Florida-based Kamelot is no stranger to comprehensive US touring. After two tours that encompassed the entire United States in 2015, they return again this spring, but this time, in support of their new full-length album, ‘The Shadow Theory.’ Bringing along an incredible tour package consisting of Symphonic Metal band Delain (who themselves make frequent Stateside appearances), and Finnish Power Metal group Battle Beast, returning to the US after a supporting role on the Sabaton US tour in the spring of 2017. Being a full coast-to-coast tour, the routing brings them to the Golden State, and to the San Francisco Bay Area. The evening’s festivities were to occur at the City National Civic, a medium-capacity venue located in downtown San Jose.
Those that arrived at a reasonable time were treated to the delightfully-cheesy-with-an-80s-vibe sound of Battle Beast… Opening with Straight to the Heart, the audience is immediately filled with energy; the sheer amount of fun that the band has onstage is totally infectious! Frontwoman Noora Louhimo‘s powerful voice and confident stage presence give this band the perfect spark to kick off the evening. A few small technical difficulties during Black Ninja, but this did little to detract from what was otherwise an impressive performance. This was the band’s first time visiting San Jose, yet they appear to be familiar – bassist Eero Sipilä even took a moment during the gaps between songs to comment on our hockey team’s being in the playoffs! Carrying on with the set, and powering through songs such as Bastard Son of Odin and Touch in the Night, the crowd seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the performance; chanting along and fist pumping demonstrated that the room was assuredly pumped up for the rest of the evening!
Next up were Delain… Opening to raucous cheer as singer Charlotte Wessels entered, the band launched into Hands of Gold. The Dutch Symphonic Metal powerhouse worked hard to ensure that the energy in the room was sustained after the Finns left the stage, and to good effect. Delain’s music takes a generally darker feel than that of Battle Beast, but this acts as a great segue into Kamelot’s works later in the evening. Interaction between Wessels and guitarists Timo Somers and Merel Bechtold is always a staple of Delain shows, with Wessels posing and locking eyes with both at various times throughout the set. Keeping the set interesting, contrast is on full display, with songs like Fire with Fire elevating the mood, and the touching ballad The Hurricane keeping things balanced. Notably absent from this tour is bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck; however, the band still delivered quite the punch during their set, especially with the musicianship of the two guitarists on full display! Powering through their ten-song set and closing out the evening with their touching We are the Others, Delain leaves the stage having delivered yet another powerful performance.
Onto the main event… Kamelot arrived on stage right on schedule, opening with Phantom Divine, the second single off of their recently released album, ‘The Shadow Theory.’ With such a deep discography, the band has plenty of music to choose from, and they delivered a balanced setlist of newer works as well as crowd favourites. This was even commented on by the band before they started playing End of Innocence, with singer Tommy Karevik commenting that they “usually don’t play this one.” Tommy’s shines throughout the evening, but especially on this track. Veil of Elysium capture’s the audience’s attention – it’s hard not to find yourself singing along on this one!
Kamelot brings quite the elaborate production with them on tour, with the custom drum setup and excellent lighting lending to a rather polished stage presence. Singer Lauren Hart was present to lend her voice to several tracks, especially during fan-favorite March of Mephisto. Other treats lie in store during the evening as well; Charlotte Wessels joined the band on stage for the amazing Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife), creating what had to be the most memorable part of the evening! As things wound down, the band closed out the evening with Liar Liar, with Hart joining the band on stage again to make one final impression on the audience.
All of the bands present for this tour have their own unique aspects that make this tour one that shouldn’t be missed; the tour rolls on through the middle of May, after which Kamelot plans several European festival dates and a special DVD-filming show in Tilburg, NL. Be sure to catch them on tour when they come near you!
GET TICKETS FOR KAMELOT’S REMAINING US SHOWS HERE!