On Friday May 26, 2017, Germany’s Symphonic metal band Xandria rolled into Las Vegas on their current U..S tour with fellow Napalm Records labelmates, Canada’s Kobra and the Lotus, as well as newcomers Once Human (featuring Logan Mader of Soulfly/Machine Head fame and new vocal sensation Lauren Hart).
The night started out with Once Human performing a short, but blistering set of selections from their latest album, Evolution. Lead vocalist/growler Lauren Hart is one of the hottest up and coming vocalists in metal. Hailing from Australia, Hart’s soft and feminine appearance is in stark contrast to her guttural vocal growling and demonic stage presence. The band combined sheer musical brutality and instrumental prowess to create a highly enjoyable and energetic performance. With the exposure that Once Human have received with Hart’s inclusion in Revolver Magazine’s 25 Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock issue and their commanding live show, this is certainly a band to watch out for.
Next up, Kobra and the Lotus took to the stage. Promoting the bands critically acclaimed fourth studio album, Prevail, the band performed a tight and heavy eight song set featuring five songs from the new album. The set kicked off with the leadoff track from Prevail, Gotham. The enchanting and alluring Kobra Paige is one of the most powerful and emotive vocalists in metal today. Paige worked the crowd into frenzy with her stage presence and vocal delivery. Touring guitarist Joey Concepcion was the perfect compliment to lead guitarist Jasio Kulakowski. The rhythm section of bassist Brad Kennedy and hard hitting drummer Marcus Lee were locked in and kept the songs tight and heavy. The highlights of the set were new song Specimen X (The Mortal Chamber), the anthemic new single You Don’t Know, and Kobra and the Lotus fan favorite, 50 Shades of Evil. The bands set, while short, was impressive and showed the band is in top form and ready to climb to the next level in todays metal landscape.
Finally, the headliner of the evening, Xandria took to the stage. Recently on the U.S. tour, Xandria bassist Steven Wussow was forced to leave the tour due to an urgent matter back home. In the spirit of the old adage The show must go on, Kobra and the Lotus bassist Brad Kennedy stepped in, learning Xandria’s whole set in just a few days, and did a remarkable job filling in for Wussow. The band performed a heavy symphonic metal set comprised of older Xandria material and newer cuts from the bands latest (and in my opinion, greatest) album Theater of Dimensions. Lead vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen is a remarkable front woman , combining a powerful and dramatic soprano vocal range and a charming theatrical stage presence. The guitar tandem of Philip Restemeier and Marco Heubaum kept the proceedings heavy and melodic. Drummer Gerit Lamm, one of the best drummers in the genre, worked extremely well with Kennedy, despite the latter not having much prep time with the set list. The highlights of the set included Xandria classics Ravenheart, Valentine, heavy newcomer We Are Murderers (from the latest album), Forsaken Love, and Voyage of the Fallen.
As a special treat, the band brought Kobra Paige onstage for the encore song Burn Me, but due to technical difficulties beyond anyone’s control with the Kobra’s microphone, the moment wasn’t as great as it should have been. Despite this, the band and Kobra soldiered on making for a fun moment at the end of the set. Despite the relatively small crowd, the audience was enthusiastic and appreciative of all three bands and the night was a huge success highlighting three bands with extremely talented female vocalists.
Click here for the full photo gallery courtesy of Leah Burlington Photography