*This review comes with a warning! Reader discretion is advised*
If you believe that gigs are for music, and should not involve wind machines, theatrics and costume changes, then stop reading now. At tonight’s show we are both shocked and awed by In This Moment, what inspired these emotions? Well you’ll just have to read on if you want to find out…but don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Its gotta really hurt when a band have a spectacular dramatic intro, and the electrics die half way through. Such is the case with cinematic rockers Starset (6). Thankfully as the band are on moments after doors open, they are able to restart with the minimal disruption. Dressed in eerie space age cyber goth garb complete with armour and visors, and a giant oversized computer control station (which may in face to be a laptop projection), the effect is slightly bizarre. The overall impression is one of style over substance. Musically Starset sound like 30 Seconds To Mars 10 years ago, and people watch in silence…but at least they watch.
Next up we have homegrown talent Fearless Vampire Killers (7). Vocalist Kier quickly commands attention of the crowd, who scream and jump about excitedly. ‘Maeby’ is followed by a Fearless Vampire Killers take on Elton John anthem ‘I’m Still Standing’ which gets rapturous applause. Goth synths herald a change and Laurence takes over on vocals. The rapport between frontmen Laurence and Kier is unrivalled, and is magic to watch on stage. The crowd has swollen considerably at this stage and the band are full of energy as they bounce around. Fearless Vampire Killers are a band that are at the top of their game, hopefully their upcoming headline tour will give them the push they need to reach the next level.
Nothing upon nothing could prepare for the spectacle that followed. Spectacular spectacular, no words in the vernacular can describe this great event…you’ll be dumb with wonderment.
After a 40minute wait, we are more than ready for In This Moment (8). A thick mist envelops the stage, which is set up in a similar fashion to the ‘Sick Like Me’ video, with two ‘Blood’ dancers skipping about eerily. As Maria Brink takes her place in the centre of the stage, wind machines blast her hair as ‘The Infection’ leads in to ‘Sick Like Me.’ Tonight is very much the Maria show, and we can honestly say we have not been so mesmerised by any front person since early Marilyn Manson or even Lady Gaga. The vocals are perfectly juxtaposed; the clean notes are effortless and entrancing, in sharp contrast with the heavy unearthly screams that tear holes through the crowd. Costume change follows costume change as the band blast through ‘Adrenalize’, ‘Sex Metal Barbie’ and title track from latest album ‘Black Widow’, Maria captivates the crowd from her podium, and they cannot look away. The closest comparison we can draw is when Babymetal played at Sonisphere. Some loved it, some hated it, but everyone watched it.
Lead guitarist Chris Howorth’s dreadlocks swing and there is a wicked glint in his eye as the 4 instrumentalists launch in to a medley of Metallica, Pantera and Slayer. The ease with which the musicians carry the stage without their frontwoman does beg the question, why aren’t they allowed out to play more often? Most recent single ‘Big Bad Wolf’ is a banger, and sees the vocalist breaking out from a huge cage mid song. A stunning rendition of ‘Whore’ closes the main set, with Brink sat upon a stool sporting a dunces cap with ‘whore’ written on it. Returning for an encore, In This Moment bring tonight’s show to a crushing end with ‘Blood’.
In This Moment have raised their game in spectacular fashion tonight, with an incredible live performance that has left us suspecting that they could one day be headlining the main stage at Download. In This Moment easily win the medal for memorability, but did they take it just a little too far? In all honesty, you need to see for yourself.