BALTIMORE, MD: Within Temptation performs at Ram's Head Live. October 7, 2014. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

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To listen to Within Temptation is to listen to a metal band gone fully, unapologetically pop. Where some metal bands flirt tentatively with other styles, always wary of alienating their core fanbase, this Dutch symphonic rock band has made a cover of Lana Del Rey‘s “Summertime Sadness” and a collaboration song with rapper Xzibit staples of its live repertoire. This is not a band concerned with preserving any kind of narrowly defined metal street cred.

Which is not really a bad thing. Within Temptation can write huge, anthemic, catchy melodies with the best of them, so its ventures into pop music seem logical, not silly. And it’s got the entertainment factor down pat—-one of those rare bands that seems to be genuinely having fun at every show.

Last night’s gig at Ram’s Head Live was no exception. See the photo evidence in the full slideshow (35 photos).