Death and Hammerfall
Invade North America!!!
The Death/Hammerfall US tour started in
mid-November on the East Coast and ended in California in mid-December. During this
period, I had the chance to see three (3) of the shows (Coney Island High - New York,
Obessions - New Jersey, and Ventura Theatre - CA).
This review will be a summary of the three
shows I witnessed rather than a specific review of any one venue.
Hammerfall was great to see! Their sound
quality was excellent and their interaction with the audience was good. They played
several cover songs which I did not expect such as "Breaking the Law" and
"Children of the Damned". They played about eight songs total (Death was
the headliner!) and had encores at the first two shows. Since they played in small
venues I had a chance to meet the band and had conversations with Joacim, Oscar, and
Magnus. Hammerfall is a true metal band on disc and a true metal band on stage.
One major problem with the tour, however, is
that the packaging of Hammerfall was horrible. In all cases, Hammerfall was the only
non-death act on the line up. In all cases, 2 or 3 local death-metal acts opened,
followed by Hammerfall, followed by Death. Many of the death metal fans were luke
warm to Hammerfall, although I must say that Hammerfall had a good following at Coney
Island High in NY. (As an aside, I also enjoy death-metal but would have preferred a
more consistent line-up.) In any event, the band would have benefited greatly from a
better touring partner such as Manowar, etc. While speaking with Joacim in CA, he
admitted that Hammerfall had to essentialy win over the death-metal crowd just about every
night and it was sometimes difficult.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself at every show,
was able to be in the front row, and got to know the band a little bit.
Death recently released "The Sound of
Perserverance" which I think is very good. In all cases, Death was the main act
and most fans came to see them. While TSoP is a very good disc, Death had a lot of
trouble reproducing the tight and at time complex melodies found on TSoP in a live
setting. Sound quality was not bad nor was Evil Chuck's vocal performance.
However, the remainder of the quartet had trouble cleanly pulling off some of the newer
songs. The older songs, which are more simplistic, went off well.
Overall, the shows were enjoyable.
However, Hammerfall was improperly packaged and suffered because of it. Death was
decent, but the tight and complex sound of their studio disc could not be well reproduced
Peter a.k.a. "Rocker"
Helloween Live in New
at Coney Island High
Recently I went to go see Helloween play in
New York City, at a club called Coney Island High. The club was packed, I spoke to fans
who had come from as far as Alabama to see them. This was to be Helloween's first U.S.
appearance in nine years.
I happened to be sitting on the stage due to
the size of the club. The opening band, Click, was a hardcore band which wasn't bad.
However they were booed because they weren't metal. I felt sorry for them, but they should
have known that would happen when they signed up for the gig.
Helloween came out in force, starting off with
"Eagle Fly Free" and following up with "Dr. Stein". Many of us took
this as a sign of respect for the American fans, it showed that Helloween wasn't here for
a mere album promotion.
Fans who own Helloween's double CD "High
Live" will have a pretty good idea of how the rest of the night went on. When
Helloween played "Power", Andi Deris (lead singer) went into a game with the
audience of "which side is louder?" where both sides of the audience sang
against each other.
Helloween played with audience all night
actually. Deris made hand motions for every song, and when audience members mimicked them,
he would point or give a thumbs up sign. This was especially seen on "I Can" and
"Where The Rain Grows". From his position, my friend was able to see Helloween's
song list. We noticed that two songs had been crossed off the list, one being "March
Of Time". Still, Helloween played on, guitarists Roland Grapow and Michael Weikath
throwing guitar picks into the crowd throughout the show.
Helloween treats the audience as though they
are there, not as though the audience is invisible. At one point my friend and I yelled at
Weikath "Stay in America!!" Weikath bent down and pointed to his watch. "We
can't" He yelled. "Plane leaves early tomorrow." They even threw drinks
into the crowd.
Later we found that Helloween does not plan to
return to the U.S. before the year 2000. Even on there concert tour t-shirt, it doesn't
say U.S. It says New York, though.
Thanks to Cygodd
For submitting this review.
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