With some bands, you have to wonder why bother putting out a live DVD. Their music may be spectacular and the live atmosphere in the room intense, but visually if you’re a miserable group of statues on the stage, what’s the point? Happily, ‘Blood At The Orpheum’, In This Moment‘s first live DVD, is a colourful hour of unhinged entertainment. Vocalist Maria Brink and her Blood Legion know how to put on a show, and this performance captures their slick brand of metal madness in fine style.
The tone of the show hits a middle ground, landing somewhere between a warped Whitesnake video and heavy metal circus performance. Proceedings open proper with a high-octane ‘Adrenalise’, Maria Brink joined by the masked and scantily-clad Blood Girls, before a rip-roaring ‘Blazin” gets the room moving. From the beginning, it’s clear that this is Maria‘s show. Wherever she goes, she takes the focus of the room with her, the huge voice, constant costume changes and indomitable stage presence.
In her wake, her bandmates suffer a serious case of Evanescence syndrome. They flank the stage, sometimes barely lit, and for all their skill, hair and gnarliness they feel like set dressing. Talking of set dressing, In This Moment know their way around a prop or two. Whether it’s a skull-adorned podium, a CO2 powered cannon or a duncecap with the word “WHORE” emblazoned upon it, the performance and the choreography is as important as the music they play.
For the most part, the two elements go hand in hand, but there are occasions where the theatrical element becomes an unwelcome distraction. ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ sees an umbrella endlessly a-twirlin’ which, as spectacles go, is up there with an 18 inch Stonehenge, while the suit-wearing arm-waving bunny-man that is rolled out for ‘Beast Within’ looks noticeably uncomfortable.
In the hands of another band these sorts of theatrics could fall flat, but it is done with such conviction and fun that it’s hard to hold a few missteps against them. As a frontwoman, Maria laps up every second of the limelight, with “Let me feel you Madison!” sure to become In This Moment‘s “Scream for me Long Beach!”. On an audio front, these 11 tracks will certainly satisfy. The band sound positively vicious live despite a crisp production and the balance between ballads and balls-to-the-wall metal works well to keep the experience fresh.
For every misguided stab at rock theatre and superfluous between-track interview that ‘Blood At The Orpheum’ throws out, two more moments of relentlessly entertaining metal are there to make up for it. For every spinning brolly, there’s a ‘Gunshow’. For every shadow dance, a blood-curdling ‘Burn’. For better or worse, this is the unique beast that is In This Moment, and ‘Blood At The Orpheum’ lets us step into the fearlessly theatrical experience of their stage show.
Written by Grant Bailey