It was drama at its finest at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon on October 28th, 2017.
Opening the show for In This Moment were Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2017’s Breakthrough Band Award winners, Avatar. I was somewhat unfamiliar with their live show, and upon first glance, realized that they were visually AND musically amazing. Earlier in the day we spotted some of them eating at one of our most famous visitor spots in downtown Portland, and from the looks of social media, so did many other fans. They seemed approachable and accessible, and that made me like them even more.
Dressed like circus ringmasters, the physical energy, theatrics, drama, and excitement generated by our Swedish guests was exhilarating. From the sound to the lighting…from the music to the vocals, the limited set played by this amazing opening band was nothing short of spectacular. I was standing about four rows deep, state right, and noticed that the middle-aged couple to my left was dancing and singing, and yelling “wooooo” in a high-pitched howl. I didn’t need ear plugs for the band, but I did from this excited couple. I sort of snickered to myself that this 50-year-old man was being so “girly” over this band of men. He must have seen me smile and look at him, because he leaned over and said, “I love this band, I saw them in Chicago,” as he sort of shook his head in disbelief. When Avatar finished, I asked them both, “What is it you love about Avatar”? The man portion of the couple said, “We went to a festival in Chicago and happened to see them live. We didn’t know anything about them, and well… you just saw them and what they do… we fell in love with their music and them!” And I realized, as I looked around, the venue was filled with Millennials, Gen Xers, and the iGen newbies. Avatar’s brand of heavy, groovy, theatrical music is truly for every age. As they exited the stage, their absolute graciousness was felt. They were simply amazing.
Up next was Of Mice and Men…and I didn’t understand why they were chosen on this tour. They didn’t fit well between the two dramatic bands. Their set was fine. Their stage show was fine. But to stand out in this top-tier duo, they needed to be amazing, and just weren’t.
The anticipation for In This Moment was heavy. The venue was sold out. The giant curtain that covered the stage provided just enough shadows to make us all curious as to what was going on behind the scenes. When any sound would emit from the back, the crowd would roar with jubilation. In This Moment started timely, and brought the house down on this “Half God, Half Devil” tour. Maria Brink is a spectacular site. With the quality of the finest opera singer or Broadway star, she defied what a metal show can be. With her ominously masked musicians on either side of her, and her two pretty handmaidens never far, I can’t see where the visual aspect could have been better thought out or executed. Sometimes her little damsels were submissive, sometime they were her shadow, sometimes they were like pets, sometimes they were independent sexy women…all done with the approval, and at the direction, of Queen Maria. Brink is likable, talented, beautiful, and puts on an exquisite show. Playing for an hour and a half, the classy break she took mid-way, likely due to the extreme physical demands on her voice and body, gave the band an opportunity to shine with a Metallica song. “My boys are going to have some fun with you for a while,” Brink opined as she exited the stage. To be a photographer granted a photo pass at an In This Moment Show must be like winning the lottery. The orgasmic visual portrait provided between the lighting, the choreography, and Maria’s ensemble is stunning.
In This Moment is a show that you should catch at least once in your life…even if you just “like” music. In this Moment is a class act, and a giant talent.
On this night, In This Moment covered:
Blood, River of Fire, Adrenalize, Roots, Burn, Lay Your Gun Down, Monster Jam, Black Wedding, In the Air Tonight, The Infection (Tape), Sick Like Me, Oh Lord, and Whore as the encore.