GIG REVIEW: In This Moment, Motionless In White, Avatar & Gemini Syndrome Live at The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
Wednesday April 26th marked a night to remember as a stacked lineup of bands performed in downtown Detroit at The Fillmore Theatre. Anyone in the area could tell there was something big going down at The Fillmore as the line wrapped down the block and across the street and down another block. Typically, doors open at 7pm at The Fillmore, but the doors opened at 6pm for this show. Which had me wondering if people would be late showing up.
That question was answered as Gemini Syndrome started off the show. This band based out of Los Angeles, California has gained traction over the seven years they’ve been around. With fans packing the venue from the floor up front all the way back to the balcony seats, it was evident that fans made a point to arrive on time. And shame on those who got there late and missed Gemini Syndrome. Combine the sounds of Tool and Mudvayne, you have Gemini Syndrome. And with his white dreads, lead singer Aaron Nordstrom’s presence was instantly noticed. Nordstrom, with his subtle vocals and sudden outbursts brought the crowd along through the peaks and valleys where the fans pumped fists and sang along.
Kicking the energy into another gear was the next band, Avatar. These guys out of Sweden sure can rock and sport some stylish clothes as they all wore circus ring leader garb. The introductory of lead singer Johannes Eckerstrom was interesting as he was revealed inside a mini circus tent where he stood still, making me feel like I was looking at a toy figure in its case. Then that patented wide smile of Eckerstrom beamed out and soon the hair whipping began as the other band members created a thunderously delightful ruckus. Avatar has gotten better every time I’ve seen them. And with a growing fan base, I’m not the only one taking notice. Avatar is primed to take over the rock and roll world.
Up on stage next was Motionless In White. While the lighting may have been darker and the candles abound made the atmosphere moodier, the crowd was nonetheless excited and pumped as Motionless In White played. Many members of this group make creative use of make-up, ranging from blacking the neck to prom queen style. Lead singer Chris Motionless had the crowd rocking with his varied vocals, seamlessly changing vocal styles from smooth singing right into a guttural growl. Fans jumped and sang out at the top of their lungs. I’m sure more than a few hoarse voices were created that night. But I’m sure fans can’t wait until next time that Motionless In White comes back around so they can do it all over again.
Headlining the show was In This Moment. And what a show it was. Fitting to be in a theater with all the theatrics and costume changes lead singer Maria Brink goes through during the evening. It was a joy to have the privilege of utilizing the photo pit for the entire time In This Moment played. With a packed venue, full of metal heads anxiously waiting for the curtain to drop, In This Moment already had the audience in the palm of their hands. The first unveiling of Maria Brink was a stunning outfit, reminiscent of something out of a Guillermo del Toro movie, she wore a white dress and a white lace mask in a style the Pope would wear. But I don’t think the Pope would wear the gloves with claws.
With support from a couple of ladies who help provide the atmosphere, Maria performed some poses making her appear to have six arms. Throughout the night, Maria evolved into many characters from a nurse, a butterfly to a naughty school girl. Meanwhile the guys in the band have their own cool look going on. Mainly running along with a Mad Max post-apocalyptic look. Original member Chris Howorth on lead guitar and Randy Weitzel on rhythm guitar look like brothers as they both sport some dreadlocks in their hair and have similar face paint styles. Travis Johnson on bass initially came out with a black and white mask that displayed a Christian cross but when he unmasked, he had his familiar lower face mask on and eyes of white that’ll hypnotize you should you stare at them. Arms sleeved up in tattoos and distressed pants, he was looking like a character out of Nuke Em High. Kent Diimmel on drums was hidden off center in the back and I didn’t see him until a couple of songs in when the lights shined on him now and then.
Musically this group brought the rockage in full force, a combination of metal, industrial and gothic and much more, the crushing blows from Johnson’s bass, the soar of Howorth’s guitar, accompanied with the wails from Weitzel’s guitar and the driving beats provided by Diimmel laid the ground work for Maria Brink to do her thing, and that was sing and put on a show.
Brink’s stage presence is multiplied when she enters from behind the curtain to reveal a new costume. Elegantly waiving fabric, Maria appeared to have 12 foot wings and seemed as if she would soar into the air as the fabric rippled around. Playing many of their hits including “Blood”, “Sick Like Me” and “Whore”. One of their new songs set to be released on their upcoming album ‘River of Fire’ caught my attention. It’s a cover song of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”. I didn’t recognize the song at first until the lyrics flowed out. Maria made the song her own and musically showed that In This Moment isn’t afraid to branch out to achieve more success.
This is one tour I’d advise any metal fan to catch. With up and coming Gemini Syndrome gaining more fans, Avatar blazing into the hearts of the people, Motionless In White displaying their diverse talent and In This Moment combining heavy metal and theater. This was an enjoyable night of rock and roll that I and many fans will remember for a long time.