Iced Earth – headline act
Worldwide Plagues Tour 2014 – European leg
Warbringer – special guest
Elm Street – support act
16/2 – 2014
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The American heavy metal act Iced Earth is out on a European tour supporting their latest album PLAGUES OF BABYLON. Unfortunately the band leader Jon Schaffer didn’t manage to keep the line up from the last album DYSTOPIA intact and new members in the band are Luke Appleton on bass and drummer Jon Dette. The show in Copenhagen was one of the last ones on the tour then the band heads down to Australia and South America before the tour continues to America. The support act Elm Street comes from Australia and as special guests we find the labels mates in Warbringer. I was really impressed by PLAGUES OF BABYLON and I was really looking forward to see Iced Earth this night. The club where the bands was going to play is called Lilla Vega and is located in downtown Copenhagen. The club inhabits about 500 visitors and I was quite surprised when I saw the choice of venue. I thought that Iced Earth would play at larger venues than Lilla Vega. Strangely were there also tickets left to the show. The doors opened at 8:00 and Elm Street was scheduled to begin the night at 8.30. Not many people was waiting in line outside the club when I showed up but the ones that was there seemed happy and was looking forward to see Iced Earth. A few hardcore fans had bought tickets to the meet and greet and they were already inside the club when the rest of us was let in at 8. The Danish crowd usually turns up when it’s time for the headline act to play and this night was no exception to that rule. Therefore there weren’t many people to see the first act.
The show kicked off as soon as the members showed up on stage. The band consisted of four guys from Australia that play heavy metal. Two songs were played after which the singer thanked the audience for the applauds and said that the band was really exited to be in Copenhagen. Band members are:
Ben Batres – lead vocals, guitar
Aaron Adie – guitar
Tomislav Perkovic – drums
Brandon Farrugia – bass
The band thanked both Iced Earth and Warbringer for an amazing tour and Batres said that they wanted to see a circlepit in the next song which was “Heavy Metal Power”. Before that had songs like “Heatracer” and “Barbed Wire Metal” had been played and even though the crowd was small the ones that was there made their best to support Elm Street. I thought the band did a good job and time flew by quickly. Suddenly announced Batres their last song and asked if we were ready for Warbringer. “Face The Reaper” ended the 30 minute show and Elm Street’s time in the limelight at Lilla Vega was over.
The clock was now 9 and as soon as Elm Street went off stage began the crew the work to prepare the stage for Warbringer. Warbringer used the same drums as Elm Street and the change of gear went pretty fast. There were no photo pit in front of the stage and now had people began to show up. I understood pretty soon that it was going to be a bit hard to take pictures because the Iced Earth fans always use to be a bit wild. Already at ten past nine was it so time for Warbringer to take on Copenhagen. The lights went out and suddenly stood the band there.
All of the members but the singer began the show and as soon as he showed up the band kicked off the show with “Scars Remain”. It was full speed ahead from the very start and the fans seemed to love it. “Iron City” followed and singer Kevill thanked the fans so much for their support before it was time to kick off “Severed Reality”. Warbringer are:
John Kevill – lead vocals
Carlos Cruz – drummer
John Laux – guitar
Adam Carroll – guitar
Ben Mottsman – bass
Kevill ran around like a maniac on stage during the show and took over the small space that was on stage. Warbringer’s music can best be described as thrash metal with hints of grindcore. Kevill said it was nice to be in Copenhagen and asked if the fans wanted to hear more. He also wanted to see a circlepit in front of the stage during the next song which was “Living Weapon”. A few brave fans tried to create a circlepit but it didn’t go so well. Most of the fans stood still and watched the band quite calmly. Kevill seemed to be frustrated of the lack of circle pit and said that the fans the next time could come and see the show with their parents and that they maybe could teach the fans to do a proper mosh pit! The show continued with “The Turning Of The Gears”, “Total War” and “Living In A Whirwind”.
Kevill said that only Sweden remained on the tour before the band was done with the European leg of the tour and that the tour had been a blast. “Demonic Ecstasy” and “Hunter-Seeker” ended the show and Kevill thanked Iced Earth so much for letting Warbringer be a part of the tour. As soon as the last song had ended took the band off their instruments, thanked the crowd and walked off the stage. Another 40 minutes was gone and soon was it time for the headline act. Warbringer did a great job warming up the crowd and had a great set list that included both older songs as well as more current ones. The only negative thing with the show, and the same goes for Warbringer, was the poor lights. The sound system worked great but it was worse with the lights.
The Turning Of the Gears
Living In A Whirlwind
A huge drum kit at the back of the stage was revealed by the crew and soon we could see a huge back drop with the cover of the new Iced Earth album on it. On each side of the drums hung smaller backdrops with parts of the new album cover on them and it was pretty crowded on stage from all the gear the crew put out. More people had arrived to the club and with them also more excitement. The temperature began to rise and a positive vibe could be sensed. And after 30 minutes of waiting was it then time for Iced Earth to conquer Lilla Vega and Copenhagen.
While the intro played the band entered the stage and the first song out for the night was the title track to the new album “Plagues Of Babylon”. Singer Block rushed on to stage during the intro to the song and the fans gave he and the rest of the band a really warm welcome to Copenhagen. “Democide” followed and especially the fans at the front of the stage went totally crazy. Block moved from side to side of the stage connecting with the fans and it seemed like he really appreciated the support the band got from the fans. The line up of Iced Earth is:
Jon Schaffer – guitar
Stu Block – lead vocals
Troy Steele – lead guitar
Luke Appleton – bass
Jon Dette – drums
Block thanked the fans and asked if they’re doing fine. It was time to play a song taken from the previous album and the song was “V”. Block said that the next song had Schaffer written to his grandfather and it was the beautiful song “If I Could See You” taken from the latest album. Contrary to the two previous bands was the lights working in favor of Iced Earth and the crowd followed the bands moves and sang a long in almost every song. “The Hunter” made all of the fans scream like crazy and the band seemed to be having a great time together on stage. They felt solid and tight and everyone knew exactly what to do on stage. Block have grown like a front man since the last time I saw them live and I think the did a great job fronting the band. The constant touring did the band good. Block asked if we had energy left and pointed to the fans up on the balcony that they had to scream more because the fans down on the floor were beating their ass. It was now time to head back in time and to the album SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and the song “Burning Times”. Block wanted everyone in the club to sing a long with him in the middle of the song.
The next song “Red Baron/Blue Max” was taken from the album THE GLORIOUS BURDEN and I couldn’t but be impressed by how great Block sang the older songs. Even though he have some similarities with both the old singers Matt Barlow and Tim Owens he managed to the songs to his own and totally blew my mind. Block went off the stage in the middle of the song and it was time for bandleader Schaffer to do a lead guitar show off. “Blessed Are You”, “Vengeance Is Mine” and “Cthulhu” continued the night and it felt like the audience had listened to the new songs because they sang along in them as loud as they did in the older songs. Schaffer looked as always really cool and he and Appleton backed up Block on vocals and again, it felt like the band had a great time. “My Own Savior” followed and it felt like the band had a bit of time pressure on them. Block didn’t do much talking in between the songs instead they kicked off every song pretty fast after each other. Block had the fans to scream and cheer and the crowd seemed to love every minute of the show.
Block once again disappeared from the stage and instead Appleton and Schaffer took the center position and fired off “The End?”. After the song handed Block out the mic towards the crowd and wanted them to scream for him. He said it was time to go back to the album THE DARK SAGA and the beautiful song “A Question Of Heaven”. Block let the fans sing the first chorus and Block sang the rest of the song with great passion and feeling. That great song ended the ordinary set of the show and the band went of stage. One hour and fifteen minutes had gone since the band kicked off the show but that was not enough for the crazy fans, they wanted to hear more from Iced Earth.
Iced Earth shortly returned to the stage and Block wanted to see some hands in the air while they fired off “Dystopia” as the first encore. From the album SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES came the next encore in “Watching Over Me” which Schaffer wrote about his friend who got killed in a motorcycle accident. Block said that song was very special to the band and that the song is one of his personal favorite songs to sing. He wanted everyone to sing a long in the song with him. And this was also one of the fans favorite songs and everyone sang along throughout the song. Block urged the crowd to give a warm applaud for both Elm Street and Warbringer for opening for Iced Earth and then was it time for the last song for the night. Block counted 1-2-3 and the fans scream ICED FUCKING EARTH! but Block wasn’t happy and encouraged everyone to scream louder and after the third attempt he was happy. Of course followed “Iced Earth” which always is the ultimate ending of an Iced Earth show.
The show ended after 1.40 at 11.55 and both the fans as well as the band seemed to be really happy and satisfied with the show. I have nothing negative to say about the show, everything was great!! It was an amazing set list and even though I lacked a few of my personal favorite songs the set list was great. The crowd was dedicated and brought out the best of the band. It was nice to see that Block had grown and matured as front man and he is a brilliant singer. The only thing that could be better next time is if the club can fix a photo pit, it was really hard to take pictures amongst all the waving hands and banging heads. This was an amazing evening in every possible way and I really hope that Schaffer can continue to keep this line-up solid.
Plagues Of Babylon/Apocalypse (segue)
If I Could See You
Red Baron/Blue Max
Blessed Are You
Vengeance Is Mine
My Own Savior
A Question of Heaven
Watching Over Me
Thanks to Thomas Strimmer at Century Media HQ Germany for help with press/photo pass.
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