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KAMELOT, BATTLE BEAST, XANDRIA In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Saturday, September 9, 2023 @ 12:33 AM


Florida Power Metallers 'Awaken' The House Of Blues September 5th

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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

Houstonians were given a real treat of international Power and Symphonic Metal on September 5th as America's own KAMELOT brought their 'Awaken The World' Tour to town as one of only 18 stops on their U.S. leg of the tour in support of their latest release, The Awakening that dropped back in March. Along for this part of the trek was Finnish stars BATTLE BEAST and German act XANDRIA. Having not seen any of the bands on this bill I was stoked at the opportunity and they absolutely did not disappoint either me or the modest crowd that had gathered at the House of Blues for the weeknight show.

The very first thing I took note of when I walked through the doors of the venue was the lines for the merch tables. KAMELOT had their own area while BATTLE BEAST and XANDRIA shared another and the lines for both were quite long, a great sign that Houstonians know how to support the acts that come through town, more so in light of the numerous articles and interviews that have come out recently about exactly how hard it is for bands to tour especially in the post-pandemic world.

XANDRIA took the stage first and the band was on fire right from the start, led by the beautiful and charismatic Ambre Vourvahis, the band's sixth vocalist apparently, who joined in 2022. Hopefully she will stick around this time as she was a perfect fit for the symphonic style the band employs, with soaring melodies and the occasional growl thrown in for good measure. Their set was brief at only 5 songs but seemed much longer than that. Three of the five tracks performed were off of the band's newest album The Wonders Still Awaiting which also came out earlier this year, opener "You Will Never Be Our God", "Reborn" and "Ghosts". Vourvahis' supporting cast of characters supplied an overabundance of energy and were quite entertaining to watch.

Setlist:

  • "You Will Never Be Our God"
  • "Reborn"
  • "Nightfall"
  • "Ghosts"
  • "Valentine"
Next up was another act I had missed on an occasion or two in Houston and if I'm not mistaken, they were supposed to be part of another tour through town that had been cancelled at some point during the pandemic, that being Finlandís BATTLE BEAST. This group of metallers is one that I might not have ever heard had it not been for my position as Managing Editor of the Loudest Dot Com On The Planet, along with numerous others of course, but there was something about BATTLE BEAST that struck me right away, and if you know me then you know I have a special place in my heart for female-fronted metal bands and vocalist Noora Louhimo is right up there with the best. I especially enjoyed the 2021 LAURENNE/LOUHIMO album she completed with Netta Laurenne called The Reckoning. Definitely worth a listen!

BATTLE BEAST also has a new album, albeit one that came out a year ago in Circus Of Doom, but it was great to finally catch this band in Texas and they got things cranked up themselves starting with the title track Circus Of Doom". The pedal was kept right to the floor throughout their 8 songs featuring "Straight To The Heart" from 2017's Bringer Of Pain, and the newest release heavily represented with the aforementioned title track and four others including "Eye Of The Storm" and "Where Angels Fear To Fly". The band saved the best for last (if there was such a thing for their set) in the rollicking "King For A Day" and "Eden". Both BATTLE BEAST and XANDRIA could easily have their own tours and let's hope one or both of them do just that in the future. Holy cow was that a great pair of openers!

Setlist:

  • "Circus Of Doom"
  • "Straight To The Heart"
  • "Eye Of The Storm"
  • "Where Angels Fear To Fly"
  • "Wings Of Light"
  • "Master Of Illusion"
  • "King For A Day"
  • "Eden"
Finally at 9pm as if the night couldn't get any better, it got turned up to 11 with the appearance of KAMELOT. With the opening strains of "Overture" from the latest album "The Awakening" playing over the venue's PA system, the Florida quintet took command of their 16 song set opening with "Veil of Elysium" from the band's 2015 album Haven. Seven of KAMELOT's releases were represented during the set, going all the way back to the Karma album of 2001 with both the title track and "Forever", three from 2015's Haven (including "Insomnia" and the set opener above), two from The Shadow Theory featuring "Vespertine (My Crimson Bride)" and four from The Awakening like "New Babylon", "NightSky" and "Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)". With so many albums and such a wide range of song choices to perform there was something to please all fans of KAMELOT from all their eras and members, of which guitarist and founder Thomas Youngblood is the only one who remains from their inception way back in 1987 (!?!)

The band loves Texas and Houston in particular and the crowd showed its appreciation throughout, making far more noise than their numbers would indicate. An hour and a half later the band finished the evening with a triple encore, "Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)", "One More Flag in the Ground" and "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)". What a great night of metal! Let's hope it's not another 4 years (according to the band) before they grace our stages again. As I mentioned at the top, the tour only encompassed 18 shows, the last of which is September 9th in Orlando in their home state, so if you didn't get to catch a show on this tour you truly missed out!

Setlist:

  • "Overture" (Venue PA)
  • "Veil of Elysium"
  • "Rule the World"
  • "Opus of the Night (Ghost Requiem)"
  • "Insomnia"
  • "When the Lights Are Down"
  • "Vespertine (My Crimson Bride)"
  • "New Babylon"
  • "Karma"
  • "Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)"
  • "Song for Jolee"
  • "NightSky"
  • Keyboard Solo"
  • "March of Mephisto"
  • "Forever"
Encore:
  • "Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)"
  • "One More Flag in the Ground"
  • "Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


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