In This Moment Strikes the Witching Hour at The House of Blues

By Matt “Rabit” Martinez, Red Hare Images

When you think of the metal genre of music, what comes to mind? At first thought, probably a guitarist at the foot of the stage strumming as fast as he can, as the drummer powerfully strikes his drums, while a vocalist growls into the mike that you can barely make out  few words he’s singing. Thankfully, one band prefers to add a whole lot more flair and pizzazz to their performance and are known as, In This Moment. Stopping by the House of Blues and bringing with them The Word Alive and Ded, In This Moment brings an entire theatrical stage show with them as The Witching Hour Tour strikes Anaheim, California.

First up to the stage was Ded, a band from Phoenix AZ and every member was wearing white-out contacts. Flooding the stage was an eerie amount of fog engulfing the members as if apparitions were disappearing into the dead of night, and here, Ded brought some of the heaviest and aggressive songs of the evening. Opening their set with “Architect,” lead singer Joe Cotela thrusts the crowd into a loud frenzy with aggressive lyrics ready to stir up any lingering anger from within. Shredding up the guitar work is David Ludlow with heavy licks that gets you moving. Holding down the low end is bassist Kyle Koelsch and blasting away on drums is Matt Reinhard. This band provided me the rare opportunity to actually get in the mosh pit and just let out any aggression I had. With songs like “Rope,” “FMFY,” and ending with “Anti-Anthem,” I was a madman pushing and getting bumped around loving every moment I had to go crazy. As Ded ended I was not ready to let my energy die down but I will be catching them again soon as they play at Las Rageous in Las Vegas, NV.

Full Ded slide show below:

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Next up was another band from Phoenix AZ as well, knows as The Word Alive. Singing with a blend of melodic and screaming vocals, Tyler “Telle” Smith picked up the energy of the crowd right where Ded left off and brought their own unique aggressive energy to the House. Bringing a ballerina-esque bravado to the band, guitarist Tony Pizzuti was dancing with his guitar by spinning, hitting pirouettes, and jumping at every drop.  Pizzuti was a spectacle as he moved around the stage while trading off lead and rhythm guitar duties with Zack Hansen. Debuting a new song “I Fucked Up,” and playing some of the other hits like “Misery” and “Trapped,” The Word Alive created some of the most creative and up-lifting tones of the night.

Full The Word Alive slide show below:

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With the audience’s appetite satiated with Ded and The Word Alive, the crowd was ready for their Headliner as the desert course. Minutes flew by as anticipation was building, the overhead speakers played Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with the entire crowd singing along before we were cut short as the song “Salvation” took over the speakers. The audience went insane as the curtains were pulled back and standing there was In This Moment and two dancers, but no Maria Brink. As the chords to “Blood” started to play, Maria Brink stepped out from behind a curtain with a cloak draped over her body and a crown, just giving the audience a taste of the theatrics yet to come. As the show progressed, Maria Brink would often slip backstage for a quick costume change, while three screens were projected with imagery to fit the aesthetic of each new song. The amount of detail and way of story-telling gave the audience the type of show that would have been viewed on Broadway, or in other words, not your average metal show.

Not focusing on Maria Brink being the sole reason In This Moment has reached the fame they have, the instrumental section of the band brings their own outstanding style to every performance along with their technically mastered work to their instrument of choice. Co-Founder and lead guitarist Chris Howorth brings some of the heaviest guitar work to songs like “Adrenalize” and “Sick Like Me.” Rhythm guitarist Randy Weitzel does his own few costume changes throughout the show, dawning a preacher outfit in the opening to a horned demon mask. Bassist Travis “Faceless Freak” Johnson, brings his own allure with a giant metal mask that covers majority of his face. Newest member drummer Kent Diimmel, got his chance to shine as well launching into a massively technical drum solo half way through the show.

Ending the show with the stage left empty, Maria Brink’s voice is heard over the loud speaker asking the crowd “Do you want to hear one more? What do you want to hear?”  Suddenly, the entire audience launches into a chant screaming, “WHORE! WHORE! WHORE!” Finally, out walks Maria Brink wearing a dunce cap with the word WHORE written down it. It is such a visceral feeling to see her in this character. Launching into the song, the audience went wild singing along the entire time. Even an eight year old girl next to me was singing word for word with her parents. This song has some of the strongest guitar work and biggest drum beats; not a sole could remain still for this last one.

Full In This Moment slide show below:

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If you have a friend that you are trying to get into the metal scene, one band I would highly recommend to show them is In This Moment. They have so much creativity that anyone can relate to an aspect of the band to enjoy. With one of the best stage shows in music today, Maria Brink and the boys left the audience wanting more. They will also be performing at Las Rageous soon and following that, a co-headlining tour with Halestorm. I look forward to catching them again at Las Rageous myself. Supporting the Witching Hour Tour, Ded and The Word Alive bring a very complimentary flavor to the stage. This is a tour I would hope no metal fan missed out on.

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