The crew began to set up the stage, the chatter amongst the crowd blended together. Some excited squeals and cheers emerged from their mouths as the crew placed two stands with stacked skulls, which were then moved to a box positioned in the center of the stage. Two more stands were positioned on opposite ends of the stage. A wool carpet was put on top of the box and two old-fashioned twin metal headboards that had sheer shredded pale pink fabric draped over them, on each side of the box. Two fans placed on either side, next came banners reading IN THIS MOMENT with an image of a hand holding an apple, dripping blood that represented the theme of their new record, Blood. The crew team then placed two white shiny mannequins with red markings, one on each side. Finally, a white sculpture with melted faces and swords sticking out was arranged in front of the box; a piece of a catacomb wall, if you will. Smoke glided elegantly across the stage…overall, a very eerie setting that raised a question that everyone was thinking: What do they have in store for us?
Finally, the lights dimmed and a familiar drumbeat filled the ears of fellow concertgoers, Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, that quickly faded into mixed creepy whispers, belonging to “It is Written”, off of Blood. The whispers ended and the song changed to the very first track from the record, “Rise With Me”, cuing Albany’s angel of metal, Maria Brink, to make herself known. She stepped upon the stage wearing a white hooded cloak that covered her one-piece latex outfit with nude stocks and two white straps wrapped around her knees. She made her way to the stage, the fans blowing up her long blonde wavy hair, the blue hue revealed her dark, smeared eye-shadow. Through her mic headset, she sang the lyrics to “Rise With Me”, and with that, the rest of the band members emerged through the thick mist. The song then changed to their current single, “Adrenalize”, the fast paced drumbeat energized. Maria gripped the skull stands as she whipped her hair wildly to the rhythm of the song and danced provocatively. After performing “Blazin’”, she went to the back of the stage to change her outfit (a button down oxford shirt, a very short plaid skirt, and a cone hat that had the word: WHORE written in red) for their second next song, “Whore.” With her moves, she made metal seem very sexy. The next outfit was her white latex one-piece; this time she had two flowy white sheets attached to her arm. Maria encouraged her ever-adoring fans to put their lighters up and to “burn” her, hinting the next song to play was “Burn”. Her powerful scream in the chorus of that song certainly gave the crowds the chills, especially the way the fan was hitting her “wings” and the smoke outlined the sheets…such an eerie scene. The setlist then relaxed into a slower song, “Into the Light”, when the setting changed a bit. White LED lights wrapped around the headboards, Maria sat in a chair that had a tube of LED lights wrapped around the legs and seat with a sheer cloth over it. Then Maria stood up and walked over to drummer Tom Hane’s perch and introduced him to the crowd as she went to the back to change her outfit for the next song. Hane proceeded with his killer drum solo; it was very fast paced, and it was clearly evident that he was really getting into it, as he whipped his long hair in a circular motion. Chris Howorth (guitar), Randy Weitzel (guitar), and Travis Johnson (bass) joined in during the solo, letting their crazy riffs rip through the venue.
Once the solo ended, Maria came back on stage wearing her white Oxford shirt, the latex one-piece and a white navy hat with the smoke gun. She then screamed out the band’s well-known single, “The Gun Show”. Her piercing scream rang the fellow music lovers’ ears and bounced off the Upstate Concert Hall’s walls. The smoke shot from the gun whenever she screamed “WELCOME TO THE GUN SHOW”. Fans mouthed along to the words, fists pumped the air, and some moshed to the song. Eventually the mood changed from sexy heavy metal to just plain sexy as crewmembers held up a white sheet and Maria wore shredded white wings on her arms. There was a white backlight that revealed her silhouette, as she waved her arms and danced to the rhythm of the drums. After the performance of “Aries”, a man wearing a bunny-mask and a tuxedo stepped up onto Maria’s box, and stood behind her as the band began to perform the second to last song, “Beast Within”. Throughout the song, she encouraged the fans to wave their arms in the air as well as danced with the Bunny-Man sexually. At the end of the song, Maria and the band left the crowd chanting, “More! More! More!” while some chanted, “Blood! Blood! Blood!” From behind the stage, Maria asked the crowd through the speakers if they wanted more, in response the crowd cheered wildly. She came back out with the band in a sparkly dress with shredded sleeves that dripped from her arms, with a hat that is quite difficult to describe. She then began to perform the epic finale, “Blood”, the band’s leading single off their latest record. Towards the end of the song, Maria encouraged the fans to sing the chorus with her and she brought her young niece up to the stage as well as introduced her family, who were off to the side. The song ended in a spine-chilling manner, leaving the fans in such a crazed buzz.
All in all, the setlist was amazing, the set itself was very creepy and probably will continue to haunt the fellow concertgoers’ dreams, and Maria’s beautifully bone-chilling scream will ring in their minds, as they remember the night In This Moment rocked the Upstate Concert Hall.