November 2013 brought KAMELOT to Tampere’s Pakkahuone during their Silverthorn Over Europe Tour following the release of the likewise-named album. This was the first tour since the departure of their former vocalist, Roy Khan, and the introduction of Tommy Karevik (also known from SEVENTH WONDER). They were joined on stage by REVAMP (who we unfortunately missed), though their other opener had to cancel.
Their show started out with “Torn” as an intro, going straight into “Ghost Opera.” I admit being surprised that they didn’t play “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)” to begin with, but likewise, I can’t complain about the song choice. Tommy Karevik sounds so much like Roy Khan, it’s unbelievable. You could even say that his voice is a little stronger live compared to the former lead vocalist, but then again, Khan did quit due to health reasons. As a bonus, there were some platforms set up on so the crowd could see. This was great, because Pakkahuone has a notoriously low-standing stage.
As the show kicked into gear, the band greeted the crowd, mispronouncing Tampere quite badly, but nevertheless shared their enthusiasm on being there. Karevik mentioned that he has never been to Tampere before and he was excited for his first time north of Helsinki, and was constantly thanking the crowd throughout the show. So, as the crowd was encouraged to scream for Mr. Tommy Karevik, they played “The Great Pandemonium” from their second-last album, “Poetry for the Poisoned.” Karevik has lots of energy on stage, but it’s rather refined. It reminded me a bit of Tarja Turunen back when she was still with NIGHTWISH – she wasn’t all over the stage, but she just looked cool. This was the same. There was passion and energy, but it was dignified. He also stuck to Khan’s formula, but has fun with the songs, and they all work for him.
Another addition to the stage was a guest female vocalist, Alissa White-Gluz, known from the Canadian band, THE AGONIST. This is a band I’m entirely unfamiliar with, and I found her a little awkward on the stage. She seemed to realize that she had to do something while standing in the background singing, and I found her movements a little robotic, truth be told. I think she was trying to be smooth and beautiful, but it was just a little odd-looking. Her voice, on the other hand, was top-notch. She sang the female parts wonderfully and as for… well I’ll get to that in a bit.
Next they planned on slowing it down, and then bringing it back up with something heavy, since Finland is the land of heavy metal. He asked the crowd to bring out their cell phones for a tragic song. Casey “The Animal” Grillo was foregrounded for a drum solo following “Song for Jolee,” and then they turned it up a notch with “When the Lights are Down.” After this, Karevik began to play with the crowd’s “volume knob,” a magical little device that he bought in Sweden (but he was sure was made in Finland) and it changes how loud the crowd is. He turned it up and down a few times, getting the crowd to cheer more or less loudly for a while, before they played the first single off “Silverthorn,” “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife).” Now, at this point, I’ll reiterate that it was unfortunate that you couldn’t hear White-Gluz as well as you might’ve liked during the show. When she was singing backing vocals, her mic just wasn’t turned up loud enough. However, when she was singing the lead on a few occasions, such as in “Sacrimony,” she did very well, though I’d be lying if I said she was better than the original vocalist on the track, Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE). And, as I mentioned, I’m not familiar with THE AGONIST, so when she started belting out the growls on that track, I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my head. Color me impressed.
Next, Karevik continued to prove himself with their older tracks, like “Rule the World” and “EdenEcho.” Oliver Palotai then made an appearance to perform a keyboard solo that was nothing short of magical, before they began their final, and most well-known track, “Forever.” They pulled out all the stops and had as much fun with the crowd in the last song as they could, extending it and doing the usual last-song showing off. Karevik included a long part in the second half of the song where he sang a vocal part (no lyrics) and got the crowd to repeat him.
I’ll make note at this point how great the lighting was in this show. They had a lot of solid colors, pierced by beams of other-colored light. It was cool to see, and different than the normal lighting at shows. It’s great to see something unusual now and then.
When they were called back for an encore, Sean Tibbetts (bass) was the only one to return to the stage. He played around with the crowd quite a bit, getting them to cheer, before he started a surprisingly funky bass solo. The first official track was “Karma,” which was followed by “The Haunting (Somewhere in Time).” I noticed that the female vocalist looked quite different from before, and I was hit with the sudden realization: this was Floor Jansen! I hadn’t realized that REVAMP was the newly-announced NIGHTWISH vocalist’s other band, and since I didn’t watch them perform, I was completely shocked to see her there. And, not to make a pun or anything, but she pretty much floored us all with her performance on the song. She and Karevik were perfect, and had great chemistry on stage together.
The last track was, of course, “March of Mephisto,” which started with Tommy Karevik crouching on a platform that slowly rose so he was towering over the rest of the band. He didn’t stay there for the whole song, but it was a cool effect. I give him a definite thumbs-up as a frontman. He was very connected to the crowd, giving out high-fives and handshakes throughout the show. The show ended with a bang and they did their bows to “Continuum” as an outro and finished off the night.
Overall, it was a great show. There was a notable number of couples present – KAMELOT seems like a good band to bring your girlfriend/boyfriend to see. It really is a great atmosphere though. Even if you’re not familiar with KAMELOT’s songs, you can still enjoy the show because it has a very “Kamelot” feel to it. You never get that sense of boredom that comes from not knowing a band’s discography.
All-in-all, if you were worried about their new singer, don’t be. If you were worried about their live performance, don’t be. If you had any reason not to go, you should’ve ignored it. It was an awesome show and I’d go see them again any day, no questions asked.
1. Torn (intro)
2. Ghost Opera
3. The Great Pandemonium
5. Soul Society
6. Song for Jolee
7. Drum Solo
8. When the Lights are Down
9. Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)
10. Rule the World
12. My Confession
13. Keyboard Solo
15. Bass Solo
17. The Haunting (Somewhere in Time) ft. Floor Jansen
18. March of Mephisto
Outro – Continuum
Written by Bear Wiseman