Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Kamelot at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Tommy Karevik
Thomas Youngblood began playing guitar at age 15 and began playing in bands in 1988 in Tampa, Florida. He founded the progressive/symphonic power metal band Kamelot in 1991. Kamelot released its first album in 1995. Two later mid-period albums reinterpreted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragic play about the legend of Faust, a man who sells his soul to the devil, and the subsequent battle between good and evil. After many personnel changes, the present band consists of Youngblood, bassist Sean Tibbetts, drummer Casey Grillo, keyboardist Oliver Palotai and vocalist Tommy Karevik. Kamelot's 11th studio album, Haven, was released on May 5, 2015.

Kamelot headlined the Marlin Room at Webster Hall tonight with both straight ahead rockers and complex progressive compositions. The overall sound was epic, however, with each song seemingly building up to a blaring pinnacle. The hard-rocking songs were propelled by smooth vocals, melodic guitar leads and banging percussion, with flourishes added from a symphonic-sounding keyboard and an occasional female background vocalist. Opening with "When the Lights Are Down" from 2005's The Black Halo, followed by the title track of 2007's Ghost Opera album, the 16-song set often revealed a dynamic yet melancholy approach to cinematic melodies and aggressive thrust. Karevik engaged the audience with encouragements to raise fists and chant "whoa-o-o-os," at one point telling the fans that he would enjoy performing for them all night every night. Closing with the title track of the new album, Kamelot demonstrated that 24 years after it began, the band is still a creative entity performing with hungry integrity.

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