Jinjer recruit P.O.D., Vended, and Space of Variations to inspire Youth of the Nation on Fall Tour.
[ Photos and Article by A.J. Kinney, special thanks Aaron Salsbury ]
It’s been one year to the date since Jinjer last took the stage in Philadelphia, and much has changed during that time. In the midst of an all-out war in Ukraine, the band received special exemption to leave the country to tour stateside with their countrymen Space of Variations who opened each night. Both bands shared messages of hope, appreciation for the United States, and first-hand accounts of how the war has been affecting their homeland.
The Fillmore Philadelphia hosted one of the final stops of their 28 date US tour shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday. Alongside Space of Variations, newcomers Vended, and Nu Metal legends P.O.D. provided a well-rounded lineup for the large multigenerational audience.
It’s been roughly 20 years since I last saw P.O.D. perform live (circa Purple Door festival, Chameleon Club) and I can confirm that tonight’s special guests haven’t missed a step. The band delivered an energetic performance packed with well-known hits “Boom,” “Rock the Party,” “Youth of the Nation,” “Alive,” along with personal favorite “Southtown”. Overall the crowd was given a nostalgic, all-killer no-filler hour of their best music.
Halfway through P.O.D.s performance the band invited some of their younger family members to join them onstage. This would become an ongoing theme throughout the remainder of the evening as by this point many of the patrons in the crowd consisted of life long fans who had also brought their offspring to the show. It was really cool to see the bond created in regard to such heavy music between family members, many of whom hoisted their loved ones up onto their shoulders to rock out as they sang along.
Vended features Slipknot member Corey Taylor’s son Griffin on vocals, and Clown’s son Simon on drums. The similarities in visual aesthetic between both Slipknot and Vended were apparent as each band member’s face (and in some cases entire body) were smeared with paint to create an even more ghoulish appearance. One can only imagine that over time they will continue to embrace the imagery as the band grows in popularity. Griffin’s voice sounded remarkably like that of his father’s, and the music was fittingly heavy and aggressive for much of their set.
Space of Variations
It was suggested by Jon Freeman (shout out to Freeman Promotions) that I arrive early to catch metalcore act Space of Variations. As previously mentioned, like Jinger they too were from Ukraine, and were given the opening slot for each night of the tour. True to their name, Space of Variations vocalist Dima Kozhuhar and guitarist/vocalist Alex Zatserkovny provide an array of ballads alongside ferocious growls to create a truly dynamic sound. SOV gave a refreshing but familiar taste of what to expect later that night, as this stark contrast in vocals has been a staple of Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmayluk vigorous sound since inception. Each SOV song felt like a rock anthem, blended with spacey, atmospheric sounds. The setlist heavily favored their most recent studio release IMAGO, and included “vein.mp3,” “SOMEONE ELSE,” and the title track “IMAGO”.
The dynamic vocal range of Tatiana Shmailyuk is quite impressive. It is undoubtedly the first thing you will notice, apart from the bands hard hitting progressive sound, when you play their music or see them at a concert. Citing early influences from vocalist Otep Shamaya, Tatiana frequently changes her vocal range from a calm symphonic concept to a much harsher scream during many of their choruses. Her clarity when speaking in such a harsh tone is another defining characteristic that sets her apart from many other vocalists in the scene.
Right out of the gate the band opened with a deep cut, “Sit Stay Roll Over”. After hearing an unexpected tune to open the set, I was pleased to hear most of Jinjer’s recent 2021 release “Wallflowers”, and enjoyed as the band layered almost every track throughout their hour plus performance. Many ‘Wallflowers’ tracks were played during the second half of the show leading up the encore, including notable hits “Astronomy” and “I Speak of Everything”.
As the show progressed Jinjer again would dig deeper into their catalog, executing many choice selections off their 2019 releases; The Micro EP with such popular hits as “Teacher / Teacher,” and fan favorite “Perennial”. Released just months after Micro, songs from the album Macro made appearances throughout the set as well including “Home Back”, and another favorite “Judgement (& Punishment)”.
Towards the end of the second set the audience was rewarded with another song that isn’t played often “Who’s Gonna Be the One” from their Cloud Factory record.
As if that wasn’t enough, the band ended their second set with their most popular hit “Pisces”, followed by a short break before playing another off their King of Everything album, “Captain Clock”.
I would have also loved to hear “Colossus” somewhere in the set, but was thrilled that much of their Wallflowers album made the cut. It’s better to always leave a little something to be desired, and I look forward to doing it all again next year. Same time, same place?