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Review by Dave Moto / Photos by David Galindo (Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa)

Friday night the “In-Between” tour with megabands In This Moment, Black Veil Brides and DED rolled into Tampa at the incredible event center at Seminole Hard Rock Casino. This was the 43rd stop on a 45-stop tour that began in September in Lincoln Nebraska and ends This Sunday in Atlanta Georgia. The walk through the casino is a perfect preparty for a concert with neon lights, music memorabilia, drinks, gambling and an overall electricity in the air that sets the mood for any show. The Event Center is an incredible venue that despite being sold out, lets you experience the bands in a very close personal way. The horseshoe design means that no seat inside is a bad seat with amazing views of the stage.

The show opened with Arizona metal band DED. Despite being the youngest band on this tour, formed in 2017, Front man Joe Cotela hit the stage looking like a seasoned veteran. Guitarist David Ludlow gave us some of the heaviest riffs of the night playing 2017’s “Hate Me” and my personal favorite, their newest release “Kill Beautiful Things”. Drummer Matthew Reinhard and Bassist Kyle Koelsch round out the lineup and the guys gave us a solid 45-minute set.

Co-Headliners Black Veil Brides Hit the stage next. Best described as the love child of KISS and Motley Crue, the guys are known for the all-black hair, black clothes, studs, makeup and metal poses galore!! The band formed in 2006 in Hollywood California and despite several lineup changes, have churned out a steady amount of hits and gained a great fanbase along the way. Front man Andy Biersack hit the stage and literally never stopped moving during the hour plus set, hanging off of the front edge of the stage for most of the night. The guys opened with their newest song “Scarlett Cross” and played a great set of hits including “Torch” and “In The End”.

The crowd had waited anxiously all night for headliners In This Moment. When the house lights dropped, the crowds’ yells were deafening. A large curtain hid the stage as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” played at a growing sound level. Everyone sang along as the music evolved into lightning and thunder. The curtain dropped and singer and leader Maria Brinks appeared atop a pedestal with a huge headdress and flowing white robe accompanied by two “caretakers” she calls sisters, to a percussion heavy version of Steve Millers “Fly Like An Eagle”. Make sense? Nope, but that’s an In This Moment show. I can only describe it as “Phantom Of The Opera” meets Heavy Metal..without Broadway involved!! Maria enters a huge tent on stage often during the show, emerging each time in a more elaborate outfit than the last while guitarist Chris Howorth, Bassist Travis Johnson and Drummer Kent Dimmel fill the void with amazing rhythms. One of the highlights of their set was a midway slowdown, with Maria at the piano, playing “Lay Your Gun Down”. She told the audience she wanted to “See the stars”. The lights dropped and everyone in attendance lit their cellphones, turning the room into a beautiful sea of lights!! The night ended with their biggest hit “Whore”, which despite the title, has become an anthem for women fighting labels. Much of the crowd donned dunce caps with whore written on them. Maria appeared on a rising pedestal with the same cap as giant red balloons and confetti rained on the crowd creating a fantastic frenzy.

An amazing time start to finish. It is not often I feel drained after a show, but the walk back to the garage through the casino seemed difficult as the energy given by all three bands plus the energy we gave back as fans left me rating this as the best show this year!