CONCERT REVIEW: In Flames – Gatecreeper – Creeping Death at Saint Andrews Hall

Spring is here and the warmer weather has numerous bands hitting the road. A multitude of metal acts have made their way to Motor City and the locals are pleased as punch to have them. The Swedish darlings, In Flames graced Detroit with their presence last week. This notorious act has been on a month-long headlining trek and they brought along the mighty Gatecreeper, plus Creeping Death with them. Saint Andrews Hall is a venue known for their affection towards heavier acts and were ready to host the considerable commotion this tour would cause.

The balmy Tuesday evening in Michigan was about to get a lot hotter when the first band of the evening kicked things off. The roars and rage that poured out of Texan act Creeping Death was well received by the crowd that was still coming into the hallowed hall. The textured chug and weighty drums pointed to that classic death metal sound. Their vibrantly heavy set and good natured attitude got everyone revved up. With the night off to such an agreeable start, the fans were hungry for more. 

The lights turned a dark red and Gatecreeper members stood as silhouettes on stage when they broke into their set. Their menacing riffs were fine-tuned which was enticing and ominous at the same time. Folks wanted to flirt with the fury they conjured. Chase H. Mason’s whole body heaved as he hashed out his hellish hollers on the opening number, “Puncture Wounds”. They played several songs off their newest full-length record that was just released earlier this month. “Dead Star”, “Caught in the Treads”, and “The Black Curtain” from Dark Superstition (Nuclear Blast Records) all showcased the band’s diverting and evolving sound. The thick, resounding riffs and the varied work in the melodies clung to the crowd like a much needed hug. Each member was engaged, and it was evident how good it felt to play. With fists in the air and hair flailing, these eerily edgy guys are a band to take note of. Their heaviness scratched an itch and then some. 

When the headliner’s made their appearance, the room ruptured into ecstatic glee. The floor shook when fans jumped in the air as “Forgone Pt. 1” was banged out. In Flames has been making music for nearly thirty years and it was evident why they were key players in pioneering the Gothenburg metal movement. Björn Gelotte and Chris Broderick delivered their succulent, signature riffs which carry gratifying melodies. Their boisterous blend of traditional metal with death metal was heard on their earlier pieces like “Food for the Gods” and “Clayman.” To see a veteran act still perform their older material is always a treat. The day of the show marked the 25th anniversary of the band’s renowned record, Colony (Nuclear Blast Records) and they played the title track off it which had the whole audience spellbound. 

They plucked pieces from all over their discography, yet a majority of their set was newer material like “In the Dark ” and “I Am Above.” Anders Fridén belted out his husky howls and owned the stage with his committed performance. They had fortitude, charm, and a comfortability about them. The crowd fed off their pleasant and excitable demeanor. Fridén stated that if we were good then they would be awesome. There was a shared geniality between the band and their devotees. Every song was delivered with dazzling energy and light-footedness. There were laughs shared and high fives given as this group of guys jammed out. Everything delivered was quippy, punchy, and effervescent while still being substantially heavy. The evening ended with the fan favorite, “Take This Life”. The whole hall sang along as the lights danced and each musician passionately played. All were moved by the talent and revelry from In Flames. Here is to thirty more years.

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