Concert Review: In Flames at Warsaw (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Concert Review: In Flames at Warsaw (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
In Flames played their first headlining concert in Brooklyn in nearly 25 years.

In Flames played their first headlining show in Brooklyn in almost 25 years on May 3rd in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at Warsaw.   It was the Swedish melodic death metal stalwarts’ third show of their North American headlining tour in support of 2023’s Foregone.  A raucous, sold-out Brooklyn crowd was treated to an 18-song, eighty minute set of classic anthems from the band’s extensive back catalog.

Led by frontman Anders Fridén and lead guitarist Björn Gelotte, the band’s two longest tenured members dating back to The Jester Race era, In Flames opened their set with the title track of Foregone, followed by “Deliver Us” from 2011’s Sounds from a Playground Fading.  They quickly followed with “Everything’s Gone” and “Paralyzed” from 2014’s Siren Charms, “In the Dark” from Foregone, “All for Me” from Playground, and “Voices” from 2019’s I, The Mask.

At this point of the set, Fridén asked the members of the crowd if any of them remembered the band’s last show at L’Amour, the famous Brooklyn metal venue which shuttered its doors in February 2004.   That show occurred in August 2000 during In Flames’ World Tour in support of Clayman.  A younger member of the crowd responded that he had, to which the frontman essentially told him he was lying, in much more colorful language.  The band then launched into an “old song” from “that green album” which may have been the high point of the evening: “Food for the Gods” from 1997’s Whoracle.

"Food for the Gods" live at Warsaw.

A couple more “old ones” followed “Food for the Gods," as the group doubled down with “Bullet Ride,” the opening track from 2000’s Clayman, and a fan favorite from 2002’s Reroute to Remain, “Cloud Connected.”  Fridén encouraged the crowd to open up the circle pit during this run of songs, which was consistent throughout the evening’s show.  He also asked everyone to “lift their friend up and call them tomorrow and say what a great f*cking time we had last night” to encourage crowdsurfing, which was also plentiful throughout the evening.  The crowd was beyond enthusiastic throughout the performance, but perhaps none more than during this three-song stretch.

The quintet continued their strong set with highlights from their deep discography, including “The Quiet Place” from 2004’s Soundtrack to Your Escape, “Delight and Angers,” “The Mirror’s Truth,” and “Alias” from 2008’s A Sense of Purpose, and “State of Slow Decay” from Foregone.  Fridén and company closed out the set with “I Am Above” from I, The Mask and “Take This Life” from 2006’s Come Clarity.   Rather than pull a traditional encore, the band decided to keep playing the whole way through.  The lead singer thanked the crowd at the end with a message of positivity, and said he hoped they enjoyed the show because “it may be a long time before we are back,” which may have been a nod to the large gap between headlining shows for the band in Brooklyn.

Fridén masterfully mixed both clean and harsh vocals throughout the night, which was an impressive feat on his third show in three nights.  Gelotte’s lead guitar, combined with the rhythm work of Chris Broderick, formerly of Megadeth, sounded incredible throughout the evening and did justice to the trademark Gothenburg sound that brought In Flames to the forefront of the metal world in the 1990s.  Touring bassist Liam Wilson (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and drummer Tanner Wayne provided a pounding rhythm section that was unrelenting for the course of the band’s 80-minute set.  Though focused more on material from the 2000s forward, the setlist provided a good sampling of tracks from the band’s fourteen studio albums that kept the vivacious crowd moving the entire night.  

As someone who has been a fan of In Flames for years, the opportunity to see them in an intimate setting such as Warsaw was an unbelievable experience.  I’d recommend any fan of the band to catch them on this current run, because as Fridén said, it may be a while before they return to the States.

In Flames will continue to tour North America for the next two months, making stops as far west as Texas.  They also will be playing several festivals, including Welcome to Rockville in Florida, Milwaukee Metalfest, Sonic Temple in Ohio, and Festival au Lac in Quebec.  Ticket information for these shows can be found here:

Creeping Death and Gatecreeper opened the show and provided energetic sets to rile the crowd up prior to In Flames taking the stage.  Both bands will continue to do so on all dates during this current American run.

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