First up were Starset. The centre of the stage was taken up by a large glass touchscreen with various audio controls that the singer used. The band are very striking visually – apart from the singer the rest of the band were in black outfits that looked like lightweight versions of Judge Dredd’s uniform, complete with visored helmets (that looked to have come from the Halo games) fitted with LEDs to illuminate their faces. I dread to think how hot the guys were playing in those helmets – especially the drummer.
Musically, think 30 seconds to Mars, or Linkin Park. They sound very good, and I’m sure this is a band we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the next few years.
Fearless Vampire Killers came next. I saw them fairly recently supporting Black Veil Brides which I thought was a great fit for them, but I hadn’t pictured them as a great fit for In this moment, but the chorus of screaming teenage girls that greeted them showed they definitely had some fans here tonight. I’d describe them as a mix of Indie-rock, death metal, and a bit of pop – basically if you watch Kerrang TV and enjoy the bands they show then you’re going to love Fearless Vampire Killers. They put in a great performance and go down well with the crowd – it’s easy to see why they are growing in popularity steadlily. I must admit to not being keen on their cover of Elton John’s “I’m still standing” – it just wasn’t anywhere near the high standard of the original.
Finally after a long wait it was time for In This Moment. The curtain dropped to reveal two dancers on the stage before Maria Brink and the band emerged and things got off to a great start.
In this moment are a very theatrical band, so it’s no surprise that Maria changes costumes several times during the show, as do the dancers. She uses the different costumes and props to provide a very visual show. She performs using a headset microphone to allow her to keep both hands free as she sings.
Her vocals are extremely versatile as she switches from a soft sultry voice or emotion filled soft vocals to harsh screams in the blink of an eye. It’s a very strong powerful voice, and it needs to be – this isn’t soft melodic music, this is hard and heavy most of the time, so Maria’s screaming vocals are still able to cut through the power of the guitars.
Unsurprisingly the setlist contains plenty of songs from the latest album (Black Widow), and in fact the setlist is almost entirely made up of songs from that and the previous album (Blood) – in other words the two albums since the band had a major lineup change, and in my opinion their best albums yet.
“sex metal Barbie” is a song title that neatly sums up the role Maria Brink plays on stage – the sex appeal and Barbie doll looks (although I suspect most parents would have a heart attack if Barbie had as many tattoos as Maria) combined with Metal. Maria Brink can easily be compared to Lady Gaga – the looks, the costume changes, the exaggerated movements and poses on stage, and her ability to effortlessly work the crowd – if Lady Gaga fronted a metal band, Maria Brink is what she’d be like.
During one of the costume changes, while Maria was off the stage, the band put in a great instrumental section – a medley that included Metallica amongst others, and it was a rare chance for them to show just how good they are and to take centre stage.
I’d enjoyed seeing In This Moment on their last visit to the UK when they supported Halestorm, but was disappointed they didn’t have a longer set. This time with them doing a headline tour they were able to give us a full set, and to use even more theatrics. It was a great show, and I look forward to seeing them again soon.
Sick Like Me
Sex Metal Barbie
Into the Light
Big Bad Wolf