer (SSBB). Shortly after we made our way to the venue and lumbered in. I immediately noticed that the back of the venue was opened up for this show (the past couple shows we've been to at Soundstage have had the back area closed off), which indicated... more presales or something. So that was good. There were a healthy number of people there, probably about 250- 300. It was crowded, but not so much so that we didn't have a good view.

Merch wise, I almost got a Kamelot tote bag. Maybe I should have. I think the shirts were similar to what they had last tour, IMO nothing special. CDs ($15, $20 for special edition of Silverthorn), panties, I think a hoodie. Best was the Silverthorn shirt. Delain had some stuff, I should have looked at the non shirt merch. Eklipse might have had something, again I should have looked a little for CDs, but I wasn't too enthused (see below).

Eklipse strolled on stage pretty promptly at 8, to some piped in synth and drums. The ladies of Eklipse each had outrageous outfits, stylized string instruments, and I am pretty sure only one spoke great English (hey, better than me). The blond girl had an eyepatch that was reminiscent of Dead or Alive or Kill  Bill (or that Swedish movie that Tarantino stole it from.  There was no drummer, they were piped in. The crowd seemed to dig them, but I was conflicted. The talent was there, make no mistake about that. There was no question in my mind that they would sound even better on a  studio recording, and they sounded pretty great on Soundstage's Sounsystem. However, the all instrumental set (not a surprise as I knew they would be basically the female Apocalyptica) and very odd setlist (3 covers of pop songs), and the less than powerful stringy sounds were kind of killing the energetic mood for me. Also, the crowd's clapping along drowned out the delicate strings at times, so that also detracted. I know they are a newer band, but you'd think they could do a rock cover in with a pop, and maybe some other cover. I did like the Dead or Alive cover (see eyepatch), but you play 'Sweet Dreams' and I think... OK Marilyn Manson covered/butchered that song already. Just like when Disturbed covered 'Land of Confusion' (In Flames covered it better first). I dunno, I was getting antsy a couple songs in, but knew 'My Confession' would sound great later on. The crowd seemed to enjoy them, but I needed something more lively at this time.

As the time neared for Delain to roll out, I was a little anxious about them. I had heard a bit of them before and was not enthused- it seemed pretty generic/cookie cutter. Thankfully, in the first 5 seconds, their electric guitar got me pumped and they sounded pretty damn good. Their songs were better live, definitely way heavy compared to Eklipse. So that def got me way more in the mood and energized. Their songs were fun enough live, but I'd need to give them another listen studio-wise to revisit a judgement. I'd enjoy seeing them again, no question, but I dunno if I'd wanna see them headline. Their singer reminded me a bit of Within Temptation's Sharon, in her dress and mannerisms. Overall, they blew Eklipse off the stage, IMO- just more fun, if less technical.
 
Kamelot came on a little early (!!) to tremendous applause. I was certainly hyped at this point of some...less than stellar ...openers, so I was pumped and primed for them! Alissa took her perch, like last time   , and the rest of the band took their positions. For the second night of the tour, I was wondering if they would stick to what they did the first night- and they pulled "Torn" to be played first instead of near the end.  And then Tommy...and Tommy started rocking! Kamelot sounded pretty great, but again, I think they could have been louder, like other Sound stage shows. People were singing along a lot, and I think some monster started a small pit for 'Center of the Universe' ;3  Other than that, I had my glasses off for 90% of Kamelot's set, due to headbanging (3 days later, my neck is still sore), so I only realized how hotter Alissa was in her Mephisto dress.

They were fantastic, and obviously heavier than on the record. Something about many of their songs just grab me, and the melodies!  The whole band seemed excited to be there and playing, so that def added to the energy. As predicted, Eklipse came on stage for "My Confession," which their strings were drowned out a little bit, but still was pretty awesome. Eklipse also came out to be on stage (not sure what they were doing) during 'Mephisto' and Alissa did the harsh vocals as expected. I was wondering if they would further utilize Ms Delain, but that was not to be. No "Haunting" or any of the like.  So there were no real complaints about the music or performance, just the interludes between the songs. Ok yes enjoy your cheers, but why not just play another song? OK yes we will do the European sing along thing. OK a keyboard solo. Oh a Bass solo, that's not usual. UGH a drum solo but I guess Tommy needs a break. And then there are the setlist gripes... 

Kamelot's set was very similar (9 songs the same), with 3 new songs swapped out. I did notice that other dates have had other songs added that I would have loved to hear ( "When the Lights Go Down" :( ). It sucks, because they certainly could have played more songs, swap in another instead of a Bass solo or something. OR JUST PLAY ANOTHER SONG, they were bathing in applause, just throw in another song! I, of course, could have used an old song, some deep cut- but I think Thomas Youngblood wants to solidify Tommy Karevik as here to stay and to make sure that fans can latch on to that, which makes sense... but I just wanna hear more Kamelot. I will admit that I got kind of grumpy when they said they had 2 more to play... and started to play "Ghost Opera" (and then we know that "Mephisto..." (IMO not a great closer for Kamelot, but they still do it) was next). But I will say that it was good to hear some new songs.

Overall- a great performance from Kamelot that certainly eclipsed their openers, and I was sore for days.

photos:
The lovely ladies of Eklipse
Delain <3
Kamelot- lights and Thomas Youngblood
Merch 
Kamelot- the Whole band
Kamelot band
Kamelot- featuring Alissa
Kamelot w/ ALissa and Eklipse for the March of Mephisto

setlists:

Eklipse (8- 8:20PM)
  • (Unknown)
  • (Unknown) (sounded like sunglasses at night a little but I don't think that is what it was)
  • Set Fire to the Rain
  • (Unknown) (sounded like she saidVandross?)
  • Cry Me a River (Justin Timberlake cover)
  • You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive cover)
  • Sweet Dreams(Eurythmics cover)

Delain (8:47-9:20ish)
  • Mother Machine
  • Go Away
  • Get the Devil Out of Me
  • Virtue and Vice
  • Electricity
  • Invidia
  • Sleepwalkers Dream
  • Not Enough
  • The Gathering
  • We Are the Others


Kamelot (9:55- 11:24)