In This Moment + Hollywood Undead + Of Mice and Men + Avatar @ The Commodore Ballroom – November 2nd 2017

Maria Brink of In This Moment performing at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on November 2nd 2017

What a music-filled night that was. Doors opening and within minutes of getting inside, the first band, Avatar, gets on stage to play their set. This band is a theatrical one with a carnivalesque aesthetic. I had only ever heard of the band but never actually seen or heard the music. Between the crazy clown makeup, striped vest and matching knee high socks I knew we were in for a captivating performance. Avatar was heavy, dark, and eccentric. A little tongue lashing here and synchronized dreadlock whipping there made for quite a memorable show on their part.

Next up was Of Mice And Men, a band I used to listen to when I was younger but subsequently have grown out of. The group was lively and they had the crowd moshing and jumping around. Playing both new and old material they gave us the classic metal performance we all know and love. They were the least visually interesting on the lineup but garnered the most explosive energy from the crowd.

Following up was the first of the co-headliners, Hollywood Undead, a pop rock and rap band. I thought they were an odd fit in this lineup but they had a huge swarm of fans turn out to support them. The gang was so incredibly engaged with the audience; reaching out and touching them, filming them and pulling even one guy up to play guitar with them on stage, which blew his mind. A bevy of lights were incorporated into their show, add in periodic fountains of sparks lining behind them and a few light-up palm trees, and it made it an aesthetically pleasing set.

The six members were all over the stage with exuberance, playing both their own material and a few covers. Check out the snippet below, featuring a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”

Hollywood Undead – Setlist
Whatever It Takes
Usual Suspects
California Dreaming
Been to Hell
Dead Bite
Comin’ in Hot
War Child
What I Got (Sublime cover)
Another Way Out
Party By Myself
Day of the Dead
Everywhere I Go
Hear Me Now

And finally, the moment I was waiting for, In This Moment. The curtains closed on the stage as they set up and started pumping what seemed to be caramel scented smoke into the venue. After about a 40 minute intermission, the lights dimmed and the smoke grew thicker. There were flashing strobes, appearing to mimic lightning striking the stage. The intro soundscape of “Salvation” from their latest album, Ritual, played loud and heavy, building the anticipation. Finally, the drapes were pulled back and Maria herself emerged consumed by thick billows of smoke, wearing her classic “Mother Maria” outfit taken from the imagery of their new album. The band opened up with “Blood”, as the rest of the band members and back up dancers, aptly called the blood girls, emerged. The show was filled with theatrics galore. Lights, multiple costume changes, smoke, smoke and more smoke. Oh, and I can’t forget the smoke gun “Mother” Maria Brink used to spray the crowd. Ms. Brink was all over the stage; dancing, writhing her body and committing to the theatrical drama while executing a powerful and sexually charged performance. They previously announced that Chris Howorth, the lead guitarist, had a family emergency and had to depart the tour. The other guitarist, Randy Weitzel, pulled through and performed amazingly. A band solo and a drum solo filled the middle portion of the set and displayed the group’s instrumental skills wonderfully. For the encore, they played the well-known and well-loved song, “Whore”. Giving a speech at her podium on the empowering meaning to the song and wearing her classic “Whore” dunce cap the show finished strong. The night was so incredibly captivating and interactive and truly left its mark as a concert to remember.

In This Moment – Setlist
River of Fire
Lay Your Gun Down
Monster Jam (For Whom The Bell Tolls, Creeping Death)
Black Wedding
Oh Lord

Photos of In This Moment + Hollywood Undead + Of Mice and Men + Avatar © Jamie Taylor//Cryptic Photography

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