For this show, I was equal parts excited to see Kamelot, one of the best power metal acts in existence, and to see local band A Sound of Thunder in the second slot, where I thought they would have plenty of time to play. I turned out to be disappointed on one of these counts, but not the other.
I headed out a bit late, picked up a friend on the way and then had to grab some food, so we got to the venue just before A Sound of Thunder came on. They had a great sound, loud, heavy and clear, and a bigger crowd than I've ever seen for them - about 3/4 of the floor. Like last time I saw them, they played songs from Out of the Darkness and new songs. They didn't play anything from Metal Renaissance (no "Blood Vomit"???). They seemed to be running short on time - Nina's explanatory spiels were cut short several times, and they were about to play my favorite song, "A Sound of Thunder" when they got cut off at the end of their set. I thought this was unfortunate, since their vocals are pretty difficult to decipher live, so any new listeners in the audience probably missed out on the meaning of the songs.
Kamelot also sounded excellent. Their new singer, Tommy Karevik, sounded a lot like Roy Khan for the songs I was familiar enough with to judge. He was very energetic and well received by the crowd. I think I enjoyed their set more this year than last year since I was more familiar with their songs. S. tried to start a pit for "Center of the Universe," and we jumped around a bit - I think we were some of the most enthusiastic fans there. Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist provided female vocals, including harsh vocals in the new song "Sacrimony." The new song sounded good, with a catchy chorus, which makes me optimistic about their new album.
This show was a good warm-up to the next, even more epic show...Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Tyr and Metsatoll on 9/21!