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ConcertsKamelot Returns Once More to New York's BB Kings 8/19/2007

Posted on Thursday, October 18 2007 @ 13:07:26 CDT by Pete Pardo
Progressive Metal

I was definitely excited when news that Kamelot would be returning to New York City was announced and it was made even better by the appearance of Leaves' Eyes as the group's sole opening act for the area's show. I admit that there are times when I enjoy the bringing together of several different bands but for this one in particular I was quite cool with only having the two to watch. I felt that this would guarantee a slightly longer set from each band and also allow the audience to remain focused on the night a little easier without too many other things to worry about. I had also been to a number of shows in a row where it was five bands each time so I needed a little bit of a breather, in as much as a Kamelot show allows me to actually rest. In my humble opinion, Kamelot is probably the best at delivering Melodic Power Metal in today's vastly shifting music scene, and while I have been one of the newer listeners to their stuff they continually manage to impress me time after time.

Read on for Ken Pierce's coverage of the show!

I first caught them during the initial leg of the tour that supported "The Black Halo" and at this time I had only just reviewed the CD but like many who have been before and after me, this is a CD that snares you and keep you as a fan going forward. The guys headed off for Europe after this and ended up recording a live CD and DVD which they called "One Cold Winter's Night", a title which is actually a line from "The Haunting (Somewhere In Time)" and the release would find the band returning to the US and NYC especially. The blockbuster show found them with Epica in support, and yes you are correct, they are named after a Kamelot release. The two shows found the band performing in front of capacity crowds at the famous Times Square venue B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, so it made logical sense that for the new album "Ghost Opera" that the guys would once again be sure to hit the Big Apple in proper style. Here is how the night went down in case you missed it.

Leaves Eyes would be up first and it was oddly amusing that they were also performing in NYC for the third year in a row. Their first go round was at the now non-existent C.B.G.B.'s and while they kicked ass there was barely a crowd worth mentioning but lucky for us the group would return with Blind Guardian and perform for a sold out house. In case you were wondering, the show was at B.B.'s as well. So here we are tonight and the place is packed nice and early which had to make the band very happy and make them sure to give us an amazing show. If you don't know who Leaves' Eyes are yet, then that's a shame but here is a career recap. Liv Kristine formerly of Theatre Of Tragedy moves on from the band and joins her husband Alexander Krull and his band Atrocity. Together they morph the blistering Death Metal act into an Atmospheric Gothic group with a strong Norwegian vibe in terms of song-writing. It's really great stuff and I pretty much went for it after only a couple of listens. Tonight the band hit the stage hard and after their intro music faded the crisp voice of Liv cut through the air of the venue. The band is very tight and this is probably based on their working together for so long and this chemistry seemed to be affecting the audience as well for everyone was responding with fists in the air and many even singing. My guess was that a good number of these fans tonight were also at Blind Guardian, and that's a good thing to see happening. Leaves' would mix their set up from the last time around as they now had an EP called "Legend Land" on the shelves which was sort of a continuation of the groundwork on "The Vinland Saga". There is a very connected theme in their tunes which some love about them and I am included in this number. There are times when they play as soft as a whisper and others were it is thundering. The dynamic is exponential when Alex Krull comes onstage to deliver the "Beast" level of vocals during songs like "Solemn Sea" and "Ocean's Way". I like the way the "Legend Land" stuff sounds live and it all would sadly end after eleven songs with the bands signature hit "Elegy". After the Kamelot tour I have read that they will record a full concert DVD and that is something you all should investigate.

I really fear that I am running out of good things to say about Kamelot in concert but don't worry I shall certainly make due as we go along. So here we are once again at a sold out, full-house B.B. King Blues Club as Kamelot readies themselves for the stage to bring us their latest masterpiece of Metal "Ghost Opera". You could feel the excitement in the room because the Kamelot loyal are just so intense for the band that it becomes an energy that you can feel very strongly. They would hit the stage like an assault force as Casey Grillo attacked his massive drum kit with precision and flair as Thomas Youngblood worked wonders on his axe. To the right of the stage Glenn Barry was thundering on his bass and Oliver Palotai bringing new musical colors to life on the keyboards and as this was all taking place Roy Khan would take to the stage and when he arrived it was like an explosion. Kamelot impressed me right away when I saw just how good a live band that they were and each successive appearance that I have caught they have just enforced this feeling in my mind. Musically proficient and really a bunch of cool guys as I had learned from interviews about the group, they all seem to be in a perfect synch with one another. Tom knows what Casey is going to do, and Casey Glenn and so forth. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a band live who has their shit together and is not some ramshackle outfit that leaves you wanting not only at the end of the show, but during as well. As expected the guys would deliver a strong amount of material from their newest release and also review that which we all loved on "The Black Halo". As a new fan I was cool with their focusing on these two alone but they would not leave out their older fans by playing some of the stuff from their preceding releases as well. With "The Black Halo" as my first exposure to the band it leans to my favorite from the group so when they hit "The Haunting" and "Abandoned" I was on cloud nine. Last time around the guys had the lovely Simone Simons from Epica onstage with them for "The Haunting", but with Epica ever on the rise she would not be here tonight and neither would be Mari Youngblood - so who would be handling these chores with the group you ask? Well allow me to introduce you to Anne-Catrin Marzke a beautiful young lady who would perform the female vocals and backups and also deliver some wonderful violin during the set tonight. She is a great find and I am hoping to see her do more after the Kamelot tour has ended. She also seemed quite adept at the stage during "The Haunting" in particular as she and Khan shared the song. To be honest I have always felt that Khan had some professional acting training since he portrays a manner that would make anyone think that he has this experience under his belt during performances. The guitar work of Youngblood was really shining tonight and he is proving more and more to be one of the industry's greatest talents. He is more about the melody and song as opposed to ripping the strings in every direction and it shows not only in his composition but in the manner in which he brings this to all to life onstage. I also always enjoy watching Grillo on the drums behind his massive cage. The thing shakes so much when he performs that you start thinking that he is going to make it collapse right in the middle of the show. Fortunately, this stuff is solid and very well designed to avoid this from happening.

The entire show was exciting and we got a couple of solos from the guys on top of some great material. Oliver did a wonderful piano solo and he is really fitting into the group as a full-time member very well. The new stuff comes out awesome live and while they would open with the actual CD's openers they would make us wait until the show was almost done to deliver two of my favorite tracks from it, "Love You To Death" and "Ghost Opera". They were definitely worth the wait I will have to say. Towards the end of the night there was even a point where Alex Krull came out on stage with them which added to the surprises. The closer would be the monster track "March Of Mephisto", and the next time I see Kamelot I am not standing this close to the side stage during this tune if it's the closer. This was based on the amount of smoke that billowed from pretty much everywhere and made watching the song be executed somewhat difficult. I have to say that the smoke machine stuff sure looks great from several feet away but not when you are inside the cloud. The smoke soon subsided as the last note was played and at the climax of the performance both Youngblood and Barry tossed their guitar picks out to the hungry audience, and with smiles all across the board the group reached out and shook the outstretched hands of their fans who were as expected very appreciative of their taking the time. It was another successful invasion of New York City by Kamelot and no one was left with any energy and stumbled out of the venue exhausted and drained from the heat of an amazing Melodic Metal show. Of course its too soon to know when they shall return but you almost can predict we are already on their schedule for a return trip for as much as we love when they come to town, I can confidently inform you that Kamelot feels the exact same way. Come back soon guys, we shall be waiting. If for some reason you have not yet picked up "Ghost Opera", please do yourself a favor and get on board with one of the better releases of the year as well as a crowning achievement in Kamelot music.

Ken Pierce


Leaves Eyes Set List
1. Vinland Saga Intro
2. Farewell Proud Men
3. Ocean's Way
4. The Crossing
5. Into Your Light
6. New Found Land
7. Scraelings
8. Temptation
9. Legend Land
10. Solemn Sea
11. Elegy


Kamelot Set List
1. Solitaire
2. Rule The World
3. When The Lights Are Down
4. Soul Society
5. Mourning Star
6. Center Of The Universe
7. Abandoned
8. Descent Of The Archangel
9. Solo(s)
10. Human Stain
11. Momento Mori
12. Keyboard Solo
13. The Haunting
14. Forever
15. Ghost Opera - Encore
16. Love You To Death Encore
17. Karma- Encore
18. March Of Mephisto - Encore


Official Web site: www.kamelot.com
Official Web site: www.leaveseyes.com



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