Power metal is not really my bag—-I generally prefer my metal darker, heavier, sludgier, etc etc. But I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to photograph Florida’s Kamelot, one of the most polished power metal bands on the scene, last Thursday. They’re known for incendiary live shows and the set they played to a sold-out, enthusiastic, and very young audience at Jaxx lived up to that reputation. I should stress the enthusiastic part—-the frontman for openers Edguy, after soliciting audience participation and receiving much more of it than he’d apparently expected, commented, “wow, you guys are fucking insane tonight.”
The enthusiasm was well-deserved, though; Edguy and Kamelot were both absolutely top-notch, professional entertainers, getting the crowd involved, galloping freely around Jaxx’s small stage, mugging for cameras (uh, see above), getting up close and personal with the folks in the front row, including three French fans who seem to be following Kamelot around to every show on this current U.S. tour. And their music came off as much heavier and more energetic in a live setting, much to my pleasant surprise. It was impossible not to admire how in their element Kamelot seemed up there, putting on a show for 550 people—-although I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising considering they regularly perform for thousands in Europe.
Kamelot’s was a high-production-value set all around, with fancy lights, dramatic fog, a few cinematic interludes, and great energy from the band (including one bit in which vocalist Roy Khan stepped off the stage to sing a song from atop one of Jaxx’s bars). Impressive showing given they didn’t make it to the venue until 7 p.m.—-eight hours late—-due to a bus breakdown.
I probably still won’t really listen to Kamelot on record, but count me in if and when they make it back to the area for another live show.