Jinjer Ignites House of Blues Dallas

Tatiana Shmailyuk of Jinjer performing at the House of Blues in Dallas. Photo by Craig Youngblood

It was a chilly Sunday in December as we approached the entrance to the House of Blues in downtown Dallas to see Ukrainian Metal band Jinjer with some special guests. As we rounded the corner by the box office, you could see the line of fans waiting to get in, huddled together, trying to stay warm, and gathering around the heaters waiting to see a magnificent night of metal! The line wrapped around the end of the driveway and kept going for a couple of blocks, and as last-minute fans were trying to get tickets, the box office announced that this was now a sold-out show. There were fans from all over waiting to get in there to see their favorite bands that would be here performing tonight and keeping us warm as the temps outside dropped. Upon entering the venue, more fans were waiting to get some merchandise from the bands and help support them and get them further down the road. 

The first band up for the night to kick open up the show for us was Space of Variations, electronic metal straight from Ukraine. As the lights went out and the band took the stage, they attacked our audible senses with some hefty riffs and heavy drum hits as they played their hearts out for us and got the fans moving all over the venue. As they worked their way through the set time, they took a second to pause and talk to the fans and stressed the importance of family and friends and making sure that you let them know you love them because you never know when the time will come that you will not be able to do that. Then, they touched briefly on what was happening in their homeland and asked everyone to stand with them and enjoy their show. Of course, the fans obliged, and the band had their attention until they tanked the crowd and walked off the stage for the next round to set up and get ready to rock.

The second band of the night was U.K.’s Malevolence showing us their brand of heavy metal and continuing the onslaught of our auditory senses. As the lights went down and the band got set to walk onto the stage, the theme song for the T.V. show Cops started playing, and the crowd erupted with cheer. The band made their way onto the stage and immediately jumped into some of the heaviest and fastest riffs, accompanied by loud thunderous drum strikes and an incredible-sounding scream from the vocalist. As he sang the lyrics to Malicious Intent, the crowd started circling, and he encouraged them to get it going more, and the pit intensified as they played. After the first song, he addressed the crowd, thanked them for being there tonight, and said, “Get this pit moving, and if you know the words, sing along and get going in the pit. They continued with some of the heaviest, fastest, and thunderous hits of the night, and they worked their way through the set. Upon finishing the last song, they thanked the crowd again and walked off the stage after a quick video with the fans.

Next up on the bill was none other than one of the bands that I grew up listening to from San Diego, California, P.O.D., which was about to take the stage and turn it up another notch for the fans. Before the band came out to play, P.O.D.’s guitarist Marcos Curiel said he wanted to talk to us quickly before they started. He stated that he had an announcement and that the lead singer had to leave and would not be there tonight, and the crowd reacted with sadness. He went on to inform us that he was not there because his grandmother had passed away, and he was with family taking care of that. Marcos then let us know that upon Sonny’s recommendation and blessing, they invited their friend Islander vocalist Mikey Carvajal to step in and perform the songs for the night instead of canceling their performance, and that was met with immediate applause and cheer from the fans. After the brief announcement, the stage was empty. As the lights went out, the band began taking the platform, waving to the fans and jumping straight into Boom, and the crowd went electric with cheers and dancing and jumping all around. After the first song, Mikey talked with us, thanked us for being there, and reinforced that they were dedicating this show to Sonny’s grandmother. They continued working through years of hits from their extensive music catalog and came to a particular part of the night where they required some interaction. They invited all the kids onto the stage with them and let us know that we were looking at the future, and they started playing Youth of the Nation as the kids bounced and danced around on stage, waving P.O.D. flags. After this, they continued through their set, and at the end, Mikey thanked the crowd for showing him love as he filled in for one of his heroes, Sonny. The band thanked the supporters, exited the stage, and the crew set up for the night’s final performance.

As the house music played and the crew got everything set up, the fans took this time to get a quick break, grab some drinks, recoup a little bit of energy, and get ready to give it all they got for this final performance here tonight. Many of the fans began getting back in their spots just in time for the house lights to go down, and the band started making their way to the stage led by their drummer, who immediately threw up the devil horns as he got situated on his throne behind his drum kit. One by one, they got set on the stage, and suddenly, from the back of the stage, their incredible vocalist and Femme Fatale Tatiana Shmayluk made her way to the front and abruptly kicked off into Sit Stay Roll Over. Tatiana’s vocal range is impressive and is genuinely an onslaught to your auditory senses as she sings and screams the song’s lyrics. As they wrap up their first song, she gets the fans in the palm of her hand by stirring them up and getting the pit going in several locations on the floor. They have such a powerful groove in their songs, as can be witnessed by Tatiana dancing and swaying along as she belts out the words. The guitarist and bass players jumped around as they flawlessly played their parts in the songs. The drummer’s continuous slamming and fast places onslaught of keeping the beat going is something you have to see to believe as he makes it looks so effortless. They keep their opening songs going with Teacher, Teacher. As the crowd’s energy surged, they ended that song and asked the fanatics how they were doing and if they were ready to have some fun. Following that statement with the song, Copycat showcases the incredible lyricist vocal range to bounce back and forth from deep guttural screams and angelic singing that will surely get your audio senses tingling as you listen and feel the song as they perform. At the end of that song, she thanked the crowd and dedicated this tour to all of the fans’ support for them and all that is currently happening in their country. She is sending a message with this next song titled Home Back, and the crowd begins cheering and singing along. They continued the show into the night, put all they had out there, and poured it into the show for the family, friends, and fans. They closed out the night with On the Top, and as they finished, they thanked the crowd and walked off into the darkness. 

Tonight, was the first Jinjer show I could attend, and I assure you it will not be the last. I can wait until they come back around to our town again. I will also watch out for the bands that kicked off the show tonight as they will continue to grow and hopefully tour. I will keep an eye out for tour dates from all of the bands on this bill and look forward to witnessing their greatness again soon.

Words and Photos by Craig Youngblood

Jinjers Setlist:

  1. Sit Stay Roll Over
  2. Teacher, Teacher!
  3. Copycat
  4. Home Back
  5. I Speak Astronomy
  6. As I Boil Ice
  7. Judgement (& Punishment)
  8. Dead Hands Feel No Pain
  9. Vortex
  10. Who’s Gonna Be the One
  11. Sleep of the Righteous
  12. Call Me a Symbol
  13. Perennial
  14. Pisces


  1. On the Top

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