Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

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Helloween - Rabbit Don’t Come Easy tour
Malmö, Sweden
November 1st, 2003

Live Review and Pictures By Anders Sandvall

Helloween is back on the road to promote their strong new album “Rabbit Don’t Come Easy”. This is an album that strongly feels like a much-needed vitamin injection for them. Many of their previous releases has had their ups and downs. On the European tour they only did four shows before the singer Andy got sick, and they postponed almost every one of the remaining shows in Scandinavia. All of the cancelled shows are rescheduled to take place in December. But the day before they got to Malmö, the tour started again in Gothenburg Sweden.

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Last night it was Malmö's turn to be conquered by the power metal legends. The expectations from the audience and I on the new members Sascha and Stefan were huge. And they didn’t let us down. Sascha impressed on guitar and Stefan was solid as a rock behind his drums. I’ve seen the band many times and last time I saw them they looked very tired and not at their best. But yesterday they gave us one hour and forty minutes of magic! Personally I expected much of their new material, but they mostly did older songs. It was more of a greatest hits show. They only did three new songs “Open Your Life”, “Back Against the Wall” and “Sun 4 the World.” Some of the older songs they did were “Future World,” “Dr. Stein,” “Eagle Fly Free,” and “If I Could Fly.” They opened the show with some really classic material like “Starlight,” “Murderer,” and “Keeper of the Seven Keys."

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Helloween Are:

Markus Grosskopf - bass, background vocals
Andy Deris - lead vocals
Michael Weikath - guitar, background vocals
Sascha Gerstner - guitar, background vocals
Stefan Schwarzmann - drums


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Andy is a big stage personality with an amazing voice and a broad vocal range. He worked a lot to get the crowd going. His voice sounded really strong despite the fact that he had a major throat infection. He invited us to sing a long in “Power” and “If I Could Fly”. It was nearly sold out this evening at KB, and the crowd tagged along on every move Andy did. It was spontaneous singing amongst the crowd and they screamed very loud when Andy invited them to participate in the songs. The sound was absolutely brilliant; you could hear everyone on stage loud and clear. All of the four on the front moved all over the stage. Michael seemed to be very happy and interested in the audience which never has happened all the times I’ve seen them. Markus seemed also very happy and smiled the whole night through. They all worked really hard and at the end of the show they all were quite sweaty and it felt like they were really glad to be back in Sweden again.


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Andy did a lot of talking and laughed with the audience. He also told us the story behind the title name of the new album but perhaps that is not suitable to print. He divided the crowd into two when it was time to sing along in “Power” and he excused himself for doing that because he wanted to hear the left and the right side of the audience sing. The day before the show it was the “real” Halloween and Andy thought it would be funnier if they had played on that day instead.


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Before the encores the two guitarists sat down on each monitor and played the theme from Pippi Longstocking (in Swedish Pippi Långstump) by the very famous Swedish children book author Astrid Lindgren but Sascha had some problems with the guitar during this jam session. The first encore was “Sun 4 the World” and they finished the show off with “How Many Tears.”


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I thought that the set list felt a bit strange. I missed a few favorites like “Before the War,” “In the Middle of a Heartbeat,” and “Perfect Gentlemen,” but besides that it was a brilliant show. Helloween is back to stay, hopefully for a very long time.


Set list:
Keeper of the Seven Keys
Eagle Fly Free
Hey Lord
Forever and One
Open your Life
Dr. Stein
If I Could Fly
Back Against the Wall
Soul Survivor
I Can
Where the Rain Grows
Sun 4 the World (encore)
How Many Tears (encore)


Along with Helloween we had Rage as support band. I’ve never heard them before, but they did a really nice show. For a supporting act they had a very long play time - about 50 minutes. All of the three members impressed me a lot.

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Rage Are:
Peter “Peavy” Wagner - bass, lead vocals
Viktor Smolski - guitar , background vocals
Mike Terrana - drums

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Rage had so much stuff on the stage so there was a limited space to move around. Many of the people in the audience had come to see Rage play. This was the second time in Sweden, they did their first show on Sweden Rock Festival last year and it looked like they had quite a fan base here. The singer Peter Wagner invited us to sing along with him in many of the songs. They did a longer drum and guitar solo where the other members went off stage. Rage wasn’t too bad at all. The band was here to promote their new album “Soundchaser.”

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Thanks to Markus Wosgien at the European head office of Nuclear Blast for the help at the show.

 And as always thanks to KB and their nice staff for taking both big and small hardrock/metal acts to Malmö, Sweden 

Band Website:  www.helloween.org