Hellish Rock Tour 2007/08
7/12 – 2007
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
A little tired form the day before when I saw Pretty Maids, I packed the trunk and went to Lund to see Helloween, Gamma Ray and Axxis. My main priority was to see Helloween but I was also curious and anxious to see Gamma Ray which in my opinion has delivered a much stronger album compared to Helloween's last year. It was almost two years to the day since the last time Helloween was here. They don't have any gigs planned in Denmark so many Danes were here to see Helloween. It was also the first time ever that Gamma Ray played so far down in Sweden so many other fans had come to see them as well. And many of the people I met were there only to see Gamma Ray.
The queue of people was really long into Mejeriet and it took a while before everyone was inside, Axxis was on stage and performed before I even had gotten into the venue. I saw a couple of Axxis songs before they went off stage and the change of gear began. Gamma Ray and Helloween shared the headline slot so they were going to play about the same amount of time.
The show was sold out and believe me it was a sweaty already before Gamma Ray went on stage. I stood in the small and crowded photo pit when the band came on stage.
Henjo Richter – guitar
Dirk Schlächter – bass
Kai Hansen – lead vocals, guitar
Dan Zimmermann – drums
The crowd went wild and I almost went deaf because of the noise the crowd made when the band entered. “Heaven Can Wait” opens the show and then came “New World Order” and “Land of the Free”. Everyone in the band looked extremely happy and I guess that the welcome they got really was overwhelming.
There wasn't much gear on stage. I could only notice the huge drum kit and a long back drop behind Zimmermann, behind everything stood Helloween’s gear. Much of their things had been left behind because the stage was too small for all their amps etc.
Hansen is a natural front man and it looked like he was born to do this kind of stuff. The rest of the band mostly stood still in place but that maybe depended on the narrow space they had to work in. Hansen wasn’t a big talker instead he focused on playing so many songs as possible but he thanked us for being there and told us to sing a long if we knew the lyrics to the songs. He also said that it was just as fun for them as it was for us to be in Lund, usually they only stops in bigger cities but tonight was an exception.
Gamma Ray was really tight and Hansen is a brilliant lead singer. The band is currently out supporting their new album LAND OF THE FREE PT2 but instead of doing mostly new material the set list was built up around the older classic songs.
At the end of the show they did a super long version of “Heavy Metal Universe” and the show ended with “The Silence”, “Ride the Sky” and “Valley of the Kings”. When the show was over Mejeriet was about to boil so after a shorter while came Hansen and the rest of the guys out on stage to do a final encore, which was “Send me a Sign”. That closed 70 minutes of pure ecstasy and it was no doubt that Gamma Ray was longed for by the Swedish and the Danish fans.
Heaven can wait
New World Order
Land of the Free
Into the Storm
Rebellion in Dreamland
Heavy Metal Universe
Ride the Sky
Valley of the Kings
Send me a Sign
It took a while to change gear but Helloween soon came out on stage, the band is still:
Deris – lead vocals
Weikath – guitar
Gerstner – guitar
Grosskopf – bass
Löble – drums
The band entered the stage and instantly kicked off their set with the marathon long song “Helloween”. Helloween had a lot to prove because the last time I saw them they were just a big yawn with a very boring set list. Deris' voice especially left a lot more to desire so I had hoped that he would prove me wrong and that mishap just depended on a bad day or something.
Deris, Gerstner and the always happy camper Grosskopf continued with “Sole Survivor”, “March of Time” and “As Long as I Fall”. The stage is built as a carnival scene with a gigantic drum kit at the back and behind that a huge back drop. The audience seemed to like Helloween and did everything Deris told them to. Helloween did the same as Gamma Ray did which was instead of delivering their latest material they treated us with a greatest hits show with only two new songs. “As Long as I Fall” and “The Bells of the 7 Hells” are the new ones the rest are only older stuff.
The song “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” transcended into a really long drum solo that went on for 10 minutes. Everyone went off stage during the solo and came up when it was time to move on with the song “”King for a 1000 Years” which is another marathon song. And one can wonder why they play so many marathon songs when they have so many brilliant shorter songs to focus on.
Before the band went off stage they played “Eagle Fly Free”, my personal favorite “If I Could Fly” and the classic “Dr Stein”. One hour flew by but luckily the band came back to do encores. They did a medley of the songs “I Can/Perfect Gentlemen/Power/Keeper of the Seven Keys” and Deris shows what a great stage persona he is. He invited us to sing a long in “Perfect Gentlemen” where he divided the audience into sections and he told us how to sing. He also introduced the band and the medley went of for 15 minutes. But more cheers and claps made the band come out a second time and now came also Gamma Ray out on stage and together they fired off “Future World” and by then had the entire Mejeriet melted into a pot of happiness.
They also did “I Want Out” together with Deris and Hansen on lead vocals before they took the final goodbye of an ecstatic Mejeriet. This was probably the ultimate way of saying goodbye to 2007, two great bands on the same stage and it was an eargasm for every fan of German power metal.
Gamma Ray was the evening’s winner and they did a better show than Helloween. But I think both bands and fans were really satisfied when they went out to the blistering cold night.
March of Time
As Long as I Fall
A Tale that Wasn’t Right
King for a 1000 Years
Eagle Fly Free
If I Could Fly
The Bells of 7 Hells
I can/Perfect Gentlemen/Power/Keeper of the Seven Keys
I Want Out
Thanks to Elin Hedman at Border Music for help with press/photo pass