Beast In Black Claws The Orpheum

By on October 20, 2023

It’s always interesting going to not only a new venue but also seeing a couple of bands that you have very limited knowledge of. Well on Saturday night in Tampa, both of those situations were in play as Beast in Black headlined the new Orpheum with Dance With the Dead as the opening act.

I also wasn’t very sure what size the crowd would be but the venue moved the bands from the smaller inside stage area to the outside larger stage which was definitely needed as the place was packed.  It was a great move by the manager as it was a beautiful night in Tampa with the weather finally shifting from the African heat that we have had all summer down here.

What was really surprising though was the number of girls in the crowd especially at the rail. This was a huge difference from what you normally see at a hard rock or metal show and there were also a few interesting characters in attendance, but I’ll get to that later.   

Dance With the Dead opened the show and I’m glad I made it to cover them as they were really cool blending hard rock and metal with synch pop sounds. While I was listening to them, multiple band influences for them popped into my head including Satriani, Dream Theatre, and Dragonforce but they also took me back to my days in the rave scene with their beats etc. 

I would refer to their sound as Rave Metal and as I watched the crowd throughout their 45-minute plus 14-song set, the fans were bouncing around and head-banging in unison with smiles on their faces.  

I was also surprised to find out that Dance With The Dead has been around for 10 years and the duo of Tony Kim on guitar and Justin Pointer on keys and a killer green guitar were joined on this tour by a slamming drummer in John Terry.

 Even though the band does not have a singer as there aren’t any lyrics in their songs, the music did not get stale or repetitive during their set.

The crowd and I were super impressed with their songs and ability, and I personally would go see this band again as a fan or cover them from a media capacity as they are that good at the sounds they are creating.

After a short break, Finnish metallers Beast in Black took the stage joined by two female naked mannequins cut at the torso in half in large glowing science experiment tubes.  These were some of the coolest stage effects that I have seen in a long time, especially from a band who are doing a club tour in the States as moving them around must be a chore and a half.

The five-piece hit the stage in full metal regalia with leather jackets, trench coats, boots with spikes etc and thankfully for them a cool breeze flowed throughout the outside stage area.

 Drummer Atte Palokangas jumped on his Tama kit between the two domed mannequins and had a huge smile on his face throughout the 19-song, 90-plus minute set.

Guitarists Kasperi Heikkinen and Anton Kabenon then joined him and bassist Mate Molnar with the latter having one of the coolest bass guitars I have ever seen.

Vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos strode on stage as the band opened with “Blade Runner” from their 2021 release Dark Connection.  All three guitarists were together multiple times during the song and throughout the night bouncing back and forth and thrashing their head in synch ala Tipton, Hill and Downing from Judas Priest.

As the set continued on with “Eternal Fire” and “Die By The Blade” it was evident that Papadopoulos is a complete vocal specimen. His range was fantastic and was able to drop down octaves and then hit screams that only Geoff Tate and a few others could hit in their youth. His stage command and presence were engaging and extremely professional.  

What really caught my attention though was the fans not only in the crowd but especially on the rail as they knew the words to every song and I mean everyone, especially the 20 or so girls on the rail. They bounced, thrashed, and sang all night long. It was super impressive, and their smiles were infectious to the rest of the band members.

Heikkinen and Molnar made faces at me in the photo pit and hammed it up to the camera and the fans more than any band I have seen in the 35 years of going to concerts and it looked to me like they were having a blast.

They moved through the set quickly limiting the banter between them and the fans but as the first of the three-song encore in “Cry Out For A Hero” concluded Papadopoulos asked the crowd if they wanted to go to a different country with them tonight. The crowd responded with a huge response of screams of affirmations as Papadopoulos said he was taking them out for “One Night In Tokyo.”

One of the more interesting fans in attendance took an Asian folding fan and started fanning Papadopoulos and Kabanan all the while having a full orange space suit on including a helmet.  Another first time event that happened at Saturday Night’s Beast in Black show.

 The white helmet had signatures all over it from various bands and EDM performers and Ian was super stoked when the band signed it for him directly after the set.

After concluding their set with “End Of The World” the band and tour manager Sam Chilli took their bows and departed the stage. It was the second time Chilli joined the band as she came out and played a keytar during “Krazy, Mad, Insane.  

Saturday night at the Orpheum was a trifecta of success as the venue and both bands now have new fans especially the author of this article as I would definitely go see a show there and check out Beast in Black and Dance With The Dead again. 

While the US tour has concluded, Beast in Black is back in full swing with tour dates all over Europe with Glory Hammer and Dance With the Dead will be back on the road soon

For more info on:

 Dance With The Dead  

Beast In Black

More Pics From The Show

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