Dutch symphonic metal legends Within Temptation have embarked on a North American Tour with In Flames and Smash Into Pieces. The Resist 2019 run has officially brought the group back for a full North American trek for the first time in five years as they were there to support their new album Resist, which was released on February 1st via Spinefarm Records. Speaking of half a decade, their latest effort is the band’s first LP since 2014’s Hydra. With that being said, a lot has changed for these giants as they’ve more than proven they aren’t afraid of diversifying their musical craft. The tour kicked off on February 28th and we were there on the third stop of the run on March 2nd at New York City’s Playstation Theater.
Smash Into Pieces
A line circled around the theater one hour before the doors scheduled opening time. Seeing the early crowd was a good indication the show was going to sell out. Once the doors opened, many walked right to the merch table. One could say that line didn’t seem to end until it was time for Within Temptation to take the stage. However, many were able to catch Smash Into Pieces’ set.
Alternative Swedish rockers Smash Into Pieces kicked off the night as they were there to support their latest effort 2018’s Evolver. While the album has moved in a lighter direction than their prior efforts such as 2015’s The Apocalypse DJ, their set was anything but light. However, if you speak in a literal sense, many eyes were glued on drummer The Apocalypse DJ as it was difficult to avoid his brightly-lit mask. The band delivered an electrifying set as their stage presence hooked the crowd’s attention. The group’s energy and overall engagement with the audience was impressive as they went into songs “Like This!,” “Higher,” “Merry Go Round,” Stronger,” “Let Me Be Your Superhero,” “In Need of Medicine,” “Disaster Highway,” “The Game,” and “Boomerang.”
After a short break, it was time for In Flames to take the stage. Looking back at these Swedish metallers, it was back in November 2016 when the band headlined Playstation Theater with Hellyeah in support of their most changed album, Battles. Reflecting once again, it didn’t take long during that time period when longtime bassist Peter Iwers and drummer Daniel Svensson parted ways with the band. However, three years have gone by and the group released the heavier record, I, The Mask, on March 1st via Eleven Seven Music.
Additionally, just before the tour began, the group revealed guitarist Niclas Engelin was forced to sit out from the trek due to being strongly medically advised to stay home as the band recruited ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick for a last minute replacement. There were a few different faces compared to seeing them three years prior, which included Bryce Paul on bass and Tanner Wayne on drums.
Despite the lineup shuffle and sound differences, not much has changed in the group’s overall vigorous performance. Whether you enjoy their melodic death, metalcore, to hard rock sound, the band delivered it all. Frontman Anders Fridén brought some humor into the room as well by admitting to having two heavy bud lights and expressed it was difficult for him to understand the English language. All jokes aside, the band delivered a fairly mixed set and a tenacious performance with songs “Voices,” “Everything’s Gone,” “Pinball Map,” “Where the Dead Ships Dwell,” “Monsters in the Ballroom,” “All for Me,” “(This Is Our) House,” “Here Until Forever,” “The Truth,” “I Am Above,” “Cloud Connected,” and “The End.”
As fans finished collecting their merch and grabbing another round at the bar, it was time for Within Temptation’s flawless return to NYC. The band started their set with the new song “Raise Your Banner” as vocalist Sharon den Adel graced the stage raising an actual banner for all to see. Following the dramatic entrance, the group presented a triumphant performance as they knew exactly what their fans wanted to hear.
The energy in the packed house was remarkable as many continued to sing throughout most of the songs as others had their hearts melt by watching such an exquisite performance. The group made history that night as their blend between symphonic, gothic, and doom came to life that night. Songs included: “The Reckoning,” “Endless War,” “In the Middle of the Night,” “Stand My Ground,” “All I Need,” “Supernova,” “The Promise,” “The Cross,” “Ice Queen (acoustic),” “Faster,” “Mercy Mirror,” “Paradise (What About Us?),” “The Heart of Everything,” “What Have You Done,” and “Mother Earth.’
Overall, despite the different styles each band presented, they all shared one thing in common: change. Within Temptation, In Flames, and Smash Into Pieces have evolved from their original creative path as they’ve proven they aren’t afraid to take risks by mixing things up. With that being said, it was enjoyable seeing these three perform as they all presented a distinct level of energy.
Remaining Tour Dates:
3/12: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
3/14: Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom
3/15: Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theater
3/16: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
3/18: San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
3/19: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern Theater