Probably one of the most forgotten skills in music performance has nothing to do with your instrument at all. The ability to take a stage and, in front of 3 people or 30,000, truly put on a visually entertaining and memorable show for everybody in front of you is arguably the most important skill one can have while on stage. KISS defined this in the 70’s and has always set the standard for visuals of a concert. Fast forward to 2016 and LA based In This Moment is taking the stage performance to new levels.
In a day that was plagued with uncertainty, favors pulled, last minute approvals, long drives, parking problems and quite literally the hottest venue in recent memory, came one of the most memorable concerts for many fans in the Columbus area. In this Moment, on the last leg of the US portion of their tour, took the stage with supporting acts Sunflower Dead, Shaman’s Harvest and Nonpoint. It bears mentioning that without the due diligence of my editor, Jeremy Moore and the extreme generosity of Lord Hannibal, head of personal security for In This Moment and the Queen’s Guard, I would have never had this opportunity to photograph this band. Cheers to you lads.
In This Moment’s stage production is a pretty simple formula that works well and places vocalist and founding member Maria Brink as the centerpiece of a heavy metal show that keeps the audience entranced in the show. The stage is bathed in vibrant colors and dramatic smoke to a center stage where Maria and her dancers perform most of the show surrounded by her band; founding guitarist Chris Howorth, bassist Travis Johnson, guitarist Randy Weitzel and newly joined drummer Kent Diimmel. Each song is performed with Maria in a specific outfit and the transition of songs is met with outfit changes for her and her dance accompany with Randy Weitzel occasionally dawning his green LED-lined hockey mask. Outfit changes were accompanied by set changes to add props that went with the next song performance. For example, ‘Sex Metal Barbie’ was performed to a pink podium with a large black widow on the front and Maria emerging from behind wearing a pink .
Visually, this was a show unlike most with one of the highlights being during the performance of “The Fighter” which Maria takes a seat on a single chair center stage with smoke swirling around her the lights wash over her in beams of white and blue, as fans mounted to the base of the platform blow her long blonde hair, creating a truly dramatic effect that is a perfect compliment to the emotionally charged vocal performance. After which, she made a point to introduce the band, retreat for her outfit change while the band proceeded to perform an intense melody of Metallica tracks including ‘Creeping Death,’ ‘The Call of Ktulu,’ and drummer Kent Diimmel performing a small drum solo similar to Lars Ulrich’s in structure from the Black Album tour. This was the time where the band got to take the stage on their own and perform for the crowd and show that musically, they are just as strong as any band today. Closing out the main set with the crowd-favorite ‘Whore‘, Maria Brink came out with a schoolgirl outfit and wearing a hat with the word ‘Whore‘ written on it. The crowd was energized and singing along word for word.
In a time where concerts can sometimes be watching a band stand on stage and stare at their instruments, In This Moment has become a modern standard for stage production, theatrics and all around entertainment to the backing track of heavy metal. For a band whos roots were once much heavier, they have truly found a way to be memorable for any fan fortunate enough to bear witness to the gospel of the Queen, Maria Brink.