There are two parts to enjoying a live concert: the anticipation and the experience. Savoring the idea of what's to come takes up weeks or even months beforehand for me, the feeling growing as I drive to the venue. It builds and builds throughout the opening acts (Eklipse, you are awesome; Delain, you are delightful), and finally you get to let go when the headliner takes the stage. And when the act in question is your favorite in all the known multiverse, the entire shebang levels up. As mentioned in a few previous posts, Kamelot's got a new lead singer, and while they technically toured last year, that was a supporting tour. With a truncated set-list, and no new album to promote.
(Karevik and Alissa White-Gluz, taken by glitzandshadows)
But this year is different. This year is the tour of the first post-Khan album, and the band's first international headlining tour with a new singer. THIS YEAR IS A BIG YEAR. I'm so glad they chose to kick off their continental US road trip in our own Columbus, Ohio. There's a lot to be said against live music: eardrum-destroying, obnoxious people talking behind you during the ballads, waiting in all kinds of weather to get inside, $7 beers and expensive merch. But the ecstasy of a crowd and the chance to sing along and the goodwill that communal excitement fosters are more than enough reward. Live music gives you a chance to see performers' most glorious heights, but also their foibles--fumbling a bow, screwing up a lyric, recovering with a smile. Live music is cathartic. Maybe it only lasts four hours or so, but the hangover is legendary, to the point where there's no listening to other music for a few days after, for fear of blurring the amazing performance still going on in your head.
(the band, taken by marssimons)
And it was a great performance. If there was any doubt that Tommy has the stuff, this tour will kill it. If there's resentment or even apathy toward him, I didn't see it in the crowd in Columbus. We might not have filled the (relatively small) venue, but we were loud. We sang to every song, we headbanged and air-guitared and yelled. The next day at work, someone asked me if I a cold. That's a successful concert experience. May the rest of the tour be as awesome for Kamelot as Monday night was for Columbus, and may their new frontman continue to help carry and build Kamelot's legacy.