Vegas was the next to last stop on this 2022 USA tour and it was worth the wait - JINJER rolled into Las Vegas with special guests P.O.D., MALEVOLENCE and SPACE OF VARIATIONS to a packed House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. The line to get inside wrapped around the casino floor and you could feel the energy from the fans as they waited for the doors to open and the show to begin!
Starting the night was modern metalcore band SPACE OF VARIATIONS who wowed the crowd with their intense energy. Hailing from Ukraine, vocalist Dima Kozhuhar reminded the crowd not to forget what the people of Ukraine are going through at the hands of Russia, and the fans started a chant throughout the venue of “ F#ck Russia" and got the set off to a bit of crowd participation. Dima jumped into the crowd and did a bit of crowd surfing also as the set was winding down, and the crowd loved this band, and I hope to catch them next time they roll through Vegas.
If I thought the energy level was high during Space of Variations,UK's MALEVOLENCE. these guys took it a notch higher, and was one of the best bands i've have seen in 2022. Lead singer Alex Taylor is an absolute monster on vocals and pairs perfectly with the killer guitar playing from Josh Banes and Konan Hall, and rounding out the band with a punishing rhythm section is Wilkie Robinson on bass and Charlie Thorpe on drums. The band is touring to promote their latest CD, Malicious Intent released through Nuclear Blast Records.
American Christian metal band legends P.O.D. were direct support, and it's hard to believe
that it has been 30 years since P.O.D. formed in southern California. At first I thought this was an odd addition to this tour, but P.O.D. turned into the big win and they took us on a 30 year journey of some of their biggest hits with "Boom", "Rock the Party", "Youth of a Nation", "South Town" and "Alive”. Vocalist Sonny Sandoval throughout the show gave his praises to God by posing with his arms wide open while looking up at the heavens or kneeling down and kissing the ground. During the song "Youth of a Nation", Sonny called up audience members and had them come up onstage and wave P.O.D. flags and sing along. P.O.D. sound as good today as ever, and were a real treat to see live once again. A side note - Alex Lopex from Suicide Silence, who also happens to be Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmailyuk’s current boyfriend was on drums for the set.
Headliner Jinjer is from war torn Donetsk, Ukraine, and the last time we saw this band was back on Halloween night in 2021, also at the same HOB venue. This trip the band was winding down their US tour and Vegas was the next to the last stop, but they were still on fire and tight. The band dived into their set with the brutal “Sit Stay Roll Over”, classic Jinjer showcasing the tremendous vocal range of vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk and the punishing
power of the band. The band then continued with “Teacher Teacher “ followed by “Copycat”, some of which show the band's uniqueness - you hear elements of funk, jazz and R&B in the hard driving sound. . The band features Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Abdukhanov on bass, "Vladi" Ulasevich on drums in addition to Tatiana on vocals.
In my opinion Tatiana is the queen of this style of vocal and seeing her live you get to appreciate how good she can sing. A perfect example is on the band's epic song “Pisces” which is 100 times better live than on their studio video. Tatiania knows how to work a crowd and on this night had their full attention the entire show as she moved back and forth across the stage flashing her sly smile between vocal growls and her belly dance moves, Tatiana showed she is a current queen hitting her stride. A great show to close out my 2022 at the HOB and I can't wait to see this band again in 2023.
JINJER LV SETLIST:
Sit Stay Roll Over
I Speak Astronomy
As I Boil Ice
Judgement (& Punishment)
Dead Hands Feel No Pain
Who's Gonna Be the One
Sleep of the Righteous
Call Me a Symbol
Encore: On the Top
JINJER photos: Harold Mountain/JustAFanPhotos
P.O.D. photos: Harold Mountain/JustAFanPhotos
Malevolence photos: Harold Mountain/JustAFanPhotos
Space of Variations photos: Harold Mountain/JustAFanPhotos