On Monday, April 23rd, I was preparing to see Kamelot, Delain, and Battle Beast play the Opera House. Another seemingly normal metal show, no different than the dozens I’ve already attended at that venue. The events in Toronto that took place earlier that day soon proved that it wouldn’t be like any other. For some, the best way to cope with the incident was to stay home where it was safe, for others like myself, it seemed better to surround ourselves with hundreds of others, joined together in an attempt to forget about the attack on Toronto’s Yonge Street, if only for a short while.
First up that night was Battle Beast, a Finnish band that I first discovered when they played their Toronto debut this time last year, opening for Sabaton at the same venue. This time around, they were still the first band of the night, but they sure acted like headliners. With The Opera House’s floor being surprisingly full this early in the night, front woman Noora Louhimo and company took full advantage, boasting a stage presence, and audience interactions that were as confident and powerful as her voice itself. Their sound fit in perfectly with the night’s headliners, and the crowd was definitely enjoying it. Complete with a big rock ending, a crazy light show, and a set-finishing bow to the audience, Battle Beast has the potential to headline a venue like this one. Here’s to hoping they get there one day.
Co-headlining with Kamelot, Delain took the stage next. Although I had to miss a chunk of their set to interview Noora from Battle Beast, I was incredibly impressed with what I saw. Charlotte Wessels’ vocals showcased the softer side of the female voice, and still worked incredibly well with the loud, heavy guitars.
Kamelot was a sight to see as well. Although not familiar with their music, one couldn’t deny how much went into their live show. Very theatrical performances which, when spaced throughout their set, felt like a play with three acts. The band’s many members took turns entering and exciting the stage, offering the crowd something new with each encounter, whether it be additional vocals or to introduce an entirely new instrument on stage, it flowed incredibly well. I also need to co
mmend lead singer’s voice. Tommy Karevik not only did he hit some crazy notes during his set, but his voice sounded incredible while doing it. Throw in some comically over the top call-and-response exchanges with the audience, a cliché and predictable encore, and you had one hell of a rock show.
Sometimes the best way to cope with a tragedy is to keep doing what you love most, and to see a near-sold out Opera House crowd enjoying a night of live music, forgetting all the bad in the world, really warmed this jaded guy’s heart.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
Photography by Gabby Rivera
*edited by Danielle Kenedy