Currently on tour supporting their upcoming studio release, Black Widow, In This Moment delivered a stunning performance at the beautiful Midland Theater in downtown Kansas City. It was less than a year ago when I had the opportunity to see In This Moment perform at the same venue on the ‘HellPop II’ tour during the Blood album cycle, and I was captivated by the wonderful theatricality that was delivered through the incredible stage production. The new tour unveils a stage set that is equally as impressive, with vocalist Maria Brink as the centerpiece of a heavy metal spectacle that had the audience entranced.
[columns] [column size=”3/4″] Bathed in vibrant colored lighting, with thick theatrical smoke filling the air, the band members make their way onto the stage and launch into two tracks from their upcoming album. Opening with the heavy hitting ‘Sick Like Me’, followed by the title track ‘Black Widow’, Maria Brink, guitarists Randy Weitzel and Chris Howorth, drummer Tom Hane and bassist Travis Johnson, were met with a roar of approval from the audience before continuing into ‘Adrenalize’ off of the Blood album.
There were several wardrobe changes for Maria Brink throughout the evening, as well as changes to the stage set. When the group started playing ‘Sex Metal Barbie’, another new track off of Black Widow, a pink podium with a black widow spider emblem was placed on the main platform, and the singer emerged from behind a curtain wearing a pink leather jacket, a tiara and a beauty pageant sash with the words ‘Sex Metal Barbie’ printed on it. The Blood Girls are dancing on either side of her wearing balaclavas similar to the Russian punk rock protest group Pussy Riot.
One of the highlights of any In This Moment performance is the song ‘Into The Light’, off of The Dream (2008). During this number the rest of the band gets a moment to take a break as a chair is brought out and placed on the center platform, and Maria Brink takes a seat as the stage remains darkened. With smoke swirling around her the lights wash over her in beams of white and blue, as fans mounted to the base of the platform blow her long blonde hair, creating a truly dramatic effect that is a perfect compliment to the emotionally charged vocal performance.
There was something noticeably different about this evening’s show from the last time I saw In This Moment in January 2014. During the HellPop/Blood tour, the band members moved around more and would frequently walk up to the front of the stage and interact with the audience. For the Black Widow set, each band member had their particular place on the stage and, with few exceptions, remained in the same spot during most of the show. Drummer Tom Hane was located in the back corner of stage right where the lighting was very dark, and I struggled to get a good photograph of this talented musician. Travis Johnson stood on a platform towards to back of stage left. And guitarists Randy Weitzel and Chris Howorth flanked either side of the main center platform, and each had a step riser directly in front of them.
Closing out the main set with the crowd-favorite ‘Whore’, Maria Brink came out with a schoolgirl outfit and wearing a hat with the word ‘Whore’ written on it. The crowd was energized and singing along word for word. After a brief pause the band returned to rock two encore songs, a cover of the Nine Inch Nails hit ‘Closer’, and then ending the evening with a rock-solid performance of the title track from 2012’s Blood.