Delain/Evergrey/Kobra and the Lotus at O2 Ritz Manchester UK
11 Nov. 2016

Delain/Evergrey/Kobra and the Lotus at O2 Ritz Manchester UK


It was a crisp late fall afternoon on Saturday, November 12, 2016 as I, along with my girlfriend, made our way to The Ritz in Manchester England for the triple threat bill of headliner Delain, Evergrey, and Kobra and the Lotus. We arrived fairly early as I had an interview scheduled with Kobra Paige of Kobra and the Lotus. I made contact with the tour manager and we were led into the venue as Evergrey were doing their soundcheck. I waived hello to my friends, vocalist Tom Englund and guitarist Henrik Danhage who saw me from the stage and we were led into the backstage dressing rooms to conduct my interview with Kobra. It had been a year since I had last interviewed the lovely Ms. Paige when she was the special guest vocalist on Kamelot’s U.S. tour in support of Haven. As aways, Kobra was charming, engaging, and extremely wonderful to speak to. Sadly, our interview ended abruptly as Kobra was called to the stage for their soundcheck. Due to the fact that the band were unable to have a soundcheck at their previous two performances on the tour, it was imperative that Kobra joined her bandmates on stage to make sure everything was perfect for the nights show.

The doors to The Ritz opened at around 6pm and Kobra and the Lotus hit the stage around 6:30pm. The venue was packed with enthusiastic metalheads who were eager to party. The band launched into an all out metal assault, choosing to start with a brand new song, Gotham, from their upcoming new album Prevail. The band were firing on all cylinders with a short, but tight five song set. Frontwoman Kobra Paige commanded the stage like a seasoned veteran as they had the crowd rocking to KATL anthems Soldier (a crowd favorite), the moving ballad Hold On, and new song Triggerpulse. Lead guitarist Jasio Kulakowski showed his impressive shredding skills, as the rhythm section of bassist Brad Kennedy and drummer Marcus Lee held town the bottom end. The set ended much too quickly with the KATL staple, 50 Shades of Evil and the band received a great ovation for their efforts.

Kobra and the Lotus performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Kobra and the Lotus performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Kobra and the Lotus performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Kobra and the Lotus performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Setlist:

Gotham
Battle of Wrath
Hold On
Soldier
TriggerPulse
50 Shades of Evil

There was a quick changeover and Evergrey hit the stage with a vengeance, starting off with the powerful Passing Through off the bands new album The Storm Within. Lead vocalist/guitarist Tom Englund engaged the crowd jokingly, telling them that it was his first time in Manchester and that he was a huge Manchester United fan (too a chorus of boos from the fans in the audience who were Manchester City fans!). The band concentrated on songs from their newest album along with 2014’s Hymns of the Broken but threw in the great Broken Wings from the album Torn and ended the night with the Evergrey classic A Touch of Blessing and completing the set with King of Errors. The band sounded amazing as usual and seemed to enjoy themselves and the crowd responded in kind. I always enjoy watching Evergrey perform and I found myself wanting more once they were done

Setlist:

Passing Through
The Fire
Leave it Behind Us
Black Undertow
In Orbit
Broken Wings
A Touch of Blessing
King of Errors

Evergrey performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Evergrey performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Evergrey performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Evergrey performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Delain were up next and the crowd were at a fever pitch as the taped intro, The Monarch, was piped through the sound system. This was my first opportunity to see a true headline set from the Dutch Symphonic Metal sensation, as I was used to seeing them in the U.S. as an opening act for bands like Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and Kamelot. The first time I was able to see Delain perform was in 2010 at ProgPower USA and through the years and various line up changes, the band has only improved as a recording as well as a live unit, especially with the additions of guitarists Timo Somers and Merel Bechtold, and drummer Ruben Israel.

The band hit the stage and launched into Hands of Gold off of the new critically acclaimed album Moonbathers as lead vocalist Charlotte Wessels sauntered to the stage wearing a glittering gold dress to a huge ovation. Over the years, Wessels has transformed into one of the most charismatic and confident lead singers in the genre and tonight she was on top of her game. The set list relied heavily on the new material but was interspersed with songs from their ten year history, all the way back to their debut, Lucidity. The crowd was pumped to hear classics like April Rain, Sleepwalkers Dream, The Gathering, and Stay Forever as well as newer favorites Valley of the Dolls, Get The Devil Out of Me, and Here Come The Vultures.

The bandmates, Somers, Bechtold, and Otto Schimmelpenninck put on an impressive show and band conductor/keyboardist Martijn Westerholt kept the symphonic elements grandiose and powerful. The set was tightand paced extremely well as Delain held the crowd firmly in the palm of their collective hand.

By the time the bands 15 song set came to a close, the audience was begging for more and the band were, of course, willing to oblige, performing rousing reditions of Mother Machine, Don’t let Go, and the bands anthem to the outsiders, We Are The Others brought the night to a climactic and satisfying end.

Delain have already proven they are more than capable to be a headliner on any stage in the world and coming this Spring, the band finally get their chance as they will join Hammerfall on a co-headlining trek of North America. I look forward to seeing them again as their fanbase continues to grow.

Setlist:

Hands of Gold
Suckerpunch
The Glory and the Scum
Get the Devil Out of Me
Pendulum
Army of Dolls
The Hurricane
April Rain
Here Come the Vultures
Fire with Fire
Danse Macabre
Sleepwalkers Dream
Stay Forever
The Gathering
Pristine

Encore:
Mother Machine
Don’t Let Go
We Are the Others

Delain performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Delain performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Delain performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Delain performs at the O2 Ritz Manchester in Manchester, UK on November 12, 2016

Photos courtesy of https://aestheticmagazinetoronto.com/2016/11/13/photos-delain-evergrey-kobra-and-the-lotus-o2-ritz-manchester/

15078962_10210624027213853_1776578453473369462_n

15037139_10210624026453834_5599500358235285571_n

15027423_10210624025813818_640697090616397853_n

About the author

Honey Badger
I am a lifelong fan of hard rock/metal since I discovered my childhood idols KISS. Music is my passion and progressive and power metal are my favorites in the sub genres of heavy metal. I also work for the premier metal festival in the U.S. ProgPower USA as a co-admin for their official Facebook page. In my spare time (what little i have of it!) I enjoy working out and snuggling with my French Bulldog Molly!

About the author


Leave a Reply

* fields required