The House of Blues Chicago was treated to two nights of metal from Avatar, Of Mice and Men and In This Moment.

The first night of the epic lineup shows was an all ages show. Due to early curfews for all ages show, this jam-packed show had to kick off at the exceptionally early time of 5.30pm. Looking at how full the venue was, this did not put anyone off. There was an impressive crowd already accumulated, ready for Avatar to take to the stage. 

Whilst Avatar performed at Chicago Open Air back in July of this year, this was the first time for them to perform within the Chicago city limits. They were given a warm welcome, with some of the crowd donning similar face paint to that of Johannes Eckerström. As they ripped through the powerful “Hail the Apocalypse”, the entire House of Blues shook to its foundations as the excited crowd jumped up and down in unison. The brief seven-song set left many gasping for more. Judging by the reaction from the audience, next time they will surely be further up the billing. 

Next up was Of Mice and Men. The metalcore band took to the stage with new lead vocalist, Aaron Pauley. They had the full support of the already amped up crowd who passionately sang along with them at the top of their voices. Their setlist was made up predominantly of songs from their 2014 album The Restoring Force rather than the newer Cold War which they released last year. They also went further back in their catalog to perform “The Flood” and “The Depths”.

As the Blood Legion screamed for their “Queen” with the anticipation at boiling point, it was time for In This Moment to burst onto the stage. Bringing the Half God, Half Devil tour to Chicago, the audience were treated to the adrenaline-filled show they have all come to know and love them for. Throughout the set, Maria Brink poured her heart and soul into the highly dramatized performance which impressively included a new costume change for every song.

Throughout the show, Brink’s powerful voice didn’t once falter. For all the production, it is not to take away from their actual musical ability. Clearly reaching out to people of different age groups, Brink’s voice filled the Music Hall as every set of eyes was transfixed on the engaging frontwoman who had full command of the audience throughout the entire set. 

The chemistry on stage between the band members is clear to see. Co-founding member of the band, Chris Howorth, and fellow guitarist, Randy Weitzel, provided the rhythm and riffs of the band, whilst newer addition to the band, drummer Kent Diimmel, joined bassist, Travis Johnson, as the heartbeat of the night.

This tour is in support of their album Ritual which was released in July of this year. It was clear to see that the newer additions to the catalog were as well received as the older material. Throwing in a cover of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” which was an impressive interpretation of the classic. By the time they rounded out the set with “Whore”, the House of Blues had reached fever pitch as the various sized balloons were released from the ceiling onto the excited crowd below. 

Whilst it felt extremely unusual for a show of this kind finishing at 9.15pm rather than nearer to midnight, you couldn’t tell by the size of the crowd that had gathered from the moment the doors opened. This was a show they were not prepared to miss or be late for. 

The tour continues on through until November 12, so be sure to join the Blood Legion and buy your tickets for a date near you.

In This Moment
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Of Mice And Men
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House of Blues
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Event Date: 25-SEP-2017

About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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