and Leaves’ Eyes
Thursday, November 30, 2006
BB King’s Bar and Grill
New York City, NY
* Live review and photos by Shaq
Blind Guardian is a band that has gained success and popularity the world over, including in the United States. This is exemplified by the fact that the New York City stop on this tour sold out well in advance, a feat not often seen by a metal band. When I strolled up to the venue around the time of doors opening, the line to get in stretched down the block. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve witnessed such a sight for a show at this venue, and it really a great thing to see. Not having toured the States since the support of their previous album, fans here were left waiting, eager to see the bards take the stage. This time, Blind Guardian was touring in support of their new album A TWIST IN THE MYTH, and they brought along the gothic band Leaves’ Eyes as support. It was sure to be nothing short of a memorable evening.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The venue was already packed tight for when Leaves’ Eyes took the stage to perform their variation of female fronted gothic metal. The overall crowd reaction was positive, both from existing fans of the band as well as new fans enjoying their music for the first time. Liv Kristine and company performed an entertaining set consisting of a mix of songs from both full length albums and also their LEGEND LAND EP. Liv waved and danced in accordance to the music, while her husband Alex provided the accompanying harsh vocals in the band on songs that required it. While I don’t remember a full setlist for them, some cuts included “Vinland Saga,” “Lovelorn,” “Temptation”, “Into Your Light,” and they closed off the set with “Elegy.” Overall the band played for about 45 minutes, which was slightly shorter than some other stops on the tour, but put forth a powerful and entertaining set for any fan of the style. I would definitely recommend attending one of their shows to any fan of female fronted gothic metal, as they are certainly among the best around today in the genre.
Blind Guardian needs very little introduction these days. After all, they were playing in front of a sold out crowd in one of the most major cities of the country. In the typical fashion of a Blind Guardian show, the “War of Wrath” introduction track was played, to which most fans in the house recited every word. Finally, the band emerged and continued into “Into The Storm,” delivering it to a rabid crowd that erupted, singing along to every word. In the past, the band has been criticized as being very boring live (note that this is an acknowledgement of others’ opinions on the subject, not my agreement with it), so I feel I need to at least mention the topic. For anyone who shares such a sentiment, I must strongly recommend going to see them again sometime. On stage the band is showing new life and energy that I’ve never seen before out of the bards. They conveyed a sense of excitement that radiated through the crowd, creating an amazing atmosphere for a concert.
Most bands, when touring for their latest release, typically fill the setlist with tracks from that CD. However, Blind Guardian chose not to do so, only playing two selections from A TWIST IN THE MYTH, “Fly” and “This Will Never End.” This is actually a case where I would’ve loved to hear more, as the album is incredible, but the same applies for their entire catalog so I cannot complain in the least about the set. They blazed through many of their classics, such as “The Script For My Requiem,” “Born in a Mourning Hall” and “Valhalla.” With such an extensive back catalog to choose from, they have been switching up many songs in the set throughout the tour to keep things fresh, so some staples were not present this night that may have been there on another night. One pleasant surprise was that even though the setlist listed “Majesty,” when it came to that song in the set, they instead substituted in “Welcome to Dying” which is a favorite of mine.
Anyone who’s ever been to or heard a Blind Guardian live show knows the sort of religious experience that happens during the Bard’s Song. In some respects, the band need not even be present for the song, as Hansi generally lets the crowd sing a vast majority of the lyrics to the song, as it is a song that every Blind Guardian fan knows religiously. Hearing a sold out crowd singing every word in unison is something one needs to experience to understand, and is truly the quintessential moment of a Blind Guardian show. Finally, to close out the show in typical Blind Guardian fashion was the classic “Mirror, Mirror.”
Not much else can be said about the band that hasn’t already been said. These guys are truly at the top of their game, having put out a killer album and put on a live show better than any they’ve ever done. Any fan of the band would be a fool to miss out on seeing them whenever possible, and hopefully this time it won’t be another four years until they come back for another round.
War of Wrath
Into The Storm
Born in a Mourning Hall
The Script For My Requiem
Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill)
Welcome to Dying
Lord of the Rings
This Will Never End
And Then There Was Silence
— Encore —
Imaginations From The Other Side
I would like to thank Loana dP Valencia at Nuclear Blast USA and Nathan Birk at Napalm Records for the photo pass.