House of Blues is a very cool venue - this was my first time there - at least to the Chicago HOB - and it was a load of fun! The venue is what you'd refer to as 'intimate' - I think maximum capacity is around 800 or so, and there are 2 balconies, and they seem to be box seats. The decorating is. . . interesting. You have to see it.
The bands playing were diverse and interesting - as interesting as it gets for metal. The first band was:
They describe themselves as Video Game Metal. The song titles were taken from video games from various consoles and possibly some PC games, but I think the vast majority are from Consoles - and older ones, from the 80's & 90's - like Mario Brothers, and the like. The guys were obviously having a blast - really getting the crowd into it - constantly throwing out blow up swords, blow up bats, and Starburst candy. What a hoot. They were great musicians as well - easily pulling off the intense metal runs that were bombastic, and almost thrash fast. Oh - and no vocals - other than the bassist egging on the crowd throughout the short set - but no singing or screaming or anything. No lyrics. That's a better description.
The outfits were something else. Very video gamey. I think they have started a new genre - I also think they are the only artist in that genre! Loads of fun!
This band from Finland was another in an interesting night! They came out all dressed in "Battle gear" - after the lead in voice over called all of us "brothers and sisters of metal" to hear the Battle Metal of Turisas!
The photo is difficult to make out everything - sorry, the Blackberry isn't a pro camera - but the band consists of vocals, bass guitar, guitar, violin, accordian (yes, that's right - metal accordian), and drums. The music was great - very catchy, reminded me of a folk-metal kind of similar to Irish drinking songs (they did have one - One More!) - but great musicianship, very energetic, and really engaged the crowd. I did learn that Finns do not like American beer - or Dutch beer. :) Oh - and the face & body paint! All the band was painted in red with black streaks from head to toe. All exposed skin was painted. Gave a very interesting effect. They certainly looked battle ready.
The Accordian and Violin really added to the folkiness of the band. My first experience with that type of music - well, other than Elvenking that I saw at ProgPower USA this year. Overall, a great performance, a great band - and lots of fun to watch.
The headlining band did not disappoint. These guys all must be downing a 6 pack each of Red Bull before going on stage - because I have never seen any other band - ever - with as much energy, and carrying out as many antics as Dragonforce!
These guys are nuts! And what a blast to watch. They are interacting with each other and the crowd constantly - you can really tell these guys like each other, because they mock each other incessantly - and make fun of each others stage moves through the entire show. The interaction between Herman Li and Sam Totman - and Frédéric Leclercq - is absolutely hilarious. It certainly doesn't hurt that these guys are phenomenal musicians.
The shredding was constant. I think the songs are just written around the guitar solos! What a blast to watch - and aspiring guitarists will be attempting to copy this for years, I'm sure.
Overall - great show. Very fun bands - and lots of laughs - as well as some jaw-dropping shredding going on. I highly recommend checking out this show if you get the chance!