Heart of Steel: Concert
Edguy Australian Tour 2004
Review and photos by Brat
Sydney, 26 June 2004
“I feel ill.” These were the words that left my lips as we left
the hotel on our way to the EDGUY instore at Utopia in Sydney.
“Ill?” asked my best friend, Edgirl on the EDGUY forum.
As I turned around to answer her I notice the video camera on
“Yeah–I’ll with excitement.”
I just know this footage is going to come back and haunt me! How
time flies. It’s been about two years since I last saw EDGUY at
Vienna Metalfest and time has flown. I’m not saying I didn’t
miss seeing them live, see above embarrassment, just that there
has been a lot happening in the live metal scene for me, be it
in Australia or in Europe to keep me occupied enough not to pine
for my favourite metal band.
Laden like a bag lady, I finally walked into Utopia 5 minutes
late. Well at least I thought I was late. I got in line with
friends and began the hour-long wait for EDGUY to arrive. It
seemed this tour was destined to be late: late planes, late
arrivals, late just-about-everything.
The turn out for the instore was larger than 2002, but there
didn’t seem to be much spirit. Very few people had more than one
item to be signed and some embarrassingly had nothing–the
promoter kindly supplied plenty of copies of the tour poster for
Edguy’s youngest Sydney fan, Irie,
gets a tour poster signed.
After enduring the torment of being labeled a greedy piggy, it
was my turn to have my mountain of merchandise autographed
(hence the greedy piggy). Did I mention EDGUY are my favourite
band? Well?! Someone had to make them feel loved. Three German
tour posters, three photos, one t-shirt (already signed by three
members), CDs releases since 2002, MCDs, including Lavatory Love
Machine which surprised Tobi (Tobias Sammet) that I managed to
have it as it had only been released by Nuclear Blast that week,
plus CDs and DVDs where members where featured would be enough
to give anyone RSI, but then Tobi offered to sign the Australian
tour poster, too. Bless him! Who was I to refuse.
As I was handing Tobi the deluge of side projects he’d been
involved in, I handed Eggi (Tobias Exxel) the TARAXACUM
Rainmaker CD and he looked surprised.
We waited until the last of the people had their merchandise
signed and were really surprised that no one hung around the
store. It was almost embarrassing. I guess everyone was in a
hurry to get to the gig and start drinking as the doors to the
Manning Bar had already opened. I bet they were surprised when
We arrived at the Manning Bar during the second last song of
DUNGEON I Am Death. I’m sorry I missed that set, because I was
really interested to see DUNGEON play with only half of its
full-time line up – bass player Brendan ‘Dakk’ McDonald resigned
about one and a half months before the tour and drummer Steve
‘Stevo’ Moore took leave of absence for important personal
A normal band would have admitted defeat and pulled out of the
tour but not these guys. Bass player, Glenn Williams, was
seconded from Brisbane band MOBSTAR and drummer Grahame Goode
(INFERNAL METHOD and STRONGER THAN HATE) added the EDGUY tour to
his already bulging schedule, both managing to keep the Dungeon
quality at its usual levels with so little preparation.
It was time for EDGUY and the natives were getting restless. The
chanting started and the members were sniffed on stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freak show!” resounded
over the speakers as the band made its way onto the stage.
The all ages crowd (under 18s to over 50s) went crazy. This time
they knew who EDGUY was and what to expect and welcomed the band
with gusto as they ran on stage full of energy with grins from
ear to ear.
The set started with
"Over the Moon" and a grinning, new look
Tobias Sammet ran on stage. A minor technical hitch meant
we missed the first few words of the song, but then that
distinctive voice finally broke through.
One thing about writing reviews of gigs and taking photos is you
end up missing a lot of the show and don’t get to really enjoy
it in its entirely, but if you don’t, you end up with very
little material to put in your review...Guess this one’s going
to be short!
During Navigator I noticed Tobias Exxel (Eggi) looked mighty
fine in a pair of black leathers – something popular with a few
Edgirls I know in Australia. Hail to Eggi for his leathers.
As Tobi introduced "Land of a Miracle" there was some discussion
about how long it had been since EDGUY were last in Australia.
Some guy yelled out ‘three years’ which even Tobi had to correct
saying that he got it wrong and “must have got us mixed up with
THE EAGLES” to the amusement of the audience.
Tobi started to tease Sydney early (there’s always been a state
rivalry in Australia) by telling Brisbane to sing along, but
surprisingly the crowd was so into EDGUY, they didn’t bite.
If you’ve ever seen EDGUY live, you’ll know that at each show,
the audience is treated to a singing lesson from Tobi. This tour
we learned how to howl in tune and I should have realised that
it was a perfect intro into Lavatory Love Machine.
Tongues-a-plenty sprang out during this song as the Edguys had
fun with what is a really fun song. I know this song has
received mix reviews from fans, but think about it. If you knew
you were going to crash, wouldn’t joining the Mile High Club
cross your mind?
THE EAGLES must have been on Tobi’s mind all night as he
introduced the next song as “an old song from 1955 called Hotel
California from the Theater of Salvation album”. From what I’ve
read about previous shows, Babylon has only been a recent
addition to the Hellfire Club Tour as so many audiences
requested it. I wasn’t going to complain, after all, this was
the song that sold EDGUY to me.
I could tell the audience was really into EDGUY and their music.
The beaming faces which looked up to the EDGUYS on stage could
have kept the stage lit on their own and the audience
participation was always high. It reached its maximum following
Tobi’s introduction of Vain Glory Opera when the audience began
to clap along to the intro. I love this song live, especially
when Dirk, Eggi and Jens get together and do this hip wiggle
thing in time with the music and they look like they’re having a
The drum solo was introduced: “Ladies and gentlemen. The man
with the largest cock in the universe. Felix ‘bon bon’ Bonhke!”
Only Tobi could get away with saying something like that with
the biggest grin and laughing his way off stage.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or clap, so I did both which with
the size of my camera, wasn’t an easy task. When I heard the
background music Felix had chosen for his drum solo, I was
surprised and thought it was really cool. I shouldn’t have been
surprised – I’ve seen his bedroom. No! I wasn’t stalking him and
peeping through his window when I visited Fulda last year. No!!!
It wasn’t that either!
I’m not going to include a spoiler, because some of you are
still to see the Hellfire Club tour and would appreciate the
surprise. However, I will tell you it’s really cool and if you
really want to know, it’s not that hard finding the information
on the EDGUY forum.
A mini guitar solo ensemble from Dirk Sauer and Jens Ludwig
started "Piper Never Dies". During the chorus I was reminded of
how strong EDGUY in the vocal department. Tobi lead vocals are
strong and diverse which is what every band should have, but
EDGUY also has 3 other members providing backing vocals which
really brings out the richness of the melodies and harmonies.
Tobi: “If we come back in two years, will you come?”
Tobi: “Will you bring two or three friends?
Tobi: “So we can play 15,000 seat arena!”
Crowd appears stunned, some utter a “yeah”, but mostly people
didn’t quite know how to answer that question. Well we can all
dream, can’t we?
The last song of the set, "King of Fools", was introduced as the
song “we tried for commercial success with, but failed” which
received much laughter. Tobi then pacified us by explaining that
the band was healthy and happy and that’s all that they needed.
The crowd began its EDGUY chants for an encore and grew louder
and Felix snuck back to his drum kit.
"Chalice of Agony" followed by "Out of Control" finished off the
night with promises to return again in two years and to play as
many cities as possible following the loud protests earlier in
the set about Canberra missing out. The crowd grew louder and
chants of “Canberra!” also permeated the air.
I felt like the set was very short, so when I compared it to the
rest of the Hellfire Club tour it was the same. Maybe I’m greedy
or maybe EDGUY perform so well they infect you with a craving
for more that can never be sated.
Melbourne 2 July 2004
I flew in to Melbourne at about 6.00 pm and managed to get to
The Esplanade Hotel in time for DUNGEON who opened to an almost
full room. They teased the audience with the introduction to
what sounded like ICED EARTH’s Blessed Are You before launching
into Neverlife. The room was extremely hot, even for what I
wasn’t wearing, and forced me to watch Dungeon from the entrance
where the old question, Where’s Wally? was finally answered.
He’s right here in St Kilda, Australia. Yes, some guy was
walking around in a striped t-shirt and striped beanie, round
glasses and straight-leg black pants. It was hard to contain
I’ve never really paid attention to styles of drumming before,
but when faced with songs I know, I really noticed the
difference. Grahame’s drumming was awesome – it just sounded
really weird. The other differences I noticed in the DUNGEON
live set during this tour was more of the vocals were shared
between Lord Tim and guitarist, Stu and there was a drum solo –
something I don’t remember ever happening at a DUNGEON show.
DUNGEON finished their set with one of my favourites, "I Am
Death". The bassist for the tour, Glenn moved freely around the
stage comfortable with his place in the band. His inclusion in
the line-up was announced as being temporary for this tour, but
maybe these shows have earned him further consideration as
replacement for Dakk.
The set consisted of songs mainly from A Rise to Power and new
material from their forthcoming CD.
I have to comment at this stage about the lack of women at the
EDGUY show in Melbourne. Where were they?!? I shouldn’t
complain. It was a nice change from the Sydney metal scene that
seems to be going in the opposite direction. I just expected a
lot more of them.
Once again we missed the first couple of words to "Over the Moon"
(did someone forget to turn the mic on again?) but when Tobi hit
an extremely high note you could hear the “awe” of the audience.
It was amazing.
I had no intention of taking photos as the Gershwin Room is a
nightmare to try and get to the front, but the atmosphere was
such that I had to take a chance. Thanks to a friendly security
guard, whom I had met earlier, I was able to stand on some
stairs to get a birds-eye view of the band. Problem was (and I
honestly didn’t realise this would happen) when I raised the
camera over the heads of the crowd, EDGUY, or at least some
members, got a birds-eye view of what was threatening to spill
out of my corset. Our devoted, Western Australian Savage (EDGUY
fan) almost lost an eye when he made to the mistake of turning
to see what I was doing. Note to self: corsets and photography
equals lethal outcomes. Of course, this type of attention does
have its advantages!
Put those away before you hurt someone!
It was time for some audience interaction as Tobi talked about
soccer matches and acknowledged a German visitor in the audience
before starting "Navigator", followed by "Land of a Miracle". That
was my three songs and I got out of the crush…eventually.
With the full moon shining over Melbourne Tobi’s howling which I
couldn’t resist joining in, hit the mark as EDGUY launched into
"Lavatory Love Machine". Some devilish and suggestive gestures
were made which only made the song funnier. Following the song,
someone in the audience said something (I didn’t hear what was
said) and Tobi replied: “It’s not terrible. It’s a matter of
taste”, then ended it with something in German which I didn’t
quite catch, maybe that was a good thing.
Power napping while Tobi entertains the
A confused Tobi introduced "Wake up the King" “from the Kingdom …
Theater album” but made up for the mistake in performance. In
fact the whole band’s performance during this song makes it one
of my favourite live songs. As this was the second show for
Melbourne, the song was included to make the show a little
different. It’s a shame this song isn’t a regular live track –
so many great songs, so little time.
Vain Glory Opera and the drum solo (when we were once again
treated to a description of the size of Felix’s member) were
followed another change in the set. We were treated to "Fallen
Angel" and it sounded as good as it did as the opening song of
the Mandrake tour.
Replacing the epicness of The Pharaoh (Mandrake) for the
Hellfire Club tour, "Piper Never Dies" started again with slow,
deliberate guitar solos from Jens and Dirk. It was at this stage
that exhaustion overtook me and I felt like the cool room was
overheated again or was it my excitement at watching my favourite band and really being able to appreciate and enjoy the
performance without having a camera plastered to my head. That’s
the unfortunate thing about total concentration to snap at the
right moment, you’re so intent on watching through the lens that
your ears miss out on enjoying the music.
“You’re getting tired!”, said Tobi to the crowd. I felt guilty,
but was saved as I felt the cold air rush out of airconditioners
again. Oxygen! “No way! I want more (EDGUY)!”, I thought.
"Kings of Fools" was followed by "Avantasia". This was either to
diversify the set list or as a result of so many calls for it.
After "Tears of the Mandrake" I was pretty impressed with the
Melbourne crowd’s response to Tobi asking: “How did you like the
show?” I think it’s one of the loudest cheers I’ve heard from
such a smallish crowd.
I don’t know what compelled Tobi, but he decided to tell us of
his interesting evening in a “certain establishment” where he
was invited to pay for his entertainment. Following something
said by a guy in the crowd, Tobi responded with: “So, you’ve
been to the Men’s Gallery?” Everyone laughed.
I was intrigued to see some of Tobi’s alleged entertainers
(based on dress and poise, I deducted who these ladies were)
come to see EDGUY perform. I love the way a Melbourne SAVAGE put
it: “It’s kinda kinky them showing up. The whole, you got to
watch us so we’ll watch you thing.”
I like they way she thinks. To some of us, a great metal
performance is almost like a lap dance: you pay your money,
watch the performance and then…(you fill in your personal end
I know you’ll probably think I’m biased, as it’s no secret EGDUY
are my favourite band, but I’ve been lucky enough to see them
play eight times, in four countries and it doesn’t matter if
they’re playing to 250 (Sydney) or 25,000 (Wacken) people, they
always play as if that show could be their last. I was impressed
the first time I saw them and am equally impressed after
tonight’s show. What a great night.
3 July 2004
I think, as a result of Blade Promotions organising a special
function in Sydney for EDGUY, Metalwarriors organised a special
function in Melbourne. In the spirit of Euro 2004 and to
entertain the fans of a sports-mad state, a fun soccer
(football, Fußball) match between Germany (EDGUY and crew) and
Croatia (Metalwarriors and friends) was played.
There was a disappointing turn out for the match (their major
loss), but those that made the effort were treated to new side
of EDGUY (minus Tobi). Dirk, Eggi, Felix and Jens moved well
along the field (for a bunch of musicians) impressing us with
As the sun set leaving the soccer field dimly lit, the game came
to an end. Germany 1 (Dirk scored the first goal of the game
about half-way through the first half) Croatia 4 (with an
awesome goal kicked by the youngest player 7-8 year old Rocky
The evening was topped off by a tasty Croatian dinner and
wrestling entertainment, but ended early as most people had to
be up at sparrow’s fart for their flights to Sydney.
4 July 2004
It was still dark when Edgirl and I woke Sunday morning for our
flight back to Sydney to be back in time for the special
function starting at 3.00 pm. We came across the Western
Australian Savage at the airport on his way to Sydney for the
last EDGUY appearance before he returned home.
While we were checking in our bags, I thought Edgirl had truly
lost the plot over Felix. She hasn’t quite been the same since
hearing Tobi’s introductions to the drum solos. I looked at her
strangely when following an announcement she says: “Did you hear
that? They just called out Felix’s name!”
I told her she had Felix on the brain and we both had a giggle. One
minute later I heard the announcement asking for Felix Bohnke,
Steve Ravic and Tobias Exxel (with a little pronunciation
trouble) to please make their way to Gate 8 as their plane was
waiting for them. We couldn’t help but laugh. It seems there was
a little problem with taking someone said boomerang, another
said didgeridoo, as a carry on item on the plane.
Flying into Sydney, we were aware of the tight deadline we had
to meet: to collect a car from airport parking, to check in at
the hotel 5 minutes walk from the function, to collect my car 10
minutes drive away, to dress and then get to the function.
We met our deadlines and more. In the tales of ‘It could only
happen to me’ I had a little accident in the hotel car park, due
to a heightened state of urgency because we first entered the
wrong car park, followed by miscommunications between the
operator in charge of the boom gate, Edgirl and a signal she
gave me which indicated to proceed with her through the entry. I
was almost half-way through when the boom gate descended upon my
car, luckily only hitting my roof rack. The boom gate, however,
wasn’t that lucky. I snapped it close to the hinge and it hit
the ground with a mighty thump. A hotel attendant approached the
wooden plank, picked it up and looked at me open-mouthed. In the
meantime, I back up to the intercom again and proceed to tell
the operator her boom gate had descended on my car and as a
result of her unclear instructions, her boom gate was not longer
attached to its hinge.
I laugh about it now, but at the time I was pretty shaken. I
didn’t need this complication. Didn’t the world know I had a
very important function to get to?!?
We managed to get to the Pier on time for the EDGUY Sydney
Harbour Cruise. With adrenaline pumping through me I couldn’t
calm down so put my extra energy to helping the Blade guys
distribute tickets and collect money.
This was an exclusive event and I’m pretty confident in name it
as a World First for EDGUY. One hundred tickets were sold for an
opportunity to sail around one of the world’s most beautiful
harbours for four hours with EDGUY, topped off with performances
by DUNGEON and EDGUY.
Can you imagine? Four hours on a boat, surrounded by
shark-infested waters and no way off for EDGUY! For some, a
dream come true. For others, their worst nightmare.
It was a beautiful, clear, 21°C day, but a little strong wind
delayed the boat leaving its port. Finally, the boat was in
sight and members of EDGUY could be recognised on deck. As a
result of having to give way for commuter ferries, the boat was
delayed for almost 15 minutes. It was starting to think a cruel
joke was being played. EDGUY were being dangled in front of the
waiting crowd like a carrot in front of a racing horse. So
close, but just out of reach.
As the boat docked to collect the passengers, EDGUY were still
standing on the deck and were greeted with cheers and metal
salutes. Still a little shaky, I headed straight for a vodka
with ice and then up on deck into the sunshine.
The meet and greet part of the function was a success. Our
guests were kept entertained, there were photo opportunities
and, always proud of my city, I tried to give the EDGUYS a quick
tour pointing out landmarks of interest along the harbour’s
edge, including Mrs Macquarie’s chair – a chair carved out of
stone by convicts for the wife of the first Governor of
Australia, so she could sit and watch the arriving ships;
Kirribilli House – the official Sydney residence of the Prime
Minister of Australia; Fort Denison – a prison built in the
middle of the harbour but now used as a function centre; and of
course Sydney Opera House.
The sun was setting and the music was turned up as DUNGEON took
to the almost stage. After a short break, it was EDGUY’s turn. I
was told that the band was skeptical at first when the idea of
the cruise was put to them, not wanting to give a sub standard
performance, but what we got was far from that. In fact, I felt
like I was getting a private performance in the comfort of my
loungeroom. Sure, it was a no frills performance, no keyboards,
no intro tapes, but what was later termed a rehearsal gig, was
EDGUY in the raw and we got to choose the songs.
First up was "Navigator". Then, distracted by the heavy metal
screeches of a Sydney metal identity, Tobi treated us to a
comedy routine (the first of many this night) called “Tobias
Sammet meets Heavy Metal Smurf”.
It was fun watching the EDGUYs play while to boat was moving
during "Mysteria", but the first-timers managed to play without
falling or even needing to lean against a wall or column. Then
the Tobi and Felix comedy routine began. Poor Felix has been
copping it this tour-first about the size of his member and then
stating that “he’s a drummer, so he’s already nuts.”
To make up for being tortured, Tobi allowed Felix to choose the
next song, "Lavatory Love Machine" during which a tradition of
Australian tours (see my 2002 tour report), the g-string
containing a message, was thrown at Tobi.
During Wake Up the King, heavy metal screeching continued and
Tobi asked in amazement: “Still no one has slayed the Smurf?”
Then a mobile phone started to ring and everyone erupted into
laughter followed by an announcement by Tobi, similar to those
heard before flights, to please turn off your phones. The guilty
party was very embarrassed.
The song was still not over – it was time for the a Capella
part. Tobi gave the signal, Jens played the chord, the arms went
up to conduct and the only person who started to sing was Tobi.
What followed was a hilarious “you fucked it up” routine along
the line’s of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?”. I don’t
know about you, but if one person starts singing and three
don’t, I know who I’d guess messed it up.
All up, I’d say it’s the best version of "Wake Up the King" anyone
will ever hear and there were so many camcorders on that cruise,
don’t be surprised if it’s not long before it comes across your
PC. Which leads me to this question: with all the footage
available worldwide of EDGUY, a band not shy of being filmed or
photographed, why hasn’t a DVD been released? When one finally
is released, it’ll be a beauty.
In theme with our surroundings, Tobi led us in a sing-along of
'What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor' and it wasn’t just the
water that made the song appropriate.
After "Headless Game", we witnessed some sneaky combat between Tobi standing with his back to the drum kit, armed with a
plastic sword motioning to stab “disrespectful“ Felix, with a
Gladiator-worthy move, and Felix and his drumsticks sinking a
ball in the top right pocket (Tobi’s buttock) with the precision
of a snooker champion.
All these antics made
"Fallen Angel" an appropriate next song. The
chants of one hundred people could have easily been that of a
thousand – we were all that entertained that night and didn’t
want it to end. Unfortunately, time was running out and we were
approaching the pier, so EDGUY thanked each Australian for their
support and finished the set with Out of Control.
I must confess, I shed a tear during the last song – in
happiness and in sorrow. Happy that EDGUY had returned as
promised and I was able to see three fabulous shows and sad that
it would probably be another two years before I would see them
play again. I’m such a girl sometimes.
Unfortunately, some of the Melbourne crew were flying home that
night and had to get back to the hotel by a certain time to
catch the shuttle to the airport. EDGUY were sent to the hotel
about thirty minutes earlier. After a very long day, I’m sure
all they wanted was to shower, eat and rest. At the hotel, I
witnessed something which explains why EDGUY have the respect of
so many people around the world - peers, crew and fans. The
whole band was outside the hotel waiting for the departing crew
to say goodbye properly. And, they were the warm goodbyes of
A couple of hours later, a laid-back EDGUY, DUNGEON, crew and
some fans finally found a 24-hour pub willing to take in such a
large and rowdy group. There they relaxed, drank, and just
talked as people getting to know each other instead of as a
bands and its fans. That’s probably why I felt weird about
asking to have my photo taken with any of them this tour and if
it wasn’t for someone taking photos all night (not me this time)
there’d be no visual proof that I was actually there. Thanks Paganbaby.
Oh, and about this being a short report, I guess I lied.
Edguy Australian Tour 2002
Official Edguy site