Monday night was a night full of metal bands, double bases, and headbanging, as four bands performed at Northern Lights to an almost sold out crowd. Straight Line Stitch, Kingdom of Sorrow, Trivium and headliners In Flames all rocked the house and put on a totally metal show! Put up your metal horns and read on!

Knoxville, Tennessee quintet Straight Line Stitch opened up and set the bar for the night. The thing that made this band stand out was that the vocalist was a young, African-American female. I thought it was awesome to see something different, but I just couldn't get past one thing: here is this pretty, petite young woman with painted nails and a girly voice who comes out of nowhere with such a masculine singing voice and metal scream. It just seems so de-feminizing to me. I've always favored male metal singers because it makes them more masculine, but when girls such as those who front Otep and Arch Enemy scream like that, I don't know it just doesn't always work for me, with the rare exception of Maria Brink, who thrives on her femininity and perfectly pulls it off while still balancing her amazing metal voice.

I also wonder how the public takes female metal singers, and I wonder if SLS frontwoman Alexis Brown ever faces controversy. I give her credit though, as she was a good entertainer and her and the band got the crowd ready for the night. What's your opinion on this?

With two guitars, a drummer and a six-string bass backing her up, SLS performed a handful of songs,

 including: "Black Veil," "Laughing in the Rear View," "What You do to Me," "Conversion," "Taste of Ashes," "Never Surrender" and "Tear Down the Sky." Alexis' voice was heavy screaming sometimes, and sweet and melodic at others, which was a good mix. The crowd seemed to like the band and it was a great way to start off the night.

Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta's side project band Kingdom of Sorrow followed, and despite the recent circumstances that have hindered the band, they still went on and put on a show. Their usual drummer had to leave due to an emergency, so Straight Line Stitch drummer Kanky Lora filled in with only 24 hours notice, and did a great job. Touring bassist Aaron Patrick (Bubble) from Devil Driver also filled in for the band, and Jasta told the crowd how Aaron's flight was cancelled, so he himself went to Hartford, Connecticut to pick him up so the show could go on. That right there shows passion and love for what they do. So many bands would just cancel, but instead they did what they had to do, and I'm glad because they were awesome.

It amazes me how when musicians fill in for other bands how they learn their material so fast. I don't know if they learn notes or if they just wing it, but if nothing was said I never would've known. Everyone came together and really did their best, and they were well received. Guitarist and back-up vocalist Kirk Windstein (whom I got to meet!) was a favorite of the crowd, as they chanted "Kirk." He has also played for bands Crowbar and Down, and has even been associated with Judas Priest and an Iron Maiden cover band known as Victorian Blitz. He's 46 and is a bald, stocky guy with a trademark beard and a classic sludge metal voice. He added a lot to the band and helped everything come together.

The band played a bunch of songs, including: "Enlightened to Extinction," "Begging for the Truth," "Led into Demise" and "Monuments of Ash."

Metal quartet Trivium, who hail from Orlando, Florida were second to last to take the stage. I've only

 seen them once before when I was in my teens, so seeing them again helped refresh my memory. They put on a good show and it all just seemed so natural. Musicians always make everything look so easy, but it's not, at all. There were two guitarists and a bassist, all of which did vocals as well. Lead vocalist Matt Heafy, who told us he does yoga, was very energetic, happy and interactive with the crowd. He wanted everyone moving around and having a good time. All members moved around a lot and went from stage left to stage right and took turns at each mic, and the entire band overall just blew up the stage and the crowd went nuts over them and their heavy breakdowns and sound. Their drummer, Nick, has only been with the band a year and a half.

Songs performed include: "Like Light to the Flies," "Down From the Sky," "Throes of Perdition," "Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr" and the newest song from their upcoming (August 9) album, "Dusk Dismantled."

After about three hours or pre-metal gaming, Gothenburg, Sweden quintet In Flames finally came on. I've only seen them once, and had to travel to Massachusetts for it, so having them in the Capital Region was so exciting. They played for about an hour and a half, and luckily I was able to steal a set list! They played the following: "Could Connected," "Trigger," "Alias," "Pinball Map," "Delight and Angers," "Colony," "Deliver Us," "Only for the Weak," "The Hive," "Disconnected," "The Mirror's Truth," "Dead Ship," "System," "Come Clarity," "Quiet Place," "Take This Life" and "My Sweet Shadow." "Leeches" was on the list, but unfortunately was not played, for a reason we'll never know. If you're an In Flames fan, you can easily tell that they played a great variety of songs from most of their albums. After all, they've been together for over 20 years and have put out

 10 albums, so balancing a one and a half to two hour show into 20  years is an achievement, and they managed to do it. One of the many reasons why I love them.

It was a night that made memories, and a night that almost didn't happen. The storm earlier in the day knocked Lights unconscious, and thanks to the crews of each band, as well as the Lights crew, the show was made possible. So thanks to everyone and to the bands for making a night with In Flames simply metal-tastic!

Were you at the show? What did you think?