Ah, the day I finally would get to see one of my favorite metal acts live came. I arrived early at the small venue of Valentines and managed to get a spot right next to the stage after doing a little t-shirt shopping :).
Now for the show: Burn it Down, a hardcore band, was up first. Not being one for hardcore, I kind of dismissed them in my eagerness for In Flames. They played a decent set, and the vocalist did his best to work up the crowd and went into the crowd a few times.
Next up was Shadows Fall. They played a really good set and I probably would have gotten incredibly psyched up if I wasn't waiting for In Flames. Unfortunately, the clean vocals got pretty drowned out by the rest of the band but otherwise they had a really good sound. They also opened with my personal favorite song of the band, "Revel in My Loss" so it was rather enjoyable.
Up next of course, was Nevermore. I just really got into this band with their newest release and was eager to hear how they sounded live. Lets say, I was truely amazing seeing these guys live, if In Flames had an off night (which they didn't, hehe) Nevermore would have stolen the show! They had so much energy and the best sound of all the bands of the night, it was great! They opened up with "Narcosynthesis" and went through the first three songs off of Dead Heart in a Dead World. A rather amusing bit came with one of the fans holding a sign that said "Fuck Milano" in the same writing style as the Nevermore logo and when Warrel saw it (during the middle of Narcosynthesis), he had to stop singing for a moment from laughter. We were also treated to a bit of improv on the part of Warrel when Van (drummer) broke the left pedal. The emphasis on the new album didn't stop the band from playing three older songs (they played a total of 8), being "This Sacrament", "The Fault of the Flesh" and closing the set with "The Seven Tongues of God". They also played "The Sound of Silence" which came off very well live. On the final song, the band members grabbed people and pulled them up on the stage for stage-diving. I cannot stress how incredible these guys sounded live!
Then came the mighty In Flames! Being an In Flames fan for about 3 years now, I had been waiting for this for a very long time and I will say that it was more than worth the wait! The set opened up to "Behind Space" and the crowd started to go nuts. In Flames just has this presence when onstage and I was just in awe. Next up was "Embody the Invisible" which sounded really great (ha, not that any song didn't) but I must mention the thing that caused the show to be 99% amazing instead of the full blown 100%, which was that Anders vocals seemed to be very low in the mix although it wasn't as much of a problem for me since I was really close to the stage. After that, my memory is a little fuzzy about the song order but as far as older material, they played "Clad in Shadows", "Food For the Gods", "Moonshield", and "Episode 666" (in addition to Behind Space of course). They played 5 songs off of the Colony album, including my two faves "Ordinary Story" and "Scorn" (which was announced as their "MTV hit" haha). From Clayman, they played "Bullet Ride", "Pinball Map" (which I must add sounds MUCH cooler live than on the record), "Only For the Weak", and "Clayman". As for the band members, seeing the live performance was just unreal. Watching Bjorn and Jesper play the solos was very cool and the amount of energy Anders displays and his ability to pump up the crowd was fascinating to see. The high point of the night was undoubtably "Episode 666", since the crowd had wanted to hear it from the start and it didn't come til near the end of the set and I was able to sing into the mic for a second on one of refrains. They ended the set with "Colony", which seemed to be the perfect close to an amazing performance. Needless to say, I left a very happy man and to those reading, DO NOT pass up the opportunity to catch In Flames live!!