Edguy – headline act
Space Police World Tour 2014 – European leg 1
Freedom Call – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
21/9 – 2014
Review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Once again it was time for me to head over to what feels like my second home from time to time – Kulturbolaget in Malmo to see the German power/heavy metal act Edguy. The bands latest album SPACE POLICE DEFENDERS OF THE CROWN came in April this year and the band have been out supporting the album at various festivals during the summer. The tour kicked off in Japan at the beginning of September and then the band headed over to Great Britain after which it was time for Scandinavia to have a visit from the guys. Different support acts traveled with the band on different legs of the tour and at this show the fellow German metalers in Freedom Call were the support act. Unisonic and Masterplan took over the role as support act in Europe and you can believe me when I say that I was really disappointed when I realized that neither Unisonic or Masterplan was going to be featured in Sweden. Edguy was originally scheduled to be playing a day earlier but due to the Accept show in Gothenburg the same day Edguy re-scheduled to play the day after. I thought the new album was great from the moment I first heard it so my expectations on the evening were really high.
Freedom Call recently released their studio album BEYOND and the band have gone through some line up changes with the arrival of the old member Illker Ersin on bass and new drummer Ramy Ali. The only remaining original member is the singer/guitarist Chris Bay. I have never been a huge fan of Freedom Call, sure I can listen to them but they have never been a favorite of mine. One thing’s strange though and that’s why Freedom Call wasn’t upgraded to special guest instead of placed as support act. I thought the band was bigger and more popular than to be a support act here in Scandinavia.
Freedom Call is very loved in Sweden and I guess that they had drawn a lot of the people that had arrived to the club when I came. I could also hear that a lot of Danes had come to see the show and as I waited for the photo pit to open I took a look at the merchandise. The stage was equipped with the gear Freedom Call was going to use and behind that stood the stuff that belonged to Edguy. A line of girls and women were in the front of the stage, hmm wonder why? And when it was about 15 minutes left you could feel the excitement in the atmosphere.
The members walked out on the stage while the intro music played and geared up while the fans were screaming and welcoming them. “Union Of the Strong” marked the beginning of the show. “We Are One” followed and that song really woke the crowd up. Bay asked if the fans were ready for a German metal attack and he seemed to be really happy with the warm response the band got from the fans. Bay thanked for the warm welcome and said it was time for the really popular anthem “Freedom Call”. The fans sang the song together with Bay that had a big smile on his face during the entire song. “Heart Of A Warrior” continued. The line up in the band is:
Chris Bay – lead vocals, guitar
Ilker Ersin – bass
Lars Rettkowitz – guitar
Ramy Ali – drums
Bay thanked once again for the support and said it was nice to be back in Sweden again. The next song was taken from the CRYSTAL EMPIRE album and it was “The Quest” and Bay wanted to see everyone’s hands in the air. Bay and Rettkowitz both had huge smiles on their faces and even though I’m not a fan of the bands ultra light metal music but the performance gained a lot from the members happiness and that it showed that they really loved being on stage. Bay said that Sweden is now under a metal invasion and that Freedom Call was responsible as they fired off “Power And Glory” and let the fans sing the first verse. In the middle of the song Bay reached out the mic to the fans and let them sing and once again urged everyone to throw their hands in the air. He also let fans sing the chorus in the following song “Come On Home” and the ladies at the front row seemed to be really happy with having Bay so close to them. It was also the first row that acted the most crazy, the rest of the people at the club stood still and watched the show.
Parts of the band and the fans jumped through “Tears Of Babylon” and Bay expressed his admiration that their fans were so sporty and had the stamina to jump up and down together with the band through almost the entire song. Bay said that he wanted to see if the lands of the vikings had any warriors in the club and that was of course a hint to the song “Warriors” which followed. Bay wanted the fans to sing the first verse which they did but Bay wanted the girls to sing much louder because they were vikings.
Ersin and Rettkowitz changed position with each other and sang in each other mics while Bay had the crowd in the palm of his hands. The band was really tight and their love for their music was really shown. The members completed each other and Bay’s vocals was as solid as ever. Bay joked around with the fans and had them jump and scream on his command. Bay said he waited for the fans to go really mental because after all was this nothing but a metal invasion. A keyboard intro that everyone knew followed and Bay wanted the fans to sing the first verse in “Land Of Light” all that while the band jumped up and down together with the fans. Judging by the reaction of the fans was this a long awaited song and that was also the final song for the night for Freedom Call who must have been really happy with their performance and the support from the fans. Bay thanked fans so much for the support and said that it soon was time for Edguy to go on stage. Freedom Call’s performance lasted for about 50 minutes and I was really impressed by what I had seen. Not by the music, but the connection with the crowd and the joy that floated from the members out to the fans. Bay is a really good frontman and there were no doubt about that the fans loved him and the band. Personally the music was a bit too light for me but it was fun to see a band that gave their all for the sake of the fans.
Union Of The Strong
We Are One
Heart Of A Warrior
Power And Glory
Come On Home
Tears Of Babylon
Land Of Light
More people had arrived during the Freedom Call show but the show wasn’t sold out. The crew worked hard to get the gear in order for the next show and a big drumkit as well as a huge backdrop was soon revealed on the stage. On each side of the drums stood podiums placed with spotlights on them. It took a while to get things in order but after 30 minutes it was time for the crowd to see their anticipated heroes in action. At 9.20 the club got dark and the German power/heavy metal act Edguy were ready to take on Malmo.
The band entered the stage and got ready and fired off the show with “Love Tyger” and the fans welcomed the band with screams and cheers. “Space Police” followed after which Tobias Sammet thanked the fans for being there and you could see he had problems with his monitors and looked at the soundguy at the mixer table so he could fix it. “Out Of Vogue” continued the show and Sammet moved across the stage during the entire show jumping and running around. Edguy consists of:
Tobias Sammet – lead vocals
Jens Ludwig – guitar
Dirk Sauer – guitar
Tobias Exxel – bass
Felix Bohnke – drums
It was a bit hard to get some descent pictures of Sammet because he ran around almost all of the time. He was everywhere at the same time and he also used the ramp in the middle of the stage to get closer to the fans. “Rocket Ride” taken from the album of the same name from 2006 followed and that song made the entire club come to life. Sammet wanted the fans to shout hey, hey, hey which everyone did and the band seemed to be really happy with the response from the fans. It was not only Sammet that moved around on the stage, also Exxel and Ludwig did their fair part of connecting with the crowd and both of them used the ramp when it was time for their guitar solos. Sammet thanked the fans once again and said he had some technical problems but that it was fun to be back in Malmo. He said that the band was recording tonights show and showed where the mics was positioned. The crowd screamed even louder when they understood they were recorded and it made the show turn up a notch. Sammet said that the next song was actually about him and only him because he is so damn great and then he laughed and kicked off “Superheroes”. The fans went mental and sang along in what seemed to be one of their favorite songs. Sammet let the fans sing the chorus and they sang so loud that they almost overpowered him when he joined forces with them.
Sammet thanked us again for the sing along and said that the band has a brand new album out. He said that when the band first began playing power metal they did it to afford to buy homes and cars but now we have that and we can go back to play heavy metal again. We are the “Defenders Of The Crown” he continued and that was also the name of the song. Sammet let the fans sing the chorus and encouraged them also by shouting hey, hey, hey. In the middle of the song stopped everyone playing but drums and bass and the crowd sang together with Sammet. He said that they were going to do the same thing they did in Japan a few nights earlier and together he and the crowd sang different versions of the song together. Sammet wasn’t satisfied and wanted the crowd to sing louder and wanted the fans to do something that the crowd in Stockholm couldn’t do and that was to clap their hands and sing at the same time. (There’s always a battle in between who’s the best of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo which are the three biggest cities in Sweden.)
When the fans heard the keyboard intro to “Vain Glory Opera” the temperature went up a bit and the ecstatic crowd sang once again along with Sammet. The song was extended of the long sing a long parts that Sammet jammed into the middle where he wanted the fans to sing oh yeah a bunch of times. Sammet joked around with the fans during the show and there are not many singers that are as great as he on taking on a crowd. Everyone suddenly disappeared and only Bohnke was left and it was time for him to blast of drum solo. The first part of the solo was a standard one but then came the theme from Star Wars out from the speakers and out on stage came R2D2 and he rolled around when Bohnke played his solo. The fans all reached up their cellphones and filmed the little robot while he rolled around and it was really nice to see and hear a little different kind of drum solo from all the other solos I’ve heard.
When the band got back on stage, Sammet wanted fans to give it up for the drummer and he was given a big applause. “Ministry Of Saints” followed and the entire band was now soaked in sweat. Sammet said he was just going to take care of one thing and wanted the fans to wait for a short while and headed of the stage. He returned wearing a red coat which he said was a tribute to the bands sound guy at the mixertable. He’s name is Achim and has been with the band for a really long time Sammet continued. He has worked with all kinds of bands and he’s so old that he was around when Beethoven was alive he said. Sammet said that the band didn’t want to do a pussy ballad and decided to spice up the next song which is a tribute to Achim – “Are you ready Malmo?” Sammet screamed and the band fired off the old Falco song “Rock Me Amadeus”. Personally, it’s my least favorite song on the new album but it worked much better live than on album.
Sammet then said he had some bad and some good news. The bad news was that the following song was the last one for the night but the good news is that the band is going to come back in the nearest 5-10 years to play here at Kulturbolaget again. The fans booed and laughed at the same time. Sammet said that the band thought the fans had been great tonight and that they had really loved being in Malmo again. The last song for the night was “Tears Of A Mandrake” and it was the song that all of the fans had been waiting for. Literally everyone in the crowd either sang along or clapped along in the song. When the song was over and the band had gone off the stage had 1.10 hours passed but that wasn’t enough for the crowd who shouted for encores.
The band looked really happy when they re-entered the stage and Sammet took a mic and shouted oh, oh, oh and wanted the crowd to do the same thing. He did that three times and said that the crowd sounded really gay and laughed. “By the way”, he said, “I’m not afraid of gay people and that if any reporter from Aftonbladet (one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden) is here tonight you can write that we in the band like all kinds of people. Black, brown, red, yellow, white, everyone. I just wanted to make that clear to Aftonbladet that not me or anyone in the band is homophobic”. Now it’s time for some more music with “Lavatory Love Machine” which was the first encore for the night. In the middle came the usual sing a long and it was done until Sammet was pleased. Then was it time for the band to slow down a bit and, as Sammet put it, play a pussy ballad in “Save Me”. The crowd loved the ballad and everyone sang a long with Sammet in it. Sammet once again proved what a great frontman he is when he let the crowd sing the chorus in the ballad with him and there was no doubt that Sammet and the band was really loved by the audience at the club this night. He’s voice was phenomenal and he can still reach the higher notes. I’m not a huge fan of ballads but “Save Me” was pure brilliant. Sammet thanked everyone for an amazing night and the last song was “King Of Fools” and the band seemed to be really happy with the respond from the crowd. In the middle of the song a huge police head blew up like a balloon beside Bohnke and the it was the police pictured on the album cover that came out. The crowd screamed and clapped when they saw the head and suddenly it felt like I was at an Iron Maiden concert and Eddie had come out.
That ended the show and the band took of their instruments and thanked the fans a final time. Almost 90 minutes of great music was over and it was only for me and the fans to head home having shared a great musical experience.
The show was totally brilliant and I didn’t lack any song or element what so ever. Sammet is a brilliant front man as well as vocalist and he and the band have a stunning show off in how proper power/heavy metal ought to be performed. The sound was great and the lighting as well. The only bad thing about the light was that when Sammet moved around he was partially moving in darkness. The lights couldn’t keep up with him. Just as with Freedom Call, the love for the music shined through in the music of Edguy and that only added more atmosphere and joy to the show. The only negative was that the show was too short, I wanted to hear and see more from the masters of power/heavy metal EDGUY! Edguy are the undisputed kings of power/heavy metal and I really hope that it doesn’t take the band 5-10 years to return to Malmo.
Thanks to those at Kulturbolaget who booked Edguy, you made me and the rest of the crowd of about 500 people really happy and it was not only me that left the club with a huge smile on my face and the sentence “We never cry for love, We’re superheroes” ringing in my ears. Make sure to check out SPACE POLICE DEFENDERS OF THE CROWN if you want to hear some world class power/heavy metal music.
Out Of Vogue
Defenders Of the Crown
Vain Glory Opera
Ministry Of Saints
Rock Me Amadeus
Tears Of A Mandrake
Lavatory Love Machine
King Of Fools
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren
for help with press/photo pass to the show.
Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FreedomCallOfficial
Youtube Page: www.youtube.com/user/FreedomCallTV
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/spvhannover
Youtube Page: www.youtube.com/user/spv
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/playgroundmusicsweden