Over the last couple years I’ve become a big In This Moment fan. I had always described them as the opening act that you wish was the headliner. They’ve stolen so many shows from as an opener or on a side stage that it frustrates me and wants to see more. I don’t want an opener set from them or a condensed stage I want a 90-minute full stage. This fall I finally got what I wanted when In This Moment announced the “HellPop Tour.”
The tour, which features All Hail the Yeti, Kyng and Motionless in White, came to Eagle Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday Nov 16th. That’s a rougly 3 ½ hour drive for me. I rarely make this trip for one band, but I’ve been dying to see a headlining In This Moment show and it doesn’t hurt that I’ve grown very found of Kyng over the last two years.
The night got started off by All Hail the Yeti. I had never heard of these guys. I had great appreciation for the satanic imagery and merchandise. I don’t know why it never gets old, but it doesn’t (I’m not being sarcastic, I really liked the style, soung and look of the band). A vast majority of the crowd was already in place by the time AHTY finished their set. They got the show started off with a lot energy. They set the bar a little higher for the guys to follow.
Being that I’m a fan of Kyng, I know who they are. So when I saw the guys up there doing their own sound check I actually thought that was really cool, because as soon as they were done they just started playing. Kyng is just three guys so they don’t need a big stage, but they are insane musicians and their set was much too short. That said when they busted into a note for note, word for word cover of Van Halen’s “Hot For the Teacher,” that might have been the most memorable moment of the night. I’m not joking either, when I was walking to my car that is what the people walking behind me were talking about.
Kyng is the perfect combination of Pantera, Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains. If you haven’t checked them out, please do. They’re not going to be on the radio anytime soon, so do yourself a favor and make the effort.
I’m 34 and I think that makes me old. I’d never heard of Motionless in White and after seeing them live I had only recognized two songs and that was “America” and a cover of Danzig’s “Mother.” The Milwaukee audience was in love with these guys. They do a lot of screaming, which I can only take in small doses. I know every band talks about how the current audience is the best audience on the tour, but I actually believed them because the Milwaukee audience went ape shit for these guys.
The beauty of being the second to last band is that you’re going to have the biggest crowd, because a lot of your fans aren’t going to stick around for the headliner. Motionless in White owned Milwaukee Saturday night. They don’t play the kind of rock I prefer, but you know what rock music is dying and it’s important to support all rock artists and these guys play the music they love well and they put on a phenomenal live show.
I just love Chris Howorth and Maria Brink. The fact that the band and management quit on them just before recording their new album “Blood” is just a testament to who they are as artists. They came back with their best album yet and they’ve stood out on tour with bands like Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, POD, Halestorm etc etc. Their live show is not that of your typical rock band. They have costume changes and dancers and there is smoke on the stage the entire time, which you would think would make it harder to see, but it adds to the visual element.
Maria and the boys from In This Moment blasted through hits like “Adrenalize” and “The Gun Show.” They played one of my favorite songs “You’re Gonna Listen.” They took on the Nine Inch Nail classic “Closer.” While Kyng and Motionless in White played their cover songs note for note In This Moment made it their own which was aurally and visually stunning.
The old school In This Moment fans were in for a treat when they did a medley of the first two albums before ending the night with the current single “Whore” followed by the encore “Blood.” Maria Brink really deserves a lot of credit as a front woman. She came alive more than I’ve seen her do as an opening act. Her body and costume is part of the visual art on display, but she still took the time to be the front person. She’s well on her way to being held up there with the greats.
I’ve seen a lot of people referring to In This Moments live show as Heavy Metal Burlesque. While I guess that is an accurate description I think the live In This Moment performance is so much more than that. If this tour comes to your neck of the woods you won’t be disappointed if you go, you have my word.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.