Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Blind Guardian
10th of September 2002
Nosturi Club, Helsinki Finland

By Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala 

Though having incredible success in several European countries, especially in Germany where the “Tolkien” power metal heroes usually play in front of several thousand people in metal festivals - for example in Wacken of this year where the whole battle field was entirely packed. It also seems they will have the first festival of their very own in 2003 in Germany by the way …

For some bizarre and eccentric reason the Tolkies’ metalizd fairy tellers have never ever visited us here in Finland, obviously due to the prejudiced presumption and afraid of getting a real lame advance ticket sale as well as the lame response from the audience or whatever. But what the heck, the whole place was totally packed by young Tolkien metalheads whose average age was moving around 18 having crawled to testify the premier show of Blind Guardian.  

Fortunately there wasn’t any warm up band booked to open the show, just Blind Guardian alone. This was good news for the most of the people here cause band played extra long set, more than two hours. 

Obviously the long and liquid containing boat trip over the sea from Sweden must have consumed the Blind Guardian dudes more or less because of suffering from the unexpected tiredness seen from this gig follower’s point of view. But to tell the truth, Blind Guardian has always had quite an odd manner as for paying attention to how they look on the stage. The stage set was very simple. There were no special effects or bombs, unlike at Wacken where they definitely did a killer set and the whole stage was literally on fire. In general, today the band seemed not to be in the finest physical mode. 

The set list of the night had brilliantly been chosen to please the packed club, covering several old tunes like “Imaginations From The Other Side” and “Mourning Hall”, but of course some of the newer tracks from the latest opus “Night At The Opera” belonged to the set for example “Punishment Divine” and  “The Soulforged”. The final track done in the encore - “Mirror Mirror” - crowned the gig. The more ballad songs, for instance “Bard Song”, sounded definitely brilliant and an excellent choice to calm the double bass beat. The sound was overall very good and clear during the whole concert

The band consisted of Hansi on vocals, guitarists Andre Olbrich and Marcus Siephen and drummer Thomas Stauch who returned into band after a short break caused by hand injury. Also included were two guest musicians, a bold headed bass player Olivier Holzwarth and keyboardist Michael Schuren. Especially Olivier looked quite strange on stage because of his outlook compared the rest of the guys ... 

Despite the band’s conscious tiredness on the stage, but instead the enthusiastic audience singing by heart all the Blind Guardian tunes proved to the Blind Guardian guys that they should have visited Finland a couple of years earlier. It wouldn’t be any big surprise if these guys were seen in Finland next summer … ! 

The set list:

Into The Storm
Welcome To Dying
Lord Of The Rings
The Soulforged
Mourning Hall
Mordred’s Song
Time Stands Still
Bright Eyes
Punishment Divine
Bard Song
Imagenations From The Other Side

Encore :
A Past And… (Acc.)
Mirror Mirror

Band Website: www.blind-guardian.de