Written by Ross Barber
Jan 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe 7th stop on the In Flames US tour rolled into Houston on Friday, January 20th at the Warehouse Live.  Doors opened at 6:30pm and the show started promptly at 7:30pm.  After clearing the security check I made my way to the front left side of the barricade in anticipation of a great evening of music.  I was not disappointed, but if you enjoy heavy metal music and missed this show you have no one to blame but yourself.

First band up was LA hard rock trio Kyng.  Out in support of their debut disc Trampled Sun the early concert goers got to hear what I’d call good old fashioned hard rock or stoner rock.  I was not familiar with Kyng other than having heard the single Trails in Veins, which has been all over the Liquid Metal channel on Sirius/XM radio.  That single is well worth repeated playings and the rest of Kyng’s 6 song, 25 minute set showed their other songs are worth a second listen as well.  I would not be surprised to see these guys come back again and not be the opener.

After a quick 15 minute set change Veil of Maya took the stage.  Named for a George William Russell poem, Veil of Maya lies at the opposite end of the musical spectrum from Kyng.  This Chicago quartet is  deathcore thru and thru.  The crowd surfing and mosh pit started up during the second song, Dark Passenger and continued for the rest of the 7 song set and throughout the evening.  Now I’ll be the first to say that deathcore is not really my cup of tea but Veil of Maya was not bad.  If Kyng served to warm the crowd up then Veil of Maya definitely brought them to life.  During Maya’s set you could really see the fists start pumping and the heads start moving.  Also the bassist, Danny Hauser appeared to be playing a 8 string bass  (hey I was trying to count from across the stage and needless to say he kept moving around).  All I know for sure is that it had more than 6 strings so bonus points for that.

ImageNext up was co-headliner Trivium from Orlando , Florida .  If Veil of Maya brought the crowd to life then when Trivium took the stage it was like getting hit by a cattle prod.  They came out to Capsizing The Sea, the intro the new disc In Waves and then went right into the title track.  Being at the front left of the barricade it was nerve tingling to hear this giant roar behind me chanting  “In waves…….In waves” during the chorus.  This was followed by Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr (a metal song title if ever there was one) Black and Forsake Not The Dream.

At one point, guitarist and lead singer Matt Heafy paused between songs to ask if this the first time anyone had seen Trivium.  This produced a roar from the crowd but not as loud as when he asked if this was the second, or third, or fourth time, etc. anyone had seen Trivium.   For the record this was the writers third time and every time I have had the pleasure of seeing Trivium they delivered.  This show was no different.  Other highlights of the set were Like Light To Flies and Departure.  After closing with Chaos Reigns, they immediately came back and played Down From The Sky and Throes of Perdition for a 2 song encore to close out the 1 hour set.

Next up was In Flames.  I was more than excited to see In Flames as I had only seen them once before on Gigantour.  I had tickets to the Mayhem Festival last summer where In Flames headlined one of the side stages but unfortunately In Flames had to drop off that tour before it finished.  I was also a little curious to see how the crowd would react to In Flames.  If you’re not aware In Flames is a heavy metal band from Sweden with 9 studio albums and 1 live album.  In Sweden and Europe they are huge but for whatever reason they have not found the same level of success here in the  US .  Trivium set a lofty standard with their set and I’ve seen plenty of bands get upstaged by an opener or other band performing earlier.  So was this a Trivium crowd sticking around to see In Flames or would this prove to be an In Flames crowd as well?

ImageWell it took no time to answer the above question.  From the time In Flames took the stage with Sounds Of A Playground Fading it was obvious this was an In Flames crowd.  Looking around it was obvious this crowd knew the words to all the songs would be singing along with lead singer Anders Friden for the duration of the evening.  After performing the first 3 songs of the current disc, they went to their back catalog for Trigger, The Hive and Swim.  All 3 of these songs produced more frenetic moshing from the crowd.

After The Quiet Place and Where The Dead Ships Dwell, Anders issued a challenge to the crowd.  It seems one of the security team up front had been caught texting on his cell phone and Anders decided to have a little fun by telling  the crowd to keep the security team busy during the next song.  Well, during Fear Is The Weakness there was a constant stream of crowd surfers coming over the barricade.  Security was running everywhere to catch people.  Fortunately every made it over safely but the security team definitely earned their keep.  Other highlights for me of In Flames set was Come Clarity, Ropes and Cloud Connected.  They closed with Take This Life and then the hour and 20 minute set was over.

Before wrapping up I’d like to mention one more observation.  From my vantage point on the left side of the barricade it was very evident that both Trivium and In Flames enjoy what they do.  Smiles were on all the faces of members of both bands.  Lots of quick poses while playing for fans to take pictures.  Both bands were gracious to thank all the fans for attending.  It’s easy to spot a faker and these guys were sincere.

If you happened to miss this show I feel confident both bands will return at some point.  If you aren’t familiar with either Trivium or In Flames and call yourself a metal head you owe it to yourself to check these bands out.  I’m wishing for an arena sized show on their next stop here in Houston .