In This Moment + Fearless Vampire Kilers + Starset
The Koko, London
5th March 2015
Review and Photography by Graham Hilling
With well over an hour to go to doors at the Koko, there is already a queue forming for In This Moment. Playing in a sold out Koko for the last date of an extensive European tour, this one looks like it has the makings of a corker of a gig!
By the time the doors do actually open, the queue goes right round the venue and there’s a real buzz. A pretty ecclectic mix of punter too, ranging from the curious to hardcore In This Moment fans, there’s even a guy dressed up as a bannana (I wonder if he thinks he is going to a festival!)
First band on this evening are Starset from the USA. Playing electronic rock not too dissimilar to Linkin Park they certainly get the attention of the first few rows of the crowd.
Visually very interesting, all of the band, bar singer Dustin Bates, wearing neon lit space helmets and futuristic space attire. There is a massive projected screen in the middle of the stage that Bates uses to control some of the playback.
The songs are complex and have many layers and are endowed with big singalong choruses. Luckily, the sound at the Koko this evening is also cooperating to make their set pretty enjoyable actually.
Bates uses two separate mics during the show for different vocal affect and it’s a fine start to the evening. Closer “My Demons” gets a good reaction, with a fair few of the crowd singing along to their most successful single to date.
Next support comes in the form of the UK’s Fearless Vampire Killers. Playing a set taken mainly from their latest album “Unbreakable Hearts” they are greeted by enthusiastic screams from the younger members of the crowd.
The inclusion of an Elton John cover, “I’m Still Standing” is a little strange but is lapped up with many of the crowd singing along.
The rest of the set is standard pop rock which, to be honest, doesn’t really do much for this reviewer’s ears. It’s all well executed and sounds good but is a little light weight in many respects. Maybe it is just an impatience for In This Moment to take to the stage…
Say What You Want From Me
Bite Down on My Winchester
I’m Still Standing
(Elton John cover)
All Hallow’s Evil
Could We Burn, Darling?
Neon In The Dance Halls
Once Fearless Vampire Killers have left the stage, a large curtain emblazoned with a Black Widow is raised so the stage can be prepared for the arrival of In This Moment without prying eyes. This only serves to heighten the expectations of the crowd which are already running high. We’d been promised a show as big as ITM could manage to cart across from America, anticipation and curiosity an intoxicating combination!
We have to wait approximately 25 minutes before the lights go down, to be quickly followed by the dropping of the curtain. This reveals a dressed stage, amid smoke and an impressive lighting setup. Centre stage is an almost altar like setup, with drummer Tom Hane being relegated to the back of stage right.
“The Infection” rings out, serving as an excellent intro for the band and two dancers (The Blood Girls) to take to the stage (surely it was written for this very task!).
First song is “Sick Like Me” with Maria Brink making an entrance to roars from the crowd. An excellent choice to start the set, everyone knows the words and sings along obligingly!
It sets the bar high being one of the best songs from “Black Widow” and steams along like an unstoppable juggernaut.
At the end of the song, Brink leaves the stage and there is a pause for costume changes. Yes, this show is going to be part gig, part performance art for sure, even the crew have mannequin masks on to hide their real faces.
Being used to “normal” metal gigs, this does interrupt the flow initally but as the set goes on, it becomes a moment to wonder what will happen next and raises expectations with each new song….
“Black Widow” is next up with Brink wearing a nurses uniform. The Blood Girls are similarly dressed and carrying massive syringes.
For all of the impressive visuals, the show would fall on its face if the music were below par, however, this is definitely not the case.
Brink’s vocals are spot on and the overall sound is big and powerful. So, two songs in, this is already the best gig I’ve seen in a long while…..
“Adenalize” is up next and continues with the same energy levels throughout. All of the songs (bar one) this evening are taken from “Blood” and “Black Widow” showing how the band has grown and evolved into a formidable unit comparable to the best out there.
We’re treated to one classic song after another. “Burn” does just that, searing the crowd with it’s punctuated verses and amazing vocals. Whether spoken, sung, shouted or screamed the vocals are just amazing and compliment the music brilliantly.
“Into the Light” slows the set down and show cases why Into The Moment are really such a brilliant band. This song is so full of emotion and feels so personal, it’s difficult not to be moved by it. Anyone who has lost someone they love can connect here.
This is followed by a medley from the band, playing Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell”.
Chris Howorth looks like he is enjoying the show as much as the crowd! Maria Brink introduces each member of the band and a rather impressive drum solo from Tom Hane tops it off nicely.
“Whore” gets the usual reaction from the crowd with a sing-a-long a In This Moment and is a brilliant way to end the show.
Judging from the reception the band has had this evening, I would expect them to be coming back to the UK as soon as humanly possible.
Maria Brink is an impressive front woman who has the crowd eating out of her hand from the moment she sets foot on the stage, she encourages the crowd to shout for an encore…”I want to hear you – I Want Blood, let me hear you!”.
So, returning to the stage for a single song encore of “Blood” they eventually take a well deserved bow and look pretty happy with their achievement this evening, almost perfect in every way.
A hugely impressive performance. My only regrets from this evening are that it was over so quickly and no “Bones” or “Beautiful Tragedy”. Still, there’s always next time guys…. 🙂
Sick Like Me
Sex Metal Barbie
Into the Light
For Whom the Bell Tolls/Cowboys From Hell (instrumental)
Big Bad Wolf