Friday February 2, the 20-date The Witching Hour Tour featuring In This Moment, P.O.D., New Years Day and DED played Express Live in Columbus. It was a four-punch West Coast package with fans stacking the venue, many dressing as ‘Blood Girls’ or in Maria Brink attire.
Hardcore, nu metal from Phoenix poured out the speakers as DED opened the night with an intro of rap, hip-hop influenced screaming passion, inspiring a few crowd surfers to take an early ride. They broke out most of new record Mis-an-thrope as black-clad vocalist Joe Cotela paced back and forth demanding crowd input shrouded and shadowed in dark red light.
Dead To Me was a headbanging stylized call-out to Korn and Slipknot dealing with past emotions lingering like a corrosive virus as Disassociate raged in oppressive other personalities. I Exist was a three-minute stomp frenzy with Remember the Enemy sporting the heavy rhyming fingerprints of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. The shortest straws were pulled quick as breaking point neared the snap of their Rope. FMFY broke out the kerosene fueled dance as Anti- Everything ended their show.
Next, Anaheim’s red and black attack of Ash Costello and fellow animated ghouls, New Years Day came out to play. Malevolence was immediate and harsh as Costello whiplashed front stage with Left Inside and Kill or Be Killed. Her noise-making cohorts carried a creepy resemblance to mortuary members more than musicians.
They paid tribute to Pantera and Dimebag on Fucking Hostile and newest Diary entry, Disgust Me. Whispers and screams of tortured souls beckoned from the Other Side. Dark reflections and the ugly side of the relationship spotlight shined with asylum gates swinging and straight jacket invites on Defame Me.
San Diego came calling with P.O.D. getting the crowd to throw down with new stuff and making fans happy with the classics. The bounce, and heavy crowd surfing began with Soundboy Killa, prepping early for the Boom and some in your face, Sonny Sandoval, crowd participation. Passion delivered the Murdered Love as the emotional signature pride of Southtown grooved out. Crowd staples Alive and the jangling melodic echoes of Youth Of The Nation left them hyped and happy.
In This Moment brought their new Ritual to Columbus with white curtains, balloons, glowing balls, and seductive crowd-pleasing wardrobe changes. Brink owned the stage playing the part of mistress, seductress, temptress, witch, tortured soul, enchantress, black widow and whore. Raging, she was wrapped in flowing robes, cloths and wings as stage fans blew her hair like a conquering warrior queen. Whether moving like a pulsating hunting predator or peeking out with wicked, searing eyes, she portrayed whatever lyrical character the songs spoke of, sometimes resembling a peaceful floating after-life spirit or something from The Ring, The Grudge or Suspiria.
The show began as sirens blared, with images of snakes, flames and Brink in ceremonial headdress on screen. The war-clad, string smashing began as the Blood Girls appeared with the black adorned goddess. Red fused the crimson stage and there was Blood. Black was shed for flowing white as the baptismal drums began the River of Fire. The rhythmic possession commenced as rain descended upon the screen into a flame licked abyss. Cold blue light quenched the flames momentarily as heat melted back in, fighting back and forth for supremacy.
Guitar chords hammered the floor as drums slammed along building anticipation. She returned, sleekly masqueraded in silver, moving to Adrenalize. Slinking statuesque in form, Egyptian, serpent and Buddha-like in movement, she cooled down the crowd via steam gun like a gracious host. The cloak conjured Roots of the dark, enchanted, cursed forest coming alive in the midnight moonlight. Branches grew out like hands following her stride.
Keys hit a brief somber tone as white angelic wings filled the stage, swinging in flight between the purity of heaven and flames of hell. Fans got a breather as Brink played piano.
The band took center stage, jamming out a medley from classic metal to Michael Jackson. The red eyed Big Bad Wolf growled and howled as the church bell rang. The little pig never had a chance. In the Air Tonight got a gothic, heavy makeover.
Sirens went off again as the dark widow returned, mad as a black hatter asking, are you Sick Like Me? The glowing white orbs appeared as Brink’s visage was illuminated in the light praying for exorcism and salvation.
The encore brought out the Whore telling the crowd about her early years and the ladies to never tolerate abuse of any kind and turn hate into something powerful. The balloons fell, ended the night’s ritual and celebration.
CLICK HERE to see more pics from the show.
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New Years Day
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