MARCH 15th 2019

Review By: Metal Mom
Photos: Char Tupper

I was pretty excited when I heard about this tour, and I marked it on the calendar right away, not that I would miss this one. I was thrilled that IN FLAMES was returning and getting the chance to hear some of their new songs off their latest album, and 2 new bands for me. There is only one downside to it though, the fact that Niclas Engelin, guitarist for In Flames was unable to a part of the tour. Filling in for him was Chris Broderick, a great choice, especially given that he only had 2 days’ notice to master In Flames set.

Opening tonight is a band that I never heard of, at all. A band that comes from Sweden .. SMASH INTO PIECES, an alternative/rock type. I wasn’t too sure what to think when I first saw them, but they did grow on me. The riffs sounded a little familiar, but it really reminded me of, sorry for this, Nickelback, but hey, I like them, and I like the sound. They had more of a pop/punk type style too, but even for me, Metal Mom, I really enjoyed it, there was energy, great beats. And WOW, look around the room, and every person there, well they had to know them, because the crowd had a ton of energy. Was great to see. Thanks for a great opening guys, pretty successful set.  

Now, for who I came to see, IN FLAMES, and I knew what to expect, but they put on one killer show. Who, in case you were not aware, are really the back bone of Melodic Death Metal from Sweden.  Well it seems poor Anders is sick, (couldn’t drink beer or whisky, but yuk ate oysters to help), but you wouldn’t be able to tell, he did a phenomenal job, whether it was harsh, screaming or clean powerful vocals, he really put himself out there for us tonight. This band, always, without fail, gives 150%. That is why I never miss their shows. Of course, I was interested in hearing what their new songs would sound like live, had no worries there, sounded even better than the cd. My favorite, “This is Our House”, oh yeah, they played it. I was off to the side, but asked nicely the 2 guys in front, and security, if it would be possible to stand up closer, they allowed it. WooHoo !!! I even knew the words for this one, and I sung loud, and was really thrilled to hear this one tonight. But we all know that these guys have nailed their sound, always, and they have really outdone themselves with this last CD. I like the fact they play what they like, make the music they like, it shows, and it is what the fans love. They played a phenomenal set of course. The venue was 90% sold out tonight, might even have gotten higher with day of sales. It was packed. Chris Broderick did a great job tonight too filling in for Niclas, pretty big shoes to fill. All in all, the talent of each musician was above and beyond, and even though I couldn’t go again to the next night, I will be anxiously waiting for their return. Never do I get enough of In Flames. So, thank you so much guys/crew for coming to Vancouver and delivering an unforgettable set.

At this point, I am going to put in my two cents though, the lighting was horrible, at times every hard to see the band members, then when you could, it was too bright. It was too bad, because it did put a damper on the visual side of things. Especially for the guys of In Flames, because when they play, you know they love what they do up there, all smiles, pointing to the crowd, just makes for that much more of a memory to take home. I was disappointed for sure with the lighting, as were some of the photographers I chatted with.

Next is the headliner, Dutch symphonic metal band WITHIN TEMPTATION, I wasn’t sure what to expect from them either, and I really don’t like listening to you-tube to hear what they may sound like, you can tell the talent behind the band when played live. I was not to be disappointed, singer Sharon den Adel came on stage in a white cloak and a flag, and forever had the fans attention. I was amazed at her vocal capabilities, such a range. I can’t tell you the songs they played, as I am not familiar, but it doesn’t matter, this band can play, their talent together shines, and you are hooked for their whole set. I am pretty sure though that the crowd was here for Within Temptation, looking around me, people were singing along, everyone was enjoying themselves. Their first time here, and my first seeing them live. I am impressed.

Thank all the bands, crew, venue and staff for such an amazing evening.