MAY 5th 2017

Review by: Metal Mom
Photos by: Char Tupper

The Invisible Orange brought a kick ass show to the Rickshaw Theatre Friday night. I have waited 7 long years to see Hammerfall, so I was more than excited to do the countdown for this show.

Starting off the night was Iron Kingdom, couldn't have picked a better band to start off the night, get everyone in the mood. If you are not too sure about the band, they are the traditional heavy metal. Not signed, which surprises me. Listen closely and you can hear their influences, (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rush and more), and once they start, you are hooked. Sadly though, doors opened, and we missed a few of their songs, as the line-up outside was a good size. They played a variety of songs, with much metal cheers from the crowd. I mentioned to a friend, I haven't seen this kind of crowd for an opening act, and I was impressed. But you realize after listening that these boys have their sound nailed, and they have the energy to make you appreciate what they are presenting on stage. Listen, and enjoy, and enjoy you will. Glad I got the chance to see them again.

Next is West of Hell, a true heavy metal band out of Vancouver, but formed in West Auckland, New Zealand.  Another local band that simply takes what they know and blasts it out to the fans to appreciate. They had the floor fill up even more, you can tell that they spent some serious time getting their sound down, which is a definite old school mix with some modern day, giving them their own unique sound. They had the crowd gathered and held their attention for their whole set. Again, another crowd pleaser. It has been awhile since I personally have seen West of Hell, so I was glad they were also on the bill.

Okay, for me, this next band was who I came for, last time I saw them was 2010 at The Venue, 7 years ago. I was anxious to see them tonight. Luckily, I was able to attend, as I had pulled a muscle in my leg so bad I couldn't walk, but I am pretty sure I would have dragged my sorry ass down there for Hammerfall. Not to worry, whatever it was went away, but I didn’t get to stand right up front, the moshers were stupid ass crazy, you know the ones, shove anyone they could, even if it was people who stood all night just up front to get a firsthand experience Hammerfall style. I was not disappointed, they were still as amazing as ever. Make no mistake, the guys in Hammerfall had the crowd singing, cheering and all in all, enjoying every second of their set. I was, hands held high, fist pumps, you name it, we were all one. This tour was support of their 10th album “Built to Last”. Oh boy, they did a tight set tonight, executing their songs to perfection, they also are visually cool to watch, they have the energy, they move around, they head band, and, I have to say, never seen a band do it in such unison. They play together, they face off, all something fans love to watch, with Hammerfall, you get the whole package. I had the best time watching, and yes singing, good thing the crowd was loud. They started off with “Hector’s Hymn” and continued with all great choices for pleasing their fans. “Riders of the Storm”, “Blood Bound”, “Any Means Necessary”, “Last Man Standing” and so many more, there was 75 minutes of pure heaven. Joacim had a lot of interaction with the fans, even commenting on how the USA mixes up their place of origin, thinking they are from Switzerland where the cheese is made. It is Sweden folks, Sweden. What more can you ask for, this is perfection at its best. I think that both the band, and the fans feed off each other, and that’s how it should be. Sadly, it was time to end, NOOOOOOOO, 75 minutes is definitely not long enough, at least for this reviewer. Probably my favourite song was “Hearts on Fire”, which I am sure that the band didn’t have to sing this one, the crowd was all knowing, and we all sang each and every word together. Then Dronjak, threw his guitar high into the air, and the set came to a close. I was happy, I waited 7 years, and tonight was well worth the wait. Listened all the way home to their cd’s, and that was over an hour. Perfection, exemplary and I was such an elated reviewer. Not often I can say that. Come back soon, we will be anxiously awaiting, and please, bring more merch.

Delain hits the stage next, their first co-headlining tour of North America.  Last time I saw Delain was with Nightwish at the Orpheum, and that was a huge stage. But the Rickshaw is more of a personal touch when you see bands. Sorry, I had to sit for this one, leg was starting to hurt, got nailed in Hammerfall. All good though, as it turns out that the sound is so much better at the back of the room. But I still love to stand up front, I like the more personal touch of being right up front, you can see their faces, and know just how much they love what they are doing, and Delain does. The lighting was great too, really showcasing their look. Like Hammerfall, Delain is supporting their latest album “Moonbathers”. Due to both bands headlining they each get 75 minutes. It was also great to see the full band operate as one solid unit up on stage. This time around they also have an extra member, her name is Merel Bechtold and at a mere 25 years old, she made her mark tonight, don’t let her stature fool you, she may be tiny, but she can kick ass up there. In fact, everyone does, this is a well-oiled band that had everyone singing along, everyone who was previously sitting, standing, with their annoying cells recording. Put the cell down and enjoy, fully enjoy, they have come all this way to play for you, so ENJOY. I am always amazed at Charlottes vocals, man that girl can sing. Each and every one in this band did an exceptional job of their set.  Sadly after 5 songs, I just couldn’t be there anymore. But I know Delain would be dazzling the crowds for much longer, and I myself would be missing out.

My advice to you, DON’T miss this tour, Hammerfall and Delain pull off the best tour to date. Trust me, I have seen plenty of concerts so far, this year. Here are the remaining tour dates:

May 08 - San Francisco, CA @ Social Hall
May 09 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Whiskey
May 10 - Anaheim, CA @ City National Grove
May 11 - Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
May 13 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
May 14 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamo Music Hall
May 15 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
May 17 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
May 18 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

Enjoy your show.