Live Review: Dragonforce, The Roundhouse, London

Dragonforce/Amaranthe/Infected Rain

The Roundhouse, London

March 24th 2024

It’s the very last night of this tour featuring a stela line up and the mood from the off is celebratory. Openers Infected Rain have seen their stock rapidly rising of late and you can see why. They’ve built on the sturdy foundations laid down over 15 odd years by paying attention to detail. They fill every corner the stage with charisma, this is very much a unit. Their music is drum tight. And in Lena Scissorhands they have someone who is genuine with a warm personality. It also helps she can sing a bit too. The screams rock but it’s the bjorkish quality of the quieter moments that set her apart. The Moldovan’s have grafted for years, now they’re deservedly reaping just reward for their efforts. A headline tour must surely be on the cards.

We already know Amaranthe have a unique take on vocal line ups using three singers with wildly differing sounds. It gives the band so many opportunities to delve into new areas, and to their credit they take full advantage. Newcomer Mikael Sehlin does a great job with his growls while Elise Ryd shines with her beautiful sopranic vox. It is Nils Molin that has jaws dropping though. Already noteworthy for his clean vocals he puts on a masterclass tonight with some amazing crystal clear belts. The musicians put in a huge shift too making sure that the whole set is smooth and entertaining. ‘Amaranthine’ is simply wondrous, a modern day mini rock opera which is worth the admission price alone. You get the feeling that this is a band with plenty of fuel still in the tank.

The stage is firmly set for Dragonforce. The last night of a tour and it’s in their home city of London. They have a fantastic arcade game themed set with huge props that also serve as platforms elevating guitarists high above the Roundhouse stage. Neon bars run in front of the monitors and we get plenty of confetti fired into the crowd too. It’s all dressing for a music event that would work just as well without the glitz, but this is a group wanting to push the boat out. The music is of course technically breath taking, it’s expected and well received. Herman Li and Sam Totman are in fine form. There’s more to Dragonforce than just slick musicianship though. Marc Hudson is an engaging vocalist who lifts the band even further. Alicia Vigil plays the bass like her life depends on it while remaining super cool at the same time. And drummer Gee Anzalone’s gleefully happy demeanour is infectious. Tonight Dragonforce showed just why they are such an enduring and much loved act. 25 years after forming they are fast reaching legendary status.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman