In Flames, and the Glorified Picture Book that is this Article.
Okay, there are a lot of photos to get to, so we gotta make this real quick. I first heard In Flames when I was in high school after a friend of mine pirated their hit single “Cloud Connected”, a bona fide classic, and uploaded it onto my mp3 player after making some room of course, as it could only hold 500mb worth of songs. To make a long story short, I dived into their catalog and the band quickly became one of my all-time favorites.
Then in my first year of college, 2011 (yes I know I’m getting old), the band played Sokol, now known as The Admiral (I feel like I’m that one guy that always talks about the Ranch Bowl now), with supporting acts Trivium, Jamey Jasta’s side band Kingdom of Sorrow, and the now defunct Straight Line Stitch (I’m going to turn to dust soon.) The band was touring their latest release Sounds of a Playground Fading (great album title) and played a killer set. It was the best first concert experience I’ve ever had. So, naturally when I heard my good friends at The World Without Us were opening for them, I jumped at the chance to cover them.
Great now that we are all caught up, let's go over the lineup. We had TWWU (UwU) as the openers, followed by Des Moines badbois Vended, who are... (checks notes,) literally some sort of a new wave of Nu Metal, then Orbit Culture, Swedish kin to In Flames, rocking a more modernized Gothenburg Melo-Death sound. Got it? Cool! Time for pictures.
First up was The World Without Us, which if you aren’t in the know, are Lincoln locals who play some top notch modern metalcore. I’m absolutely in love with sound, as well as their lead singer Drew and if be both weren’t married, I’d smooch his mustached face. They had a few changes to their typical set. They had Drew ditch the guitar and just to vocals, which honestly elevated their performance, as it allowed him to move around more during the set. He looked way more comfortable with this new setup and was chatting with the audience much more than past sets.
They also played mostly new songs, leaving some of their weightier classics off the table in favor of the new, and more energetic tunes. I love those songs, but it was pretty refreshing to see them bring some new energy to their stage performances. Unfortunately they didn’t have too much room to move around given all the equipment from the oncoming bands that took up a lot of the stage.
They ended their set with their proto-cover “Me Inside/Gently”, which I say is a proto cover because it is practically not a cover. There isn’t too much tonally to tie it back to Slipknot and the band really makes the tracks their own. It is definitely the most transformative cover I’ve ever heard and made for a fantastic closer.
Allow me to fellate myself even further with this fantastic gallery of photos before we move on.
Check out their impressive site at https://twwu-official.com, and check out my review for their upcoming album in November.
Up next was Vended, a band I had never heard before the show and daaaaaaaaaaamn! Them Iowa boys put on a hell of a show. They got mad Slipknot Iowa era vibes, which makes sense considering they are from Des Moines. I honestly could not believe they were not a solid decade old. I felt transported back to when Nu Metal was new and fresh, well before we all realized Kid Rock self-reported as a pedophile in his track “Daddy Cool”, featured in the 2001 smash hit Osmosis Jones. How did THAT song make it into THAT movie? Seriously, look it up. The band had the most energetic performance of the night, headbanging, jumping, and making use of the entirety of the space available.
I really enjoy all the body paint. The band looked straight out of a post-apocalyptic tribal sci-fi flick. The blue was a nice touch. One of the guitarists had black paint all over his fingers and palms and was playing a white guitar. It looked super cool and felt very tribal. That’s metal AF!
Those guys were super photogenic. I mean look at these photogenic fellas.
Get future-primal with Vended at officialvended.com.
Orbit culture played a very fog heavy, back lit set next, but I got some great shots regardless. As much as the lighting was not great for photographs, it made for a visually stunning show, silhouetting the band nicely, shrouding their set-in mystery and intrigue.
I had no idea what to expect with these guys, but they proved to be the heaviest band there, taking after earlier Gothenburg as opposed to the more modern melodic sound from the region, pushing the genre a step further in the death metal direction while still retaining the catchy choruses.
I didn’t get nearly as many photos of these guys, but what I did get was pretty solid.
Spin around a giant mass in the center of space, or check out their music at https://www.orbitculture.com/
And finally, the Gothenburg God’s In Flames, with the best lit set of all time! The last couple of times I’ve seen them they were touring new albums, and this time they were not, but… Holy buckets! The band played one song from each of their incredible dossier of albums spanning practically 30 years.
In the past I’ve been mildly disappointed when they were solely focusing on newer material, but hearing tracks off of Lunar Strain, Jester Race, and Whoracle live was a dream come true. This was THE dream set. "Behind Space", "The Jester Race", "Episode 666", and "Scorn", being played along modern classics like "Shadow My Sweet Shadow", "Leeches", "The Mirror's Truth", and "I, The Mask" was surreal. It felt like a celebration of all the various In Flames era’s, outlining the through lines that make the band who they are.
Man, the pits were brutal. Some of the biggest and burliest dudes were shoving scrawny pipsqueaks like myself halfway across the room. There was a bigger dude on the front line of the pit who was very angry that he kept being shoved. He picked several fights during the set with all the biggest dudes in the pits. Half of the time we had to stop swirling around in the primordial soup to pull these dudes apart. It was not an entirely safe situation. PSA to all first-time concert goer’s, it’s nothing personal, don’t stand near the pits if you don’t want to be shoved.
Check out these amazing photos! This was definitely my absolute favorite show I’ve ever photographed, and I had a blast taking photos and shoving my camera onto my wife while I hopped in the pit.
I probably don't need to tell y'all where to find these guys, but for the technically illiterate you can preorder their new album Forgone at https://www.inflames.com.
Thanks for sticking with me and indulging in my excitement to share these photos. I took over 4,500 photos at the show and it literally took me over 6 hours to sort and edit them all. I appreciate ya! ;D