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In This Moment, Butcher Babies and More @ The Trocadero for HellPop 2.

January 23, 2014

Hellpop2_13Text by Gabi Chepurny. Images by Ian Ruckus Watson.

HellPop 2 took over The Trocadero last Friday night, bringing in five metal bands to give the audience a sampler of what the different genres really have to offer.

Los Angeles-based Before the Mourning opened up with hard-hitting tunes backed by smooth vocals from guitarist and vocalist Nikki Stringfield. The quartet took traditional heavy metal and gave it a fresh edge with Stringfield’s vocals while simultaneously making it obvious they were excited to be there.

The guys in All Hail The Yeti started their party during sound check when bassist Nicholas Diltz sang into the mic, “I’m gonna eat your pussy babyyyyy,” to screams of delight from the audience. The band played essentially two sets, opening for themselves as Wizard Sleeve. The first incarnation of the band had a lead singer who dressed in a wizard hat, Merlin beard and galaxy printed nightgown and sang in a decidedly different tune than what came after.

Following the first few songs, AHTY lead singer Connor Garrity jumped on stage. As he growled, “I am the devil,” into the mice while holding it with tattooed hands, adorned with what looked like a wedding band, the crowd was left to wonder what the venue had turned into, with many people asking themselves, “Where are we?”

Devour The Day brought hard rock into the mix and came off as a bit of a departure from the theme of the tour. Appropriately dubbed the “One Direction of metal bands” by JUMP photog Ian Watson, the band’s pretty looks and polished sound seemed slightly out of place, especially following the rumbling growls and shredding guitars of All Hail The Yeti.

Butcher Babies got the crowd ready with shattering vocals and headbanging riffs. Rarely seen in music but especially in metal, the group has two permanent lead vocalists, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, who despite their small stature can and will tear listeners apart with screams, growls and shrieks that have become signature to the Butcher Babies sound.

Headliners In This Moment (above) brought smoke and theatrics to the stage as lead singer Maria Brink, who just recovered from strep throat, sent soaring vocals over the crowd. Constant outfit and stage prop changes took away from the performance throughout the show, but it looked cool.

Pulling from their growing catalogue of work the band gave their audience everything they wanted and then some, including the best metal cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” that we’ve ever heard.

After finishing the set with their latest single, “Whore,” more than half the audience refused to leave and instead started chanting, “We want Blood,” in reference to the song of their fourth studio album of the same name. Brink came back on the mic and asked, “Do you want something?”

They returned to the stage for their encore of “Blood.” Whether that had already been planned or done to fulfill the audiences demand, Philly got what it wanted.

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