Trees Dallas was the place to be last Saturday night. Part of the reason was that two European headliners were heading in from Mesa, Arizona on their North American tour. DELAIN and HAMMERFALL were bringing in the crowd. Having a meet and greet ticket, like I’m prone to do, people started lining up before 5:30 pm to get autographs, say hello to both bands and get some snaps. Some of the HAMMERFALL guys were a bit late, so it kept the VIP audience of about 100 waiting for a bit.
Warming up the gig were not as well known, but equally killer bands MILLENNIAL REIGN and EXALT THE THRONE. MILLENNIAL REIGN was formed as a solo CD project by well known Dallas band ASKA guitarist, Dave Harvey and sported their brand new line up. From Fort Worth warming up the stage was EXALT THE THRONE. Formed in 2011, EXALT THE THRONE claims to be “melodic metal”. They are similar to the DELAIN and NIGHTWISH with lady fronted operatic vocals and they definitely have their own style.
Beginning the headliners, Netherlands based DELAIN began their set with “Mother Machine”. Charlotte Wessel, lead vocals for the band, was in exquisite form and sounded fantastic. Celebrating her 30th birthday at the gig, several of the crowd were aware of the occasion. One fan passed around a poster to the VIPs and everyone signed it for her. The band acknowledged her special day by posting a “Happy Birthday” sign across the bass drums.
DELAIN sounded at the top of their game. They are used to playing for thousands in Europe, but I guarantee they poured their hearts into their entire performance for the crowd of about 300. They dazzled the audience with additional numbers such as “The Glory and the Scum”, “Suckerpunch”, “Army of Dolls”, “Don’t Let Go” before finishing with “We Are the Others”.
Finishing out the night was HAMMERFALL from Goteborg, Sweden. The gents from Scandinavia blew in on the stage playing “Hector’s Hymn”. I had the good pleasure to review their latest album Built To Last, and they performed three from that record, “Dethrone and Defy”, “Built to Last” and “Hammer High”. Playing a setlist of 14 songs, HAMMERFALL energized their fans to a frenzy with other tracks like “Any Means Necessary”, “Bushido” and “Hearts on Fire”.
I saw DELAIN about two years ago when they toured with NIGHTWISH and SABATON and they had an incredible show then. Between the two, my favorite of the evening was definitely DELAIN. They sounded tight and have a great diversity of music. Although HAMMERFALL has a big, definitive following, they seem quite repetitive to me and don’t vary much from their “hammer high” message, which gets a bit old. I love Charlotte Wessel’s vocals and their drummer Ruben Israel is just a monster on the skins. Overall it was a great night in Deep Ellum. Salude’
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH