Posts Tagged ‘Michael Weikath’

HELLOWEEN : Pumpkins United tour – Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland

December 2nd, 2017

HELLOWEEN – Pumpkins United

November 30, 2017

Black Box / Ice Hall

Helsinki Finland 

ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

Happy, Happy Helloween has been the legendary sing-a-long tune at all the Helloween concerts thru all these years. It was obvious the Helloween fans were in the happy-happy feeling when Helloween announced about doing the Pumpkins United tour feat. The whole current line-up of Helloween with Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske.  The massive worldwide tour started out in Mexico and went thru South America and then landed at Europe. Helloween definitely has always been enjoying the loyal and even fanatical following in Finland since 1987 when the German pumpkins power metallers visited the country for the first time opening for Dio at the Giants Of Rock open-door metal festival. Even though the traditional and power metal had a low point in the mid 90’s, the Finnish crowd, however, went to see Helloween. Back to 2017, when Helloween arrived with the most significant production ever to Finland. The cold godforsaken Ice Hall had got a new form when black curtains covered the seats creating the more club feeling in the hall. All in all, more than 3000 people had bought the ticket for the three hours of power metal extravaganza.

 

The opening intro was “Let Me Entertain You” by Robin Williams welcomed the seven-piece squad on the stage. “Halloween” off KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS and “Dr. Stein” from PT II began the three-hour firework of the classic power metal journey into the heyday of the 80’s and the present day. The band let the audience understand the spirit and chemistry within the group were more than perfect.  Both Deris and Kiske performed as a brother holding and hugginh each other, singing to each other and talking and joking to each other. However, seeing Michael Kiske performing was like a religious awakening for most of the fans.  Kiske’s voice is still pure gold even though the man has been suffering from the evil flu. That could be heard in his voice time-to-time, but most of the time he sounded just perfect through the show.

The band’s mascots Seth and Doc had got the show of their own on the video screen. Both the figures had been animated and had adventures of their own which definitely had references to all the musicians in Helloween. When the mascots were hassling on the screen, meanwhile the rest of the band had an opportunity of having a few second break. Of course, these animated clips took quite a bit of the whole running time of the show, but the break was mandatory for the band.

Dani Löble turned out to be a real man of steel behind the drum kit. He handled the three-hour drumming without slowing down or failing any parts. He hardly sweated while drumming. As known the original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg took his life in 1995, but his role as the original Helloween drummer is apparent. The old video footage of Ingo’s drumming was shown on the screen, and when he was drumming, Dani Löble played along with him as a double team. Finally, the audience started chanting “Ingo, Ingo, Ingo.”

This tour is based more or less on the nostalgia, and it’s definitely not  an easy thing to do for Sascha Gerstner. Of course, the majority of fans are eager the see the classic line-up, and when the band decided not to include too much newer material on the setlist, it was apparent that Sascha had no much role on this show. Now, he was having the same kind of character what Janick Gers has had with Iron Maiden since the reunion. Yes, the majority of the fans like him, and he’s a good guy, but they still prefer more to see the original guys together on stage instead of him or without him. And it’s also a fact that his current outlook doesn’t help with that. I felt almost sorry for him through the show because most of the time he was like an outsider on the stage.

Talking more about the chemistry, it was evident that there was more of it among some members than the others. It was clear that Kiske and Deris enjoyed being on stage together. They were connected perfectly through the show, and it was surprising that Kiske had no any “personal” problems to sing some parts of the stuff from the Deris era. The older stuff was shared nicely between the two. Both did a fantastic work, and like mentioned earlier, Kiske was still a bit ill, but still, he did fantastic vocals through the show. If you don’t believe, check out his outstanding performance of “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” on YouTube, etc.

Kiske and Kai Hansen also spent a lot of time together on stage. Of course, they’re bandmates from Unisonic, and they seemed to have a lot of a great time together. Surprisingly, one of the highlights of the show was when Hansen was singing a medley of the early Helloween tracks. “Starlight,” ”Ride The Sky, ” and “Judas” sounded just phenomenal and the following “Heavy Metal Is The Law” nailed the coffin perfectly, and it would have been great hear more of his singing and the early material. It’s not a secret that Hansen has been suffering from a lot of vocal problems during the latest Gamma Ray tours. I can’t help thinking of that hopefully, this smaller role on vocal wise with Helloween will help him get back on track and then Gamma Ray would get rid of on the ridiculous “vocalist” who did most of the bands vocals on the last tour. Although I wasn’t completely familiar with Hansen’s current “glam rock look,” he did rule!

Weikath and Grosskopf are the longest surviving members of the band, and they both were still like they’ve always been on stage. They’re solid as a rock and, like always, the latter is friendly and open to anything with everybody and Weiki was his usual himself. It’s hard to describe, but if you’ve seen Helloween on stage, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It was visible that Weiki had some contact with the former members Hansen and Kiske, but it undoubtedly wasn’t something that you could describe as a “real band relationship” if you know what I mean? However, they both did an excellent work on stage.

Speaking about the setlist, it was safe. The majority of the fans got what they wanted and expected to hear. All the primary songs from the KEEPER albums were performed, and the band also did most of the essential songs from the “Deris era.” In a way, it was a bit boring because there were no surprises except “Living Ain’t No Crime,” which the band hasn’t been performing since 1992. How about doing ANY songs from PINK BUBBLES GO APE or CHAMELEON or more songs from the bands newer era? However, you can’t always please everyone.

All in all the concert was a pure triumph of the three-hour power metal cheered by the older Helloween fans as well as, the newer fan generation. As for the audience in general, they were mesmerized about  Helloween’s gig, but some passionate enthusiasm amongst the audience could have been witnessed a bit more as it was one of a kind power metal gig for the time being. However this Helloween tour will last the next 2,5 years, so go to see them as long as they do this.

 

www.helloween.org

 

THE SET LIST

Intro: Let Me Entertain You (Robbie Williams song)

Halloween(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
Dr. Stein(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
I’m Alive(with Michael Kiske)
If I Could Fly(with Andi Deris)
Are You Metal? (with Andi Deris)
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
Rise and Fall(with Michael Kiske)
Intermission (Seth & Doc)
Waiting for the Thunder (with Andi Deris)
Perfect Gentleman(with Andi Deris)
Intermission (Seth & Doc)
Starlight / Ride the Sky / Judas(with Kai Hansen)
Heavy Metal (Is the Law)(with Kai Hansen)
Forever and One (Neverland)(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
A Tale That Wasn’t Right(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
Intermission (Seth & Doc)
I Can(with Andi Deris)
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
Drum Solo(Dani Löble & Ingo ‘battle’)
Ingo Tribute
Livin’ Ain’t No Crime(with Michael Kiske) (partial)
A Little Time(with Michael Kiske)
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
Why?(with Andi Deris)
Sole Survivor(with Andi Deris)
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
Power(with Andi Deris)
How Many Tears(with Andi Deris, Michael… more )

Encore:
Invitation
Eagle Fly Free(with Michael Kiske)
Keeper of the Seven Keys(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)

Encore 2:
Intermission(Seth & Doc)
Guitar Solo(Kai Hansen)
Future World (with Michael Kiske)
I Want Out(with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)

Outro (Braveheart Soundtrack)

 

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Posted in 2017, Concert Reviews, Heavy Metal | Comments (0)

HELLOWEEN – Pumpkins United! World tour 2017/2018

November 14th, 2016

Drop everything. Drum roll.

Here comes the sensation for all Helloween fans: you believed in it for years and continued to ask for it – now is the time: in fall 2017, Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen will once again mount a Helloween stage together and resurrect the band’s legendary original line-up. Yes, it’s official: Weikath, Kiske, Hansen, Grosskopf are going to play Helloween classics live and on a joint tour. Massive news. Awesome. But you might want to sit down again, because that’s not all of it! Under the flag pumpkins united all pumpkin heads will step up – meaning Andi & Michi on vocals, Kai & Weiki & Sascha on guitars, and Markus & Dani in the rhythm section.

 

Pumpkins united world tour 2017/2018: good. As. It. Gets.

Pumpkins United

Pumpkins United

 

The Idea.

Undisputedly, Helloween are one of Germany’s most respected metal exports and considered the founders of German melodic speed metal. As godfathers of the genre, they have grown to become one of the most influential metal bands of the planet. In an unbelievable career reaching back as far as 1984, Helloween have performed at innumerable metal festivals around the globe such as rock in rio, loudpark in Tokyo, wacken, or the woodstock in Poland, which they headlined in front of over 500,000 fans.

 

The band has delivered countless headliner world tours, spectacular shows with the likes of iron maiden, black sabbath, dio, slayer, or Ozzy Osbourne to name just a few, and played at exotic locations in borneo, Indonesia, Manaus, brazil, or, at over 10,600 ft in the world’s highest capital, la paz, Bolivia. The band’s spectacular show at the »monsters of rock« festival in castle donington in front of over 100,000 metal heads in 1988 was just as memorable as the massive MTV »Headbanger’s ball« us tour with anthrax and exodus. Including genre masterpieces »Keeper of the Seven Keys« part i & ii, they’ve released 15 studio- and three live albums to date, selling over eight million records and earning fourteen gold and six platinum awards. For 30 years, Helloween have been delighting their fans with fantastic riffs, great songs, and haunting melodies – three decades of a global career they officially celebrated with the »Hellbook« in 2015. This is when the idea for pumpkins united was born: the ‘Anniversary Bible’ as well as touring with Kai made them realize that this band’s story is demanding its next chapter. Or, as Michael Kiske describes it: »playing an original Helloween track with Unisonic was quite a flashback already, but rocking with the original line-up and Andi will be something really special. The time has come!« the chemistry between Kiske, Hansen, Weikath, and Grosskopf is singular – and sees its revival not least because of you: you’ve never stopped asking for it – now the mega event is coming up live, with the complete cast, and heavily wired!

 

In detail.

The super tour’s first confirmed date is October 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo and takes the full pumpkins entourage across selected cities and venues in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the US. An extremely big deal, which, including a few secret surprises, will present almost three hours of the biggest hits from three decades of Helloween as the band will obviously insist on performing a full-speed trip through the Helloween repertoire. »we already had an awesome time on the hellish rock part 1 & 2, but this time we’ll definitely double down on it« says Kai Hansen, and Markus Grosskopf adds: »there’ll for sure be songs that we haven’t played in a very long time or even ever before.« Whoever doesn’t secure tickets for this tour, probably doesn’t have all their pumpkins in a row: the original line-up wants to celebrate a global party with you, which is also going to be highly emotional because this special world tour is actually not a reunion and most probably won’t happen again. Andi channels our metal hearts when he says: »I’m so much looking forward to playing Michi’s and my tunes together with him live on stage. It’s going to be absolutely exceptional.«

 

– And now: Breathe.

http://pumpkins-united.helloween.org/en/pumpkins-united.html

 

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Posted in Festival/Tour News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal | Comments (0)

HELLOWEEN – Guitarist Sascha Gerstner

March 10th, 2016

HELLOWEEN – Guitarist Sascha Gerstner
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA

Helloween is a German metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The band is one of the pioneers of power metal and their albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I & II and THE TIME OF THE OATH are considered masterpieces of the genre. Throughout the years, the band has gone through numerous changes, but the current line-up of vocalist Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Daniel Löble has been stable since 2005. The band started their ongoing MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHT world tour in June 2015, and now the circus mad a stop in Finland in February.

During the years I’ve interviewed almost all current and former members of Helloween but for one reason or another I’ve always missed Sascha Gerstner. Fortunately, things now changed as I finally met with a good-humored Sascha at the hotel prior the show. Among many topics, we discussed about his long career with Helloween and…. many other things in general. Sascha turned out to be really genial and humorous person. I’m sure that some metal fans will find it surprising when they read about his musical influences and how his relationship was with Helloween and with the whole metal genre before joining the band. Read on!

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Helloween + Rage live at the Circus, Helsinki

February 17th, 2016

 Helloween + Rage live at the Circus, Helsinki

helloween

THE CIRCUS, HELSINKI

14.02 2016

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

When two German power metal legends join forces to tour, it is always a positive thing, at least for the fans. Helloween is one of the most popular bands in their genre, and the band released its 16’th studio album MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT in May of 2015. The band is a familiar visitor to Finland, and they have played here almost every year for the past 10 years. Rage, in turn, has undergone major changes in recent times. The band’s previous visit to Finland was in 2006, ten years ago, so this was set to be an interesting event for fans of both bands. 

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Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

HELLOWEEN – Vocalist Andi Deris

May 20th, 2015

HELLOWEEN – Vocalist Andi Deris
Helloween 2015

INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJALA

Helloween is a German band founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The band is one of the pioneers of the power metal genre and their albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I & II, MASTER OF THE RINGS and THE TIME OF THE OATH are considered masterpieces of the genre. The band has gone through numerous changes, but the current line-up, singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bass guitarist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble has been stable since 2005. Helloween releases its 15th studio album titled MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT on 25th of May. Andi Deris visited Helsinki in April to promote the forthcoming album, and here’s what the man had to say about the album, its creation process, the future/past, and about life in general. Read on!

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Posted in 2015, Interviews | Comments (0)

HELLOWEEN: “My God Given Right” Album Trailer Now Available

May 2nd, 2015
Helloween - My God-Given Right

Helloween – My God-Given Right

HELLOWEEN are one of the most influential and internationally successful acts of the global metal scene. With the release of their 15thstudio album My God-Given Right, due on May 29th (EU), June 1st (UK) and June 2nd (US), the pumpkin heads are set to further cement their title as the founding fathers of German melodic speed metal. The band’s first self-titled EP was released in 1985, making their new album My God-Given Right the celebratory marker for their impressive 30 year career.

Today, HELLOWEEN releases a new album trailer, in which they talk about the background of the record, as well as give insight into their album listening party on the island of Tenerife.

Watch it here:

 

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HELLOWEEN – Interview with Guitarist Michael Weikath

April 8th, 2013
Michael Weikath

MICHAEL WEIKATH

INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA

German band Helloween is one of the pioneering forces and most successful bands in the power metal world and its related subgenres. The band was originally formed in 1984 by Michael Weikath, bassist Markus Grosskopf, vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen and drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg. Their early albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I and KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS II, which featured vocalist Michael Kiske, are considered masterpieces of the genre. The band went through a large number of changes during the late 80’s / early 90’s. Hansen left in 1988, formed his own band Gamma Ray and was then replaced by Roland Grapow. Kiske and Schwichtenberg were out of picture in 1993 and they were then replaced by drummer Uli Kusch and current vocalist Andi Deris (ex-Pink Cream 69). The renewed lineup re-established the bands popularity and the album THE TIME OF OATH (1996) still remains as their best-selling album to date. Despite the continuous success, the band went through another set of changes starting in 2001. Today the band consists of Deris, Weikath, Grosskopf, guitarist Sascha Gerstner and drummer Dani Loble. This line-up has released altogether 4 studio albums and it seems that Helloween is now even more popular than the so-called “heydays” in the mid 80’s. Three sold out shows speaks for itself when the band arrived to Finland in late March as a part of massive “Hellish Rock II” tour which also featured Gamma Ray. In Helsinki we were fortunate to sit down with the bands guitarist/founding member Michael Weikath and discuss about various topics including the current tour, the latest opus STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL, Helloween’s 30’TH Anniversary and re-union rumors… Read on!

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HELLOWEEN – Guitarist Michael Weikath

January 18th, 2008

Guitarist Michael Weikath

Interview & live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen

Transcription by Andy Osborn

The history of German speed/power metal force Helloween dates back to the late 70´s when Helloween was formed by guitarist Kai Hansen, guitarist/vocalist Piet Sielck, Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums and Marcus Grosskopf on bass. The band was still called Second Hell in 1981 – and then even later the name was changed to Iron Fist (in 1982) before the band took their current Helloween name in 1983 as the name of their band.

The band´s second guitarist Michael Weikath came to Helloween from a band called POwerfool, replacing Piet Sielck (who actually ever wasn´t quite in Helloween) – and also bringing over such known Helloween anthems as "Cry for Freedom" and "Starlight" that both appeared on the band´s self-titled 5-song EP in 1985.

That, as a brief introduction to Michael´s history as a part of this magnificent German metal band.

Ever since Helloween have released 13 studio albums (off which KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – PT. 1 & 2 have undoubtedly become instant classics in Helloweeen´s own reportoire), done many successful world tours by covering nearly every single corner on this planet – and simply played their way out straight through the hearts of many new´n´old Helloween fans more than over 3 decades already.

The band´s current tour together with Gamma Ray and Axxis, going under "Hellish Rock Tour 2007-2008", reached Helsinki on December 11th, 2007, and always so curious Metal-Rules.com was there of course to find out how´s the tour been going for them thus far – amongst other things naturally as well. Mikhael Weikath stepped in as a volunteer to talk about the tour, etc., so let´s hand over a microphone to him up next…


 

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HELLISH ROCK – Helloween, Gamma Ray and Axxis in Finland

December 29th, 2007

Helloween & Gamma Ray
special guest: Axxis

The 10th of December 2007 Tullikamari, Tampere
The 11th of December 2007 The Cable Factory, Helsinki FINLAND

Review and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä

Both Helloween and Gamma Ray are without any doubts the leading names of the Power Metal genre in Europe and even worldwide. Helloween can be easily labelled as forefathers of modern melodic power metal as it has evolved within three decades. The band’s classic opuses KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS Pt I and Pt II have left immortal marks on the history of Heavy Metal, having influenced several musicians to create melodic powerful hymns of their own. Kai Hansen was one of the originators in Helloween and behind the creation process of these two albums. But Hansen’s own band, Gamma Ray, has as well conquered the heavy metal universe on their own mission. Thousands of metal fans arrived at the Cable Factory and Tullikamari shows in order to witness a special gig by these German metal veterans. Even though the event was historical in many ways, neither of the shows were completely sold out and that was little surprising.

 

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Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)

Michael Weikath of Helloween (audio)

August 23rd, 2005

Michael Weikath of…
Helloween
Interviewed in June 1999 By EvilG

Michael Weikath, as most of you know, is one of Helloween’s lead guitarists. I talked at length to Michael about Helloween, pumpkins, their music, tours, fans, the internet, legs, and the upcoming Helloween covers CD.


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Posted in 1999 | Comments (0)




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