On May 17th, I arrived in London, England to see Halcyon Way, Trillium, and Delain at the O2 Islington Academy. After a long plane ride and about an hour commute on the tube, I was so ready to hang out with the bands and watch them perform. I found the Halcyon Way tour bus and stashed my suitcase, then I watched the bands get ready for the show with great excitement. This was the last show of the “We are the Others” tour, and I was very glad I got to be there!
First to perform was Halcyon Way. A progressive power/thrash metal band from Atlanta, GA. As I waited in the photo pit for the band come out on stage, I looked behind me and the venue was packed full of people. After their dramatic intro music, Halcyon Way runs out on stage, the crowd cheers, and the band starts off their set with The Age of Betrayal. I was a little unsure how the band would come across with only one guitar player, but to my surprise, Trey Hollingsworth (fill in on bass) filled the void with an electric performance. I quickly forgot about the missing guitar player and was absorbed into Halcyon Way’s performance. Singer Steve Braun performed with an energy I hadn’t seen before until this show – he made his presence known by encouraging fans to pump their fists, interacting with the crowd, and several times he jumped off stage and rocked out with fans. Lead guitarist Jon Bodan never fails to deliver intricate guitar solos, and technical riffs with a passionate energy. Pounding away on the drums, Ernie Topran provided the backbone of the band’s technical metal.
Second to perform was Trillium, a band fronted by Amanda Somerville. Trillium’s debut album “Alloy” (2011) has a gothic/progressive feel filled with the angst of a relationship gone sour. As I watched, I could see Amanda projecting her angst into her performance. Her facial expressions, her appearance all said to me that she had a very personal statement to make with her music. Bassist Mark Burnash was positioned behind the keyboardist. The poor guy got stuck in a small space, but he didn’t let that stop him from rocking out. Paul Joseph performed well on stage, and ripped out some great guitar playing (with a smile). Trillium had a great performance and I look forward to watching this band progress. Amanda Sommerville has an amazing voice, and she is slowly becoming one of my favorite female vocalists.
Dutch band Delain, was the headliner on the “We are the Others” tour. They had a more hard rock/metal sound, as opposed to the previous bands. With a 19 song set list, fans got to hear all their favorites and some new songs. The band demonstrated why they are a legitimate headliner in Europe. Fans cheered, pogoed, and sang along with Delain throughout the whole set, especially when they played “The Gathering” for their encore.
On stage, Delain was very energetic. Bassist Otto Schimmelpennic and fill-in guitar player Bas Maas (from After Forever & Doro Pesch) spent most of their time spinning their long hair around, and running back and forth behind the lead singer, doing classic Zack Wylde poses and so forth. Lead singer Charlotte Wessels has a unique style on stage, and great stage presence. Delain as a whole put on a very professional show and the audience ate them up.
All the performances were great that night in London. The O2 Academy was great and I appreciated their kindness. By the end of the night, all the efforts I made to get to London were all worth it. May 16th is a night I will never forget!