Kamelot @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/15/2008)

Kamelot had quickly become one of my favorite bands to catch in concert when they come to NYC and this time around they would bring along EdGuy as direct support for the tour and offer the local openers in Arctic Flame the chance to start things off properly. We were on point for this show and delivered commentary and photos of all the performers for your reading pleasure. Scroll past the logo below to see the article.

Logo - Kamelot

Artist: Kamelot
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: EdGuy, Arctic Flame
Date: 10/15/2008
Label: SPV Records

Since they released “The Black Halo”, I think that I have caught the band Kamelot in concert every time they bring their wares to New York City. The bands first time in the Big Apple was in 2005 and since then they have become like visiting family for lack of a better description. The bands music is always received well and their shows seem to pack the place no matter what else might be going on. Tonight the band would continue their touring support for the “Ghost Opera” CD, which by this time has had a re-release to include a number of live tracks and the sold out show would find special guest openers coming by way of Arctic Flame and EdGuy. Should you have missed out on this great night of Melodic Power Metal, here is how the evening progressed.

Arctic Flame: Arctic Flame would come up as the first opener this evening, and that makes sense since they are still primarily an independent artist. They deliver the Power Metal with a traditional feel and they hail from Bayonne, NJ. They do have a fan base among the listeners who flock to the venues for the main acts tonight and based on that are generally seen as going over well. They put their all into the performance and I give them credit for keeping everyone entertained as they continue their own quest for Heavy Metal greatness in this rapidly changing music climate and business which we are seeing shift almost weekly. The band has one official CD available and another is forthcoming so watch out for it should you be a fan of the Old School Metal sound. Good job guys. EdGuy was up next and one never knows what to expect from this band.

EdGuy: From the sound of it, it seems as though EdGuy is becoming more of the “fun” or “party time” musical outlet for Tobias Sammet while he maintains levels of seriousness with the Avantasia project. For many of the fans of what this man does that is all well and good because we don’t generally go to shows to be reminded about how miserable the world can be and instead want to let lose, have some beers with friends (if we’re old enough of course) and just have a good old time. I’ve also been lucky enough to catch EdGuy doing their live thing at each and every turn on their live visits to NYC and while this makes the fourth gig, it is the second time that they have been the direct support slot. If you have never seen EdGuy live then I suggest that you do so at least once in your Metal life because the band is super energetic and with lead singer Tobias running the show, it is half music and half comedy as the entertainer does what he does best by tossing out humorous anecdotes about his band mates, himself and life in general. There are a lot of sing along moments during an EdGuy set and Sammet makes good use of them as he encourages the audience to participate. There would be no barrier between the audience and the band this evening because Kamelot doesn’t seem to like having one there, and with this easier connection to the crowd directly below him, Toby sure was able to make everyone feel like they were old friends watching their buddies rocking out. The bands new album will be entitled “Tinnitus Sanctus” and come care of Nuclear Blast Records. Be sure to be on the look out for this one if you are a fan, I know that I will be snaring a copy as soon as possible. Now it was time for Kamelot and the club was packed to the extreme.

Kamelot: I had said that for the past three years I have had the pleasure of reviewing appearances of the band Kamelot when they came into town and I look forward to continuing this process for years to come. Tonight appeared to be the bands fourth visit to the city by my recollection and they were as mentioned earlier supporting the re-release of the incredible “Ghost Opera” CD. Having interviewed the group on a number of occasions I have learned that they truly enjoy coming to New York City and while every town holds something special for the band, they always love the lights and atmosphere of the Big Apple and the warm reception that they get when they arrive. The critical difference tonight would be in the lineup as bassist Glen Barry would not be present and in his place would be Sean Tibbetts from the band Royal Anguish. Barry had familial commitments to take care of and as result could not join the band on tour. Tibbetts is a solid bass player of course and his work with Royal Anguish is admirable, so he is a pleasant addition to the roster when need be. The show went off like gangbusters and featured a ton of the band’s best known tracks that were all delivered with the necessary dramatics and flair that fans of the group have come to expect from them. Fronted by the enigmatic Roy Khan, the band is tighter than ever and really commands the stage. They have a great light show and make use of smoke machines but given the smaller stage at B.B. King’s we would not see any flash pots or fire bombs like we have seen in their stellar DVD “One Cold Winter’s Night”. Maybe one day we will find these guys opening up for Iron Maiden or Judas Priest and they can do that stuff in that setting. I surely think that they deserve such an honor at this point. The “Ghost Opera” and “Black Halo” CD make use of the female vocal talents of Simone Simons from Epica and while she came out onstage when the two bands toured together, tonight we would find her melodies delivered by the lovely Anne-Catrin Marzke. Ms. Marzke is a talented singer and actress from Germany and it’s always nice to find her to be a part of the touring company that makes up the Kamelot show. Maybe she will find the interest in fronting her own Symphonic Metal band someday since she has to have developed a knack for it by this point in her career.

It was really an exciting show as the drums of Casey Grillo pounded our heads like thunder as the ripping guitar work of Tom Youngblood did its thing. He is really impressing me more and more with the levels of creative melody he is employing and in the end it amounts to interesting Metal music as opposed to standard conventions that break no molds. Tom also tosses out signature guitar picks to the crowd that becomes valuable trinkets from the show to any fan who manages to catch one. There is not much else one can say about Khan other than the fact that he seems to easily hold the audience captive with his every word and move. In my list of favorite front men he is currently holding the third space and if he reads this should not take offense because my number one and two are Paul Stanley and David Lee Roth. My favorite songs of the night were too numerous to list but I still lean to the title track of the latest album, “Somewhere In Time” and the rousing closer of “March Of Mephisto”. It was another job well done by Kamelot that left the audience with one question on their minds – when are they coming back to do it again.

Closing out this was another exciting show but with one major downside being the fact that “The Blackest Of The Black” tour was going on at the exact same time over at Roseland Ballroom. To be brutally honest I had less than a passing interest about Danzig performing, but was really pissed to be missing Dimmu Borgir who was doing this run of dates as their only other US appearances since storming the country back in early 2007 in support of “In Sorte Diaboli”. Moonspell, Skeletonwitch and Winds Of Plague were also a part of the show and I would have enjoyed the chance to see them as well, but this is what happens in a city like this, there is seldom a boring night and on most of them two or three killer things to do can happen. If you don’t already own “Ghost Opera”, be sure to treat yourself to a copy as the “Second Coming” version features a full second CD of live material that will have you jumping out of your seat. Nice work as always from this ever impressive and kick ass live band.

EdGuy Setlist:
1. Intro
2. Mysteria
3. Little Sacrifice
4. Lavatory Love Machine
5. Tears Of A Mandrake
6. Superheroes
7. Vain Glory Opera
8. King Of Fools

Kamelot Setlist:
1. Rule The World
2. When The Lights Are Down
3. Soul Society
4. The Pendulous Fall
5. Center Of The Universe
6. Abandoned
7. Descent Of The Archangel
8. Instrumental
9. The Human Stain
10. The Haunting
11. Eden Echo
12. Keyboard Solo
13. Forever
14. Ghost Opera
15. Epilogue
16. Karma
17. March Of Mephisto

Official Website: http://www.kamelot.com
Official Website: http://www.edguy.com
Official Website: http://www.arcticflame.com

One thought on “Kamelot @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/15/2008)”

  1. Well Ken, once again another interesting read in your review of this show. As I read it i bring flashbacks of being there and seeing the magnificent Roy Khan and his ever booming vocals and the incredibly fast drumming and skill of Casey Grillo. Really sucked that Glenn could not be on this tour as he is one of my favs and i truly enjoy seeing him play and talking to him afterwards. One thing you are defenitely right about, Kamelot never disappoint. I could of been at the show down the street as well but decided i really wanted to see Kamelot again. And i knew they were not going to be back for some time cause they have to do they follow up to Ghost Opera. Amazingly believe it or not, this was the first time i got to see Edguy and i was truly impressed. They were a lot of fun. Tobias does have alot of stage presence and a ton of energy and even though i was there to see Kamelot I was in no way bored by them. Even Arctic Flame was good this time around. I was not too impressed with them when i saw them with Grave Digger but they seemed to have gotten tighter in there playing and the new stuff sounds promising. But back to Edguy, def cannot wait for them to come back in Sept. Wow Sept is becoming a huge month now with Edguy and Strato also coming. Oh well another stellar review from the great Ken Pierce.

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