Kamelot & DragonForce Turn Orange County Into Kamelot County

Kamelot & DragonForce
May 15, 2015
The Grove of Anaheim- Anaheim, CA

      Symphonic power metal band Kamelot and British power metal band DragonForce teamed up for a 21-date trek across the USA. One of those stops was at the Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, California which Kamelot themselves deemed Orange County as Kamelot County. Loyal fans of both bands lined up as they eagerly waited to see the bands they’ve been waiting for to return.
DragonForce released their newest album Maximum Overload on August 19th, 2014. It is the second album to feature new singer Marc Hudson and the last album with longtime drummer Dave Mackintosh whom has since been replaced with current touring drummer, Gee Anzalone. Plenty of DragonForce fans were in attendance as they waited for the band to come out on stage and cheered as the lights went out. DragonForce came on stage and opened with the second single dragonsc-18from their second album Sonic Firestorm titled, Fury of the Storm. The crowd on the floor went crazy and started to mosh pit to the speed and fury of DragonForce founding members Herman Li and Sam Totman’s guitar-playing and video game-sounding music. Four of their nine-song setlist included tracks from the new album. The third song played was the first track from the new album, The Game, which to date is DragonForce’s fastest song at 240BPM. Marc Hudson may be the new singer, but he seemed to have no problem handling DragonForce’s older songs like Operation Ground and Pound and Valley of the Damned. His voice fits just fine with the band and is an excellent frontman. Herman Li would show his showmanship as a guitar player by licking his guitar as a way of playing it which looks very comical. Marc Hudson made note that he saw a bunch of DragonForce shirts amongst the crowd and was very happy to see that. The band then proceeded to play Cry Thunder, the second single from the previous The Power Within album. As the show was coming close to an end, the band played one of their most well-known songs, Valley of the Damned to which the crowd reacted by screaming, singing along, and moshing. It also gave keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov a chance to come out on stage and play the keytar solo in front of the crowd. Hudson announced they had 2 more songs and asked the crowd if anyone knew who Johnny Cash was. To no surprise, the crowd cheered. DragonForce played their cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. The band did an excellent job of DragonForce-izing the song and added fast guitar solos that they’re known for. The crowd had no problem moshing to it and a large portion of people can be heard singing along to the chorus: “And I fell into a burning Ring of Fire. I went down, down, down as the flames were rising higher. And it burns, burns, burrrrns…and it burns, burns, burrrrrns, in a Ring of Fire!” The show sadly had to come to an end and the band brought out 2 acoustic guitars which could only mean one thing, they were about to play their most famous song, Through the Fire and the Flames which helped them band rise to fame when the song was included in the video game Guitar Hero 3. The song started and Li and Totman’s fast dual guitars got the crowd crazy and gave the craziest mosh pit of the set and fans were also singing along as any DragonForce fan would know that song. The band finished their set, bowed, tossed guitar picks and drumsticks into the crowd and left.
     Kamelot is a symphonic power metal band from Florida. They released their 11th album titled Haven on May 5th, 2015. This was the second album with their newest singer, Tommy Karevik. There were lots of obvious Kamelot fans telling from shirts and other merch including a wig of bassist Sean Tibbetts’ braided hair. The venue was packed at this point and the fans were already pumped and ready for Kamelot. The lights went out and the crowd cheered as one by one, the members of Kamelot made their way to the stage and started the show with their usual opening song, Rule the World. Each band member had an energetic stage presence. Karevik would walk around on stage and would interact with the crowd and sing to his heart’s consent as you could tell he was very happy where he was. Founding member and guitarist Thomas Youngblood would run around and head bang adding his own excitement to the show. Bassist Sean Tibbetts would jump and head bang and his braided hair would fling everywhere, like miniature whips.
The band kept up the tradition of having a female metal vocalist on tour with them when performing certain songs. For this tour, they brought with them Linnea Vikstrom whom is the singer for Swedish symphonic metal band, Therion. They had a fog machine and a very impressive light setup as well as strobe lights to give their show an even more amazing sight as lights flashed everywhere with a variety of colors. Kamelot followed on their setlist with two more hits, Ghost Opera and The Great Pandemonium. After that song, the band took a quick break to announce to the crowd that their new Haven album had reached #1 on the Billboard for hard rock albums and then had a toast and celebration. Quite a few tracks from the new album made their way into their setlist. Their first single, Insomnia, was an obvious track to be played and Karevik made note that the audience probably knew the lyrics better than he did. Kamelot is known for having a dedicated fanbase. Fans from every direction could be heard screaming, singing along, and a few fangirls went as far as letting out some very high-pitched shrieks kamelotsc-12that could be heard above everyone else. When they played When the Lights Go Down, it being one of Kamelot’s heavier and faster songs, it caused the fans on the floor to create a mosh pit and that would the only time a mosh pit happens for the band.
The show was coming close to an end as the band members cleared the stage and keyboardist Oliver Palotai performed a keyboard solo. After he was finished, the stage went dark as Thomas Youngblood played the opening chords to one of their best songs, Forever. The show seemed to come to an end, but the fans weren’t ready to call it a night just yet. Tibbett came out wearing silly goggles and made the fans cheer whenever he lifted his left or right arm. The rest of the band came out and they played the first encore, Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife). This song allowed female vocalist, Vikstrom a chance to show off her vocal skills by coming up to the front of the stage and sing the harsh middle section of the song. The lights went out once and again and the familiar sound of soldiers marching could be heard which could only mean they were preparing to play their final and best song, March of Mephisto. This is the one song where Karevik and Vikstrom could sing a duet for the song as Karevik sings the clean vocals and Vikstrom sings the harsh vocals segment of the song. Karevik would sing, “Waiting for ‘morrow, you’re lonely, I name your solitude” and Vikstrom would harshly sing, “I speaketh the truth!” Kamelot finished the song and all the members got up center stage and bowed to the crowd as they were overwhelmed by the positive response they had received from their fans. The band took their leave and you could see everyone in the crowd leaving the venue with smiles on their faces and memories that will not go away anytime soon.
Review by: Misael Ruiz