The announcement of Kamelot’s tour stop with Delain and Battle Beast at House of Blues Orlando on May 12th was announced back in July 2017. 11 months for fans to wait for three great bands to rock the stage. And the wait was completely worth it. House of Blues Orlando had a packed crowd outside waiting to get in on May 12th, unfortunately, the wait was long. A few hours before the show, a fire alarm was set off within the House of Blues venue that affected both the restaurant and venue causing everyone to clear out. Fortunately, it was a false alarm, but getting everything back up and running in the venue caused a significant delay in the doors opening. So though the fans were ready to rock, House of Blues was not at the time of doors opening. It was about an hour or so later, close to when Battle Beast was set to take the stage, that the doors opened. Security did their best to get fans inside as quickly as possible, including media attending to photograph and review the show. Though media got in on time, when Battle Beast came out to take the stage, it was a half-packed house as fans were still waiting outside to get in.
Battle Beast is a Finnish metal band who formed back in 2005. One of their greatest achievements prior to releasing their first album was winning the International Wacken Open Air competition, which gave them the opportunity to perform at the German festival Wacken Open Air. They followed that by winning the Radio Rock Starba competition that led them to secure a record deal. Their original vocalist, unfortunately, left the band soon after their first album due to personal issues. Noora Louhimo was brought in and has been their vocalist ever since. The band has released 4 full-length albums with all of them hitting the Top 10 in Finland. Their most recent ‘Bringer of Pain’ released in 2017, hit number 1 on the Finnish charts and even made the Top 20 in Switzerland and Germany. The band consisting of Noora Louhimo (vocals), Juuso Soinio (rhythm guitar), Pyry Vikki (drums), Eero Sipila (bass), Janne Bjorkroth (keyboards, keytar), and Joona Bjorkroth (lead guitar) was pleased to be back in Orlando to rock the crowd.
One of the reasons I enjoy listening to Battle Beast is their fast-paced metal and wonderful blend of multiple guitarists and keyboards (or keytar in this case on stage). Add in some heavy bass and drumwork and a phenomenal vocalist and you have Battle Beast. They are an amazing band live that provides such energy and passion on stage. You can tell how much they truly love the fans and interacting with them. They hit the stage opening with “Straight To The Heart” from ‘Bringer of Pain’ which had the crowd immediately headbanging. After Noora said to the crowd “We may be late, but we’re never late to party!” and followed up with “Familiar Hell” also from ‘Bringer of Pain’. The band had a nice surprise bringing out Lauren Hart from the metal band Once Human to perform “Lost in Wars”. Though Battle Beast had a shortened set, their performance was spectacular that had a full crowd (by the time they finished) cheering and screaming for more. Personally, I hope Battle Beast comes back around soon so we can get a full set that the crowd deserves.
Next to the stage was the Dutch metal band Delain. The band was formed back in 2002 by Martijn Westerholt. He envisioned the band to release albums with a number of guest musicians from the metal community. Their first album ‘Lucidity’ had guest appearances from Marco Hietala of Nightwish, Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes, and Ariën van Weesenbeek of Epica. The reviews were very positive which allowed them to put together a permanent group for touring and recording. The band went on to release 5 full-length albums with ‘Moonbathers’ as most recent one in 2016. They also released 2 EPs and one live album ‘A Decade of Delain: Live at Paradiso’ which was released in October 2017. Delain consists of Martijn Westerholt (keyboards), Charlotte Wessels (vocals), Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass), Timo Somers (lead guitar), and Merel Bechtold (rhythm guitar). Joey de Boer is filling in as their touring drummer.
Delain performs symphonic metal, similar to Epica. Their music is energetic and very crowd interactive. They opened with “Hands of Gold” from ‘Moonbathers’ and followed up with “Suckerpunch” from the same album. The biggest thing I loved about Delain is that energy they bring to the crowd. Charlotte constantly spoke to the crowd, urged them to pump their fists, clap, and sing along. Timo, Merel, and Otto were constantly headbanging, holding their guitars straight up while playing, and giving the crowd a show. Delain also had a beautiful full backdrop set on stage and Charlotte’s mic stand was filled with individual lights. The band knows how to work the stage and Charlotte’s vocals live are stunning. Some of the other songs they performed included “The Hurricane”, “Get the Devil Out of Me”, “Mother Machine”, and “We Are the Others”. They played out a great set leaving the fans screaming and cheering for more.
Before Kamelot hit the stage, I was able to take a few minutes to sit down with Noora from Battle Beast. We discussed the current tour, her inspiration for music, and what’s next for the band. You can find that interview here.
Finally, the headliners Kamelot were ready to take the stage. Kamelot was formed back in 1992 by Thomas Youngblood and Richard Warner out of Tampa, FL. They signed their first record deal in 1994 and had released their first album ‘Eternity’ in 1995. The band released 3 additional albums before the year 2000. But before their new album, Richard Warner departed from the band as did their original lead singer. Over the next few years, the Kamelot’s band line up would change with Thomas Youngblood still being the consistent anchor. The band has released a total of 12 full-length albums with the most recent being ‘The Shadow Conspiracy’ released on April 6, 2018. Kamelot consists of Thomas Youngblood (guitar), Oliver Palotai (keyboards), Sean Tibbetts (bass), Tommy Karevik (vocals), and Johan Nunez (drums).
Kamelot came out to the stage with a roar from the crowd as this was a “home” show for them, as there was no Tampa stops on this leg of the tour. The progressive and symphonic metal from Kamelot rang out as they opened with “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” with Lauren Hart joining them on stage. The song provides a fast-paced, heavy-hitting sound, mixed with Tommy’s clear and powerful vocals. Lauren Hart is also featured on the album track. It was a great start to the show.
The stage was sitting lower than usual for most House of Blues shows and there were two cargo boxes on wheels standing upright in the photo pit with us. We soon figured out why as Tommy stepped out onto the boxes and then stretched on leg onto the barricade to be closer to the fans and literally reach out to touch them. They continued with a great setlist that included “Insomnia”, “When The Lights Are Down”, and “Veil of Elysium”. When they got to “Ravenlight”, Johan got his opportunity to show off his drum skills with an amazing solo performance. They brought Lauren back out on stage to perform “March of Mephisto” from ‘The Black Halo’ album. Her vocals intertwined with Tommy’s made a perfect pitch during their songs together. Kamelot also brought out Charlotte Wessel from Delain to perform “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)” from the ‘Silverthorn’ album with Tommy and Lauren. Oliver also got to show off his keyboard chops with a great solo after the song. Kamelot wrapped up their set with “Forever” and then encored with “Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)”.
This was a great show from all three bands. It was the perfect blend of some different styles of metal yet all providing the high energy and entertainment a live crowd wants and expects. I absolutely look forward to having any or all three together again make another stop down here. This is a tour I highly recommend seeing.