Scandinavian death metal heavyweights, Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium arrived in Kokomo, Indiana, along with the bitter winter.
No stranger to negative temperatures and snow covered terrain, Sweden’s Dark TranquillityÂ made a pit stop in Kokomo, IN, to a small, but dedicated crowd. The venue, Centerstage, was a bit surprising. The space was ratherÂ well set up,Â and the sound was far better than many larger venues. The band was on point and delivered a full set complete with headbanging hijinx and light show fit for a larger stage.
Dark Tranquillity’s vocalist, Mikael Stanne, burst out on to the stage with energy and charisma. He played up to the crowd like the venue was packed with people, and the fans tripled their numbers by excitement alone. Stanne is very good at making eye contact with fans and has a wayÂ of connecting with his audience by pointing and high fiving at anyone he can manage toÂ acknowledge.
Still touring for their 2013 release, Construct, Dark Tranquillity added smaller towns on the way to larger cities in order to increase their fan base. Kokomo, IN, isn’t exactly a major port and in the dead of winter, getting people to come out to a mid-week show is usually a bitÂ like herding cats, but these die hard fans wouldn’t miss DQ if there was a blizzard. Giving nods and appreciation to those that did brave the arctic melee, Stanne won over fans and gave them a show to remember.
Supporting Dark Tranquillity this time aroundÂ is Finnish band,Â Insomnium. Wielding a sharp sound of melodic death metal all their own, Insomnium is definitely gaining ground in the USA. Touring for their latest offering, Shadows of the Dying Sun,Â it was nice to see a crowd primarily there for the headliner readily embrace a band they knew very little about. When Insomnium hits the stage, it is difficult not to be mesmerized by tight guitar harmonies and haunting melodic breaks. Based on the crowd’s ecstatic reaction to both bands, it’s safe to say that the Norwegian invasion is underway here in the States.