WITHIN TEMPTATION / IN FLAMES - Resisting The Mask In Montreal!

March 12, 2019, 5 months ago

Thomas Mazerolles

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Within Temptation did not waste any time after the release of their latest album before returning to North America. For the occasion, they were accompanied by Swedish bands In Flames and Smash Into Pieces on March 5th at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal.

Since the band’s meet and greet occurred before the show, the Olympia Theatre was fairly packed when Smash Into Pieces came on stage. Having opened for Amaranth a few years ago, they had a small fan base singing along with throughout their set. Their mix of electro-pop and rock is somewhat tame compared to style of the main bands, but they have a captivating stage show that is based on the drummer’s illuminated mask. The singer did not hesitate to do a little crowd surfing when he sang “Disaster Highway” towards the end of the set. Even if they have a great visual support, their music is not diversified enough to make an impact on their own when compared to the headlining bands they are on tour with.

There is a lot more people when In Flames gets on stage to promote their new album called I, The Mask. Fans immediately notice new members Bryce Paul Newman on bass and Tanner Wayne behind the drums, but it is the absence of guitarist Niclas Engelin that puzzled the fans. Anders quickly indicated that he had to stay in Sweden and that long-time fan, Chris Broderick happily stepped in for this tour. As expected, the setlist is concentrated on the new album with songs like “Voices”, “(This Is Our) House” and “I Am Above” hitting the mark, but fans were once again looking for older, more aggressive songs. It was not surprising to see them push each other during “Pinball Map” and “Cloud Connected”, the only two songs from the back catalogue. The band closed their set with “The End” as the fans showed their appreciation. So much that Anders had teary eyes and was at lost for words. Once again, the band gave a great show, but their lights were way too dark for my liking.

It is now time for Within Temptation to hit the stage in front of a packed and energetic crowd. Sharon Den Adel comes on stage wearing white and waving a flag for the song “Raise The Banner”. Compared to the previous bands, the musicians are very dynamic. Ruud and Stefan trade places on a regular basis and constantly interact with the fans. The lighting was also a lot brighter and the backdrop consisting of a circle screen and four rectangular panels were thoughtfully used. For those who had doubts about the new material in a live environment, no need to worry as songs like “The Reckoning”, “Endless War” and “In Vain” had more punch to them. As expected, fans showed their enthusiasm for older songs, particularly “Stand My Ground”, “All I Need”, “The Heart Of Everything” and “What Have You Done”. I am not sure if Sharon was tired or if it was because they played many consecutive dates to start the tour, but she seemed to be running out of breath frequently on the most challenging songs. That did not stop her from delivering a stellar performance during “The Promise” and an acoustic version of “Ice Queen”. The band quickly came back on stage for the encore during which they played ‘Mother Earth”. Even if the crowd screamed their lungs out, trying to get the band to play more songs, it was all for tonight. The fans showed once again how much they like Within Temptation and I would not be surprised if we were to see them again very soon.

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