After a week of brutally oppressive heat, temperatures dropped enough that waiting outside, well ahead of doors time, was an easy choice. Many waiting in advance had their favorite power metal t-shirts on (I had a Spiderman meme moment when I saw another fan wearing the same Sonata Arctica shirt). As we waited, strangers became friends, as they discussed how many times they’d seen each band, which tours they caught, and the band lineups of each tour. As best as they could anyway, as soundcheck could be heard clearly through the thin walls of The Truman.
Fans in Kansas City were in for a treat on a Saturday night as The Truman played host to a incredible lineup of metal bands. Kamelot, Battle Beast, and Xandria took the stage, delivering a night of unforgettable performances that left the crowd ready for more. The Truman, located in the heart of Kansas City, provided the perfect stage for the trio of acts, filling the void left by the Beaumont Club, and much closer than the Granada.
Normally a large space, half of The Truman was closed off, pushing the crowd closer to the stage. This was a good idea, as it gave the feel of a sold-out show, though it was only at half capacity, and helped the atmosphere become even more electric.
The night opened with a band coming to us from Germany: XANDRIA. The band has seen a number of lineup changes over the years, with rythym guitarist Marco Heubaum being the only constant. I last saw XANDRIA in 2014 at the Granada, with Dianne van Giersbergen on vocals. Singing lead now is Ambre Vourvahis. Her vocal prowess was already shown on Xandria’s latest release, “The Wonders Still Awaiting”, and she absolutely upped the energy in the live show, even providing some incredible growls, and made all of the fan favorites her own. I hope that Xandria has found a lineup that will remain for the forseeable future, and take them to the next level.
With barely enough time to clear the stage, Finnish metal favorites BATTLE BEAST took to the stage next. Returning to Kansas City for the first time since 2019, where they played the same stage, also opening for KAMELOT, the Finnish band wasted no time in winning over the crowd. Vocalist Noora Louhimo stormed the stage with horns held high, and I’m talking about her hair. They took the stage, and wasted no time in showing us who they were, opening with the title track from their most recent album, Circus of Doom. “
The lions are hungry
And filled with rage
Afraid and angry
Locked in a cage
(Ah, the circus is coming to town)
They may well have been singing about themselves, though there was no fear, just hunger. They quickly jumped into my favorite, Straight to the Heart, which is a non-stop jolt of adrenaline that leaves the listener exhausted by the end. It would be the perfect soundtrack for any 80’s action montage scene, without the camp. I was talking with someone before their set, who had never heard of BATTLE BEAT before that night, but I assured him that before their set was done, he would be a fan. When they were done, all he could say was “You called it.”
With everyone in attendance throwing horns and pumping their fists before BATTLE BEAST was done, I’m sure he wasn’t alone. Noora is a force of nature, commanding the crowd, and leaving it all out on stage, leaving us screaming for more, more, more.
Finally, the headliners of the night, KAMELOT, took the stage to deliver a truly epic performance, returning to Kansas City for the first time since 2019. A bit darker, and grittier than the other bands on the bill, it was the perfect contrast, adding to an already incredible evening (after all, that’s who we were there for). A flood of red lights illuminated the stage, and the crowd, everyone erupted in anticipation. After a pre-roll, heavy drums filled the room, it could only mean Veil of Elysium. Tommy’s light tenor voice, contrasted the heavy music, much like the operatic vocals so prevalent in symphonic metal. AD INFINITUM‘s Melissa Bonny was even on-hand to provide backing vocals.
With flawless musicianship, Tommy’s powerful vocals, and quiet confident stage presence, an electrifying atmosphere was created that had the audience headbanging and singing along. KAMELOT showed that they are masters of their art, and why they are fan favorites..
The concert at The Truman was a night to remember, showcasing the best of metal from around the world. Xandria, Battle Beast, and Kamelot each brought their unique sound and style to the stage, captivating the audience with their energy and talent. From Xandria’s haunting symphonies, Battle Beast’s raw power, and Kamelot’s epic metal mayhem, there were no weak points on the bill, and every band left their mark on the Kansas City, and undoubtedly won new fans in the process.
Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin
Tommy Karevik – vocals
Melissa Bonny – vocals
Thomas Youngblood – guitars
Sean Tibbetts – bass
Oliver Palotai – keyboards, orchestrations
Alex Landenburg – drums
Battle Beast is
Noora Louhimo – vocals
Joona Björkroth – guitars, backing vocals
Juuso Soinio – rhythm guitars
Eero Sipilä – bass, backing vocals
Janne Björkroth – keyboards, orchestrations, backing vocals
Pyry Vikki – drums
Ambre Vourvahis – vocals
Marco Heubaum – guitars
Rob Klawonn – guitars
Dimitrio Gatsios – drums