In This Moment, Live in London

Metal’s chameleon queen wrings the changes

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Descending on a sold-out Koko tonight is a veritable batch of misfits, and the first ones up are actually wearing space helmets. When future-rockers STARSET [7] launch into a set of uplifting tunes from their debut Transmission, the stage is momentarily transformed into the inside of a spaceship. Pretty cool.

FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS [4] are much more forgettable. It’s not their fault they’re sandwiched between two infinitely more dynamic groups, but their performance is flat, and it’s clear they’re more alert to the demands of boyband than to metal culture.

IN THIS MOMENT [8] prove that the female of the species is indeed more deadly, from the second the curtain drops and they launch into the heavy, seductive Sick Like Me. With a creepy cabaret aesthetic that’s perfectly suited to the opulent trappings of the venue, their whole performance is more of a spectacle than a live show. And with the fierce, inimitable Maria Brink at the helm, they make sure that no one’s able to take their eyes off the stage, even for a second.

At times, with the inclusion of Maria’s backup dancers plus the addition of props and a wind machine, it feels like watching a Lady Gaga show, but really all this only serves to elevate the show visually. From a titular black widow to Sex Metal Barbie’s psychotic beauty queen, Maria embodies a different persona with every costume change. The effect this has on the pace of tonight’s show is probably its only flaw, as there’s a lot of waiting around between songs.

Despite the fact that the band have five records under their belt, the inclusion of a drum solo and an instrumental Metallica tribute makes it feel as though they’re just filling time until Maria returns to the stage. It’s clear that, aside from the theatrics, the main appeal of In This Moment is the overwhelming sincerity and inclusiveness of their show. This is truly a band for the misfits, and Maria is their queen.

When everything is stripped away for Into The Light, she shows off her voice with only a piano to accompany her, and it’s glorious. After leading the audience in singing along to Whore, she throws her head back, drinking in the applause like oxygen, beckoning for more. There’s certainly no shortage of it tonight./o:p