Very few, if any, holidays pair up with a genre of music better than Halloween and metal. The two revel in the sick and twisted. Both are about presentation and atmosphere, just as much as the talent bringing everything to life. In recent music, few bands have understood that more than In This Moment. The Los Angeles act has followed in the footsteps of greats like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson in turning every live performance into an absolute spectacle that even newcomers can quickly become engrossed in. Much like a Stanley Kubrick movie, every second could be stopped and viewed as art. With the talented vocalist Maria Brink at the helm, In This Moment has quickly transcended into the upper echelon of bands in the presence of female vocal leads. A time where many are clawing their way to the top of the scene.
Brink’s talents may have gone unnoticed without the proper supporting cast, which is where Chris Howorth (Lead Guitar), Randy Weitzel (Guitar), Travis Johnson (Bass), and Kent Dimel (Drums) come into play. Together, the group has taken over airwaves and stages with a show that is less concert and more experience. With Halloween fast approaching, the group gathered close friends in burlesque group Little Miss Nasty alongside bands DED, New Years Day, and Motionless in White for a tour dubbed “Mother’s House of Horror.” The tour promised to get fans into the spirit of Halloween with shows throughout the United States kicking off in early September in North Carolina and continuing through the continent. With the tour nearing the finish line, the remaining shows fell one after another. In This Moment turned their attentions to Long Island’s Paramount Theatre on October 22nd for a night that turned out to be a little more haunted than they could have imagined.
Little Miss Nasty
Opening act Little Miss Nasty gathered to the stage as a respectable early crowd drew in close to check out the heavy metal-themed burlesque show. While only four girls joined the stage, the troupe contains 15 women chosen from over 300 applicants. The talented dancers share a resume a mile long dancing alongside countless top-tier names in the music industry while also creating their own brand of fun with their live show. The show not only tours but holds a residency as one of the most popular shows in Las Vegas.
Utilizing a variety of well known rock and metal hits from Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” to KoRn’s Pink Floyd cover “Another Brick In The Wall,” the four dancers captured the attention of venue. The empowering performers played out scenes depicting acts of BDSM to more playful ones such as those above “Another Brick in a Wall” playing out in a school-like setting. The foursome even proved to have some vocal chops with their original track “Sippin’ on a Forty” while backed by prerecorded instrumentals. Fans looking for an incredibly sexy look into the worlds of metal music and burlesque can surely find no better as the band is, as their recently titled tour suggests, pretty in kink.
Up next for the Long Island crowd, DED was ready to add the full band feeling to the show. A far departure from the previous act, DED’s Joe Cotela (Vocals), David Ludlow (Guitar) Kyle Koelsch (Bass), and Matt Reinhard (Drums) came to the stage looking far more deranged than the act that preceded them. With tattered outfits and painted faces, the group rushed to the stage, ready to dole out some metal goodness to the growing crowd. The Arizona based metal band live behind the mantra of their lead singer who’s been quoted saying: “With our music, we want to make the listener feel like how you feel after you’ve watched a really good horror movie: on edge, jittery, and very much alive.” They were the perfect addition to Mother’s House of Horror.
Kicking things off with “Architect,” the atmosphere immediately changed with fans jumping and banging heads. Mosh pits began to form as “Hate Me” and “Disassociate” continued the assault as more fans arrived in the venue, ready to have some fun. Cotela even took a second to acknowledge the pits, as lights shined down on them, inviting more inside. Rounding out the setlist, “Remember the Enemy,” “Eyes Sewn Shut” and “FMFY,” each bringing more hard-hitting tracks to DED’s performance. The group closed things out with “Anti-Everything.” DED soaked up a healthy dose of cheers before retiring for the night. Taking off some time before heading overseas to tour Europe, DED is living up to, even exceeding, their expectations. From overseas to on the seas, fans will have a chance to join the group as part of the 2020 Shiprocked lineup.
New Years Day
Noticed from the moment fans walked to the stage, growing metal band New Years Day’s banner hung high over the stage. Now it was time for vocalist Ash Costello to grace the platform. Sporting a recognizable look, with half her hair dyed red and the other black, Costello is joined by Nikki Misery (Guitar), Austin Ingerman (Lead Guitar) former Static-X bassist Frankie Sil, and Lougineu W. Parsons III (Drums). The Anaheim, California based group are no strangers to playing alongside In This Moment, which is becoming a regular fixture in their tours. With their fourth album, Unbreakable, releasing earlier this year, the group took over the stage ready to have some fun.
As the group opened with “Come for Me,” fans were treated to a fantastic set that had fans moving. While Costello’s powerful voice was the star of the show, the rest of the group were no slouches with Misery, in particular absolutely abusing his guitar through the entire set. Misery threw his guitar around with reckless abandon, and, at one point, he slid the strings along the metal railing of one fo the band’s platforms to add a unique sound. The set continued with “Kill or Be Killed” and “I’m About to Break You” before the band covered Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile” to the delight of fans.
Fans who’ve attended a few New Years Day shows over the last couple of years might have noticed a trend. Costello takes time during the set to poll the audience, asking who has heard of them before and who hasn’t. Over the last couple of years, the cheers have become more favorable for the former, and, to Costello’s delight, the crowd became completely silent when asked who hadn’t heard of them. Earning every bit of that notoriety, the band kicked into their highest charting track, “Shut Up.” Many fans, familiar with the song, screamed the lyrics back at Costello. “Epidemic,” “Skeletons,” and “Scream” kept the party going before the group closed out with “Defame Me.” With this tour coming to an end, New Years Day is gearing up to head over to Europe for a tour headlined by another band they’re no stranger to, Halestorm. With one show on the tour already sold out, and others sure to follow, it will be interesting to see how loud the fans get when Costello asks who’s heard of the band before.
Motionless in White
After New Years Day, stage crew worked quickly to set up the stage for gothic metal’s Motionless in White. The setting brought the Halloween theme to the forefront as Jackolanterns, a creepy lantern, and a haunted-house backdrop set the tone for the upcoming act. Hailing from nearby Pennsylvania, Motionless in White has been enjoying the success of their fifth album, Disguise, offered up for fans earlier this year. Setting themselves apart from other acts, the band employs a Halloween look to their setup year-round and has kicked it up another notch for this tour. Fans who have followed the group for a while know the band also routinely changes up their stage show, leaving fans unsure of what to expect at any given time. This tour was no different as Chris “Motionless” Cerulli (Vocals), Ryan Sitkowski (Lead Guitar), Ricky “Horror” Olson (Rhythm Guitar), Justin Morrow (Bass) and Justin Morrow (Bass) having a few tricks up their sleeve for the Long Island crowd.
The band started their night off with “Undead Ahead 2: The Tale of the Midnight Ride” with fans, almost immediately, opening the pits back up and throwing crowd surfers up to the air. “Reincarnate” continued the fun with “Necessary Evil,” following with a pumpkin-headed monster joining the stage to add to the Halloween mantra of the performance. “Soft’ and “Disguise” brought the hits coming before “Voices” marked the halfway point for the band’s night on stage. Cerulli spent time in between tracks to get the cheer growing, asking who was ready for the headlining act and playing everything up to the crowd. Despite the audience being boisterous all set, Cerulli humorously said: “Oh, I just had to bring up In This Moment to make you guys make some noise?”.
The set continued with “Rats” and “Broadcasting From Beyond the Grave: Death Inc.” with the latter leading to one of the greatest scenes of the night as fans hoisted up a young walker-bound fan to crowd surf, walker and all. Cerulli even ran towards the side of the stage where the fan was due to land to get an up and close look as security helped the fan over the barricade as fans cheered the group effort. During “Brand New Numb,” the band was joined by Sam of Trick ‘r Treat fame. The menacing movie character handed out several oversized lollipops that bared the band’s logo on them to fans close to the guardrail before the group finished off with “Eternally Yours.” As the cut progressed, Cerulli took rose after rose out of a bouquet and handed it out to various fans, including one girl as she surfed her way to the stage. Halloween may have since come and gone, but Motionless in White continues to haunt cities, currently enjoying a tour through the UK, Europe, and Russia.
In This Moment
With four acts down, In This Moment’s was curtain was raised in front of the stage. Many women in attendance had made it clear who they were here to see, dressed in ways that Brink has graced the stage over the years. Sadly, this is where the night would become far more trick than treat. Whether it be gremlins, critters, or a building in need of a good exorcism, the night took a turn for the odd as the band’s crew set the stage for the headliner. It all started harmlessly enough when one of the confetti cannons shot off without warning into the crowd, but attention soon drew towards something far more worrisome when the fire alarms began going off. As warning lights strobed, the venue was quick to inform fans via the giant screens that the show was on hold. Firefighters arrived soon after and, about an hour after the alarms went off, the screens resumed showing upcoming shows while hard rock anthems resumed blasting through the speakers, signifying the show was soon set to resume.
Sure enough, a prerecording of “Salvation” took over the airwaves as the curtain was dropped, revealing the intricate set. With the band members in place and Brink turned away from the crowd flanked by three dancers banging drums in perfect harmony, the group opened their set with an eerie, yet beautiful rendition of Steve Miller Band’s Fly Like an eagle. With very little in the way of movement or intricate lighting, attention turned more on Brink’s powerful voice giving new life to the classic track. The band then kicked into their songs with “River of Fire,” as Brink descended the jack-o-lantern laden stairs. “Adrenalize,” followed with Rivers grabbing a smoke gun and firing into the crowd before shooting it straight up into their air. Sadly this may have proven to be a bad idea as soon into “Natural Born Sinner,” the alarms would again sound off in the Huntington venue, signaling once again a need to delay the show.
With the time now pushing midnight, some fans sadly left, but In This Moment’s more faithful chose to stay as long as they could in hopes of spending more time with the band they came to see. After once again being cleared to continue the show, the group chose first to come center stage to explain what had happened. In short, the Fire Marshall had given them the ok to continue but had forced the act to cease the use of all smoke and fog machines. While these inarguably add to the aura of an In This Moment set, fans were more than willing to oblige if it meant seeing more of the show. After a quick reset, the band returned with “Big Bad Wolf” before being forced to close out the night due to the venue’s curfew with “Whore.” No band wants to have a show turn out like this; the band still had done everything they could to deliver a set worthy of their fans. The “Mother’s House of Horrors” concluded days later, luckily with no more incidents, and now the band sets their eyes to Europe with shows that are sure to wow fans overseas.