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KLASH OF THE TITANS W/ IN FLAMES & KREATOR: Canberra and Sydney 16/02 & 17/02

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Words and pix by Jenna Flood

I was lucky enough to see In Flames and Kreator twice on their co-headline tour, Klash of the Titans, in Australia last week. Canberra and Sydney were the two shows I caught out of their string of 5 that all had fantastic ticket sales. The tour included the often unfortunately left out Adelaide, which I’m sure meant a lot to the R-Adelaide fans.

Proudly wearing my 20-year-old In Flames t-shirt (that still fits me mind you) I was at the UC Refectory in Canberra two hours early, excited to see In Flames for my first time since I bought said t-shirt in 2004, and Kreator for the first time ever.

The meet and greet crowd were first in, and those that came out to put their signed memorabilia in the car all had grins from ear to ear after meeting the guys from both bands. I was then first in line for when GA were allowed inside and where my (short-lived) dilemma of whether to grab some merch or go to the fence set in…straight to the fence I went and was blown away by the shows both bands delivered.

German thrash heroes Kreator were up first and blasted through a set of classics from their incredible 52-year career. Playing songs from 1985’s Endless Pain to Hate Uber Alles (2022) and the band’s highest fan ranked album Pleasure To Kill (1986) the band are still as furious as ever. Mille Petrozza demanded responses from the crowd and whether it was “people in the back…front…let me hear you!” or commanding circle pits and a wall of death, everyone responded, giving it their all to crowd favourites such as Pleasure To Kill and Betrayer. Then the time came for Mille to wave the Flag Of Hate in front of the hanging corpses on stage and the giant protruding Violent Mind before launching into Flag Of Hate.

Headlining tonight, Sweden’s melodic death metal giants In Flames delivered a blistering 16 songs set from their impressive catalogue of albums. Celebrating a year since the release of Foregone (2023), these legends opened with Foregone Pt. 1 and also took us right back to the early days with tracks from Lunar Strain (1994) and Whoracle (1997), to name but a few. I was especially excited to hear a track from Colony (1999) as this is where I jumped on the In Flames bandwagon. Being a smaller venue than some that the band would play in, there was a more intimate feel to it, and a couple of the crowd members had Anders in stitches with comments about Chris Broderick’s muscles. Anders chatted and laughed personally with a few of these guys, and you could tell the band was genuinely happy to be there. I received a fist bump from Anders and a drumstick from Tanner, so I was also very genuinely happy despite all the tour shirts being sold out by the time I made it to the merch desk.

Forward to Saturday night to see the Klash of the Titans tour hit Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. This time I headed straight to the merch desk and updated my In Flames tour shirt – let’s hope this one still fits me in 20 years too! Such a beautiful venue and it was literally packed to the rafters. As in Canberra, the crowd were pretty much equally divided between In Flames and Kreator fans and the circle pits continued right through the evening.

The bands changed the playing order tonight, with In Flames playing first. They both played the same sets as they had played in Canberra and to an equally intense audience…just on a larger scale. After our 3 songs in the photo pit was up, I moved up to the balcony, where I found a seat right at the front. What an awesome view of the bands and the crowd, with the crowd surfers jumping up at every available opportunity.

Next to me at the front of the balcony was a young boy and his parents. With his flash red earphones on, he proudly held a sign over the balcony for the whole In Flames set that read “I’M 7 TOMORROW PLEASE PLAY STAY WITH ME”. At one stage while thanking the crowd, Anders looked up and although admitting “Without his glasses, he couldn’t see shit” acknowledged the young boy and his sign and dedicated State of Slow Decay to him.

It was awesome to see the little fellow sing along to nearly every word, while his parents couldn’t have been prouder. Discovering your kids love music must feel like such a great parenting achievement. As you all know, our illustrious leader Krispy recently flew to Melbourne to review Taylor Swift at his daughter’s request, and he also couldn’t have been prouder to sit alongside Scarlett as she absorbed every moment of the concert.

At the end of In Flames set the band spent some time thanking the audience and throwing out picks and drumsticks to the crowd. Drummer Tanner Wayne shaped up towards the young boy with his last drumstick, and he was spot on! It cleared the balcony and landed not far away. A guy behind us picked it up, and he was nice enough to hand it to the boy. What a legend he was to pass that on, and I’m pretty sure that young metalhead will be on a high for a good while to come.

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