In March of 2023, Kamelot released its thirteenth record The Awakening. It proved not only to be one of the strongest records of the year but one of the best of their career. They have now launched their first world tour since 2019, bringing along frequent touring partners Battle Beast and label mates Xandria. The second night of the American tour saw them stop at The Palladium in Worcester, MA.
German band Xandira starts the night off. With an all-new lineup, led by vocalist Ambre Vourvahis, around founder Marco Heubaum, the band played a strong 5-song set centered around their 2023 release The Wonders Still Awaiting.
Next up was the return of Battle Beast, touring the US for the first time since 2019. The Finnish metal band is touring behind their killer 2022 release Circus of Doom. Their 8-song set clearly left the audience wanting more and showed, once again, that frontwoman Noora Loohimo is one of the best in the business. Her vocals are unmatched and you can’t take your eyes off of her as she owns the stage.
Finally, it was time for the main event. It had been 4 long years since Thomas Youngblood and company played this venue and they wasted no time, kicking off with the Haven track “Veil of Elysium”. in addition to the band, the opening song gave the audience their first look and listen to the guest vocalist from The Awakening and this tour, Ad Infinitum frontwoman Melissa Bonny.
Not many bands could survive cycling through multiple vocalists, but having been in the band for more than a decade now, Tommy Karevik has established himself arguably as the best frontman and vocalist this band has seen. The packed crowd thrived off of his stage presence as his pristine vocals filled the theater in both harder tracks like “Phantom Devine (Shadow Empire)” and ballads like Silverthorne‘s “Song for Jolee”.
With Youngblood holding down guitar duties, Oliver Palotai led the band on keyboards while long-time bassist Sean Tibbets thundered through the set, seldom standing still. Alex Landenburg on drums did an admirable job of filling the shoes of predecessor and current Queensryche drummer Casey Grillo.
Kamelot has a long-standing tradition of bringing in amazing female vocalists with each album and tour cycle. Melissa Bonny is a perfect fit, not only on “New Babylon”, her showcase track on The Awakening but throughout the set. Her interactions with Karevik were theatrical and riveting.
While the majority of the set featured songs from the last four records, Kamelot does not ignore the Roy Kahn era. The current set sees Karevick take on tracks from Karma, The Black Halo, and Ghost Opera and make them his own.
As a genre, symphonic metal is very underrepresented on the American touring scene. As one of the leaders in the genre, being able to catch Kamelot live is always a treat. Youngblood and company have a long tradition of giving a platform to amazing female-fronted bands and this tour is no exception. If you’re looking for an incredible night of symphonic, progressive, melodic metal you cannot go wrong catching Xandria, Battle Beast, and Kamelot as they storm across North America.