Kamelot is one of my all-time favourite–if not absolute favourite–metal bands. So is Dragonforce. They are considered power metal/symphonic metal bands and play in more of a European style, which I’m a big fan of, but not everyone likes it. I saw Kamelot play a few years ago when they toured with Fabio Lione, who I knew from Rhapsody of Fire and whose voice I liked. But I have always dreamed of seeing Tommy Karevik live as the lead singer of Kamelot, so when I heard they were coming to Toronto, I knew I had to attend.
Here’s a snap of Dragonforce toward the end of their set. They played some old favourites as well as previewing a track from their new album. I wasn’t sure how the new lead singer (Marc Hudson) would sound, but his performance absolutely blew me away.
At one point guitarist Herman Li somehow jumped from the stage and made his way to the bar located on the left side of the concert hall, which was closer to where I was standing. The crowd erupted with delight. Not only were his guitar skills mind-bending and spectacular as always, there were purple lights on his guitar! So cool. Dragonforce is one of the best opening acts ever!
Another reason I liked that the tour was with Dragonforce as the opening act is that it was just one opening act as opposed to two or three lesser-known and not always great bands. That’s what happened last time and while the bands were decent, I was really impatient for Kamelot to come on stage. So that aspect was definitely more enjoyable this time.
Although I’m as hardcore a headbanger as they come, I don’t look the part, and I’ve made my peace with that, but it’s always intimidating for me to see those Viking-looking dudes at metal concert with epic hair.
Security confiscated my small snack of raisins and water (no outside food allowed, I guess) and weren’t allowing people to go up to the balcony, and the main floor was just one big space–in other words, there weren’t raised platforms to the right and left for those of us who prefer not to mix it up with the mosh pit. I don’t know what it is about metal concerts and this circle of death that happens, but basically people go around in a circle pushing each other an it’s not for the faint of heart (which would be me in this case, lol).
As for the Kamelot portion of the evening, it was brilliant. They played a mix set of some old favourites as well as some new tracks from the new album, Haven. Everything was one hundred percent on point, including Tommy’s voice–he absolutely nailed it. It’s ridiculously difficult for anyone to step into the shoes of Roy Khan. He is one of those people that has an irreplaceable voice, like Freddie Mercury. His voice is so unique and so much his own that any attempts at imitation can very easily go wrong.
Now, I have loved Tommy Karevik and his voice since I knew him from his other band, Seventh Wonder. So of course when I found out he had been chosen as the new lead singer for Kamelot, my initial thought was excitement but also a sense that if anyone can even begin to approach stepping in Khan’s shoes, it is definitely Tommy.
Tommy has one of the most astonishing voices in metal of all time. I am not exaggerating. There is no shortage of heavy metal vocalists that I think have an amazing sound, but Tommy ranks in the top 5 of all time for me. He is simply astounding, and he sounds even better live.
As a funny aside, he told the crowd that we were so loud that he couldn’t even hear himself sing, which I’m sure is something that all the crowds hear where they tour to get a big pop, but it’s always nice to hear.
I didn’t think I had it in me to jump up and down and not feel pain in my joints, but the magic of the music allowed me to be free for that evening and you can bet I rocked out like there was no tomorrow.
At first I was sort of concerned at Tommy’s pale, ghostly appearance until I remembered he’s Swedish and that’s a normal complexion for them 😉
Another highlight was during the show, Thomas Youngblood (the guitarist) brought out a camera with something resembling a selfie-stick that allowed him to film the crowd. Kamelot is one of the best bands that actively engages the crowd.
The only other I would mention is that as a short person, it was really difficult for me to get good pictures and the audio on my camera sucked big time. But I caught a lucky break toward the end when one of the titans in front of me decided to move and I could actually score some decent snaps.
If I could afford VIP tickets, I would try to buy them because I would love to thank the band for how much their music has meant to me and touched me over the years since I discovered their music, but I am very happy that I got to see them perform live and it was a great evening.
Here is one of my favourite Dragonforce songs ever:
And here’s a track from Kamelot’s latest album called “Insomnia” that I’m really digging right now:
What are some of the best bands you’ve seen live? How do you deal with concert halls and crowds? Sound off below!