In Flames @ Webster Hall (2/15/2006)

Logo - In Flames

Artist: In Flames
Venue: Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Opener: Trivium, Zao
Date: 2/15/2006
Label: Ferret Music

In Flames deserves every ounce of the acclaim that they receive for together with At The Gates, they were one of the forefathers of the Gothenburg sound of Metal. This sound has become so intensely popular over the years and it is continually imitated and often modified to suit the purpose of the band who originally found interest in it. Bands like Soilwork and Dark Tranquility are among the most popular of the groups who found inspiration in the music of In Flames and tonight would be the chance for a lot of people to see exactly why this was the case. Once again the dramatic setting of Webster Hall would be the scene and again the venue was completely sold out. This is great for the band because in a realm where American Idol and Rap music rule the waves of both television and radio it is a feather in one’s cap to be sold out to the rafters in a venue with capacity of about 1300 people. In Flames would be celebrating two events this evening, with the first primarily being the support of their new album “Come Clarity”. The album itself a little different from their usual sound yet more accessible to a wider audience based on some of the ideas on it. The other celebration would be the move to Ferret Music, a label where In Flames would perhaps be the biggest fish in the pond and therein get the most accommodation from the executives.

Opening the show would be Zao, Devildriver and Trivium. To be honest I absolutely hated Zao with the exception of the drummer. He seemed pretty skilled and I guess overall the rest of what they did wasn’t standing out enough for me. The singer was all screams and pretty much kept his activity to the backline amps and drum kit. I’m sorry but when I am in the audience I like the band to make it seem like we are actually there and not like they are at rehearsal space. Devildriver would come up next and this band led by Dez Farfala from Coal Chamber was as impressive as when I caught them on “Sounds Of The Underground 2005”. Proving that Dez knows how to work the crowd well was never more apparent than when he said he needed a circle pit right in front of him since they were filming the performance tonight. I happened to be atop in the balcony at that moment and was glad since it literally became chaos down on the floor. It was cool to look at from my vantage point and I am positive that a lot of banged up audience members were the result of this segment of the show. Trivium would be next up and these guys have been getting a lot of great shows over the past few months. I have seen them almost as much as Into Eternity who I was catching at every third concert it seemed. Singer/guitarist Matt Heafy brings a lot of energy to his performance and he truly seems like he is being recharged by the crowd. Tracks from “Ascendancy” were performed as well as a show stopping rendition of Pantera’s “Walk”. I can say that the whole audience was fists in the air and singing along to this one and clearly Dime’s spirit heard this one going on.

When In Flames came out the venue was absolutely packed and it seemed difficult to maneuver around from anywhere you went. This must have given the guys an added boost as performers because they hit the stage with a great amount of energy and force that you could feel like a physical thing. From start to finish the band had an excellent sound and the mood of the room served the purpose well once again. I was here a few months ago for Opeth and while a different night of music the venue also worked for them. Clearly this place will be perfect for some of these super. In Flames it seemed to work just as well. A great overall sound and a loaded to the gills set holding at 21 songs surely gave everyone who was there a satisfied smile. Anders is a really good front man and you expect that of someone in the business as long as he had been doing this, the entire band was musically on point and sounded clean with no over whelming loudness or distortions. Old and new material was the way to go for the group tonight and I did expect a little more of the new album to be performed than actually was executed but I have to say it was impressive all around. There was a lot of Iron Maiden styled guitar dueling going on between Bjorn Galotte & Jesper Stromblad which definitely shined tonight. In Flames was always a band that upped the ante in their delivery and this aspect of their music set them apart from a lot of the Death Metal bands from back in the day. Their early forays into the more Melodic side of the genre has influenced too many to reference. While the band has modified its style even more for the new album, the old was not forgotten by any stretch of the imagination as their classic Death Metal anthem “Behind Space” (from the very first album “Lunar Strain”) was performed to the ravenous fans. Before the show I had caught up with Anders Friden who was walking about the club meeting people. When I told him I was doing some review of the show he joked that I had better do a good job. My reply was if you do the same I can do it with no problem, and looking back on the night I have to say he really delivered on his promise. “Come Clarity” is a great place to jump on board with In Flames if you are only the casual fan at this point, it’s a fine blend of old and new and to see them in concert is truly a worthwhile experience. Shortly after this concert had happened In Flames was offered a spot on the Main Stage at the 2006 Ozzfest, this will open the band up to a wider audience than ever possible doing their own headlining shows so make sure if you attend that you catch them. You will not be disappointed.

Set List:
1. Pinball Map
2. Leeches
3. System
4. Trigger
5. Insipid 2000
6. Behind Space
7. Colony
8. Crawl Through Knives
9. Black & White
10. Take This Life
11. Dial 595
12. Cloud Connected
13. Drifter
14. Moonshield
15. World Within The Margin
16. Episode 666
17. Only For The Weak
18. Vaccum
19. The Quiet Place
20. Touch Of Red
21. My Sweet Shadow

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