Well, I have to confess that I don't know much about Kittie and that I came to Essen to see Shadows Fall. A little strange combination, not just for me. The Americans Shadows Fall opened their set with Crushing Belial of Of One Blood. A powerful sound give the songs what they needed - heaviness. I didn't new the 2 songs from their latest release, but good songs. So they played five songs of their release Of One Blood which includes (Serenity, To Ashes, Of One Blood and Fleshhold. Some called them In Flames copycats, but that image they left behind. Their older songs aren't bad, but can't compete with the new ones! They are on the right way... There were parts which sound almost like hard rock, just played in a death metal sound... Really cool! What surprised me, was that they worked with two vocalists live. Guitarist Matt Bachand was singing a lot, partly he did add grunts and partly he did the clean vocal parts which had a positive effect on the presented songs. Also Jonathan Donais added some vocals here and there.
But not everything was positive, shadows fall on the changes between the parts. I guess that the problem is the way they write songs, coz this is also a problem which you can face on the disc. It's not the skills of the members which cause this. The people came to see Kittie and so many didn't knew the Americans and looked quite puzzled. Keeping that in mind, the guys of Shadows Fall got a good response from the audience. They are heavier then the girls of Kittie, so a tough job to convince the fans of the girls. But I guess at least a few fans they could convince...
Due to my interview with Matt Bachand I missed part of the show - more or less the middle part - and have to rely on what spectators told me. It was obvious that the audience waited for Kittie. It's a bad habit of frontlady Morgan to strike the guitar always before talking to the fans, so it was unintelligible to understand her words of introduction. But the music is what counts. The fans liked it! No photo pit, so the crowd surfers ended on stage and dived into the audience, but the crew tried to make it impossible to get on stage. They didn't succeed. It was fun to watch drum girl Mercedes, coz while she was playing she was making funny faces, seems that she was talking to someone on the side-wing...
Not much stage acting from both bands, coz there wasn't enough space. Bassist Talena and their new man in the band were the headbanging party. In case of the male member, only the beard was moving with the music, the guy is bold. The audience was jumping and making party and so it was courageous to play the laid-back track In Winter. In comparison with Shadows Fall the Kitties had a weaker sound, partly so bad that the songs could hardly be identified by the fans.
Well, a good concert, even if far from perfect...