The Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg was buzzing with anticipation on September 18, 2023, as Ukrainian metal titans Jinjer made their long-awaited debut in the city. Alongside them, the British/American progressive metal band Monuments promised an unforgettable night of heavy music. Monuments took to the stage first with an electrifying presence that immediately captured the audience's attention. Their setlist was a relentless barrage of technical precision and groove-heavy rhythms. Kicking things off with "Cardinal Red," they wasted no time plunging into their signature sound. The driving riffs of "I, the Destroyer" and the punishing energy of "Degenerate" had the crowd headbanging in unison.
Vocalist Andy Cizek's soaring cleans and guttural growls added depth and emotion to each song, particularly showcased in "False Providence" and "Opiate." Monuments delved into their more atmospheric side with "Lavos," and closed out their set with "I, the Creator," leaving the audience in awe of their musicianship and stage presence.
Monuments. All photos by Samuel Stevens.
The moment the first three members of Jinjer stepped onto the Burton Cummings Theatre stage, the crowd began cheering and were eager to hear the band finally perform in Winnipeg. However, as soon as vocalist, Tatiana Shmayluk braced the stage, the crowd erupted in a frenzy of cheers. Opening with "Perennial," the band set the tone for a night of relentless energy and tight musicianship. "Ape" and "Copycat" followed, showcasing Tatiana's incredible vocal range, from guttural growls to hauntingly beautiful cleans.
The band's charisma and connection with the audience were evident throughout the night, with Tatiana engaging in playful banter between songs. "Teacher, Teacher!" and "Who Is Gonna Be the One" continued to rile up the crowd, who sang along fervently.
Jinjer. All photos by Samuel Stevens.
The instrumental prowess of Jinjer was on full display during "I Speak Astronomy" and "Vortex," as guitarist Roman Ibramkhalilov, bassist Eugene Abdukhanov, and drummer Vladislav Ulasevich delivered thunderous riffs and complex rhythms.
The highlight of the night came during the performance of "Pisces," as Tatiana's clean vocals intertwined with the audience's echoing chorus. "Dead Hands Feel No Pain" and "Judgment (& Punishment)" showcased the band's versatility, seamlessly shifting between styles within a single song.
Jinjer didn't let up as they powered through "Sleep of the Righteous," "As I Boil Ice," and the encore of "Sit Stay Roll Over." The crowd's energy was unrelenting, with a small mosh pit forming center stage and fans throwing their devil horns to the sky in excitement.
As the night came to a close, Jinjer left the stage, leaving the audience in a state of exhilaration and exhaustion. It was a night to remember, not just for Jinjer's unforgettable Winnipeg debut but also for Monuments' electrifying performance. Metal fans left the Burton Cummings Theatre that night knowing they had witnessed something truly special, an evening of relentless, uncompromising, and utterly captivating metal music.