Helloween, Gamma Ray - London, England, 16th April 2013
|Event:||Helloween: Hellish Rock Part II|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Helloween, Gamma Ray - London, England, 16th April 2013 by Baz Anderson (39)
Over five years ago Helloween and Gamma Ray embarked on the first Hellish Rock tour; the first tour to bring together these two bands that have shared so much history with each other. As with 2008 the UK has to make do with just the one London date, and so we have to embark on that pilgrimage saved for only the special shows such as these.
The Forum is a great venue inside, and along with the lovely lighting, simple and effective layout and large stage, hosted the night's power metal extravaganza. Kicking off with Brazil's Shadowside, the floor was not yet too full but the band played with enthusiasm and energy. The sound wasn't too great, but frontwoman Dani Nolden's persistence and liveliness kept the gathering crowd interested. The set had a few great moments, but anticipation of the following bands was rife.
With an hour slot, Kai and the Gamma Ray gang took the stage to a great reception; it isn't often Gamma Ray find themselves on British soil after all. Problems with Kai's guitar during the opening song didn't make for the smoothest of starts, and the band's sound in general for the first half of the set especially was not great - Kai even telling us himself he thought it sounded bad. Regardless of these slight problems, the audience certainly put a smile on the band's faces as the venue was brought to life.
The band couldn't have picked much of a better set, with lots of high energy songs and the two new songs thrown in there too. Infectious "Master Of Confusion" and real stomper "Empire Of The Undead" are both flashing signs that Gamma Ray are back on top form and the future is looking good for them once again. Obligatory "Future World" followed by the Judas Priest-worshipping "To The Metal" left the audience calling for the encore. "Send Me A Sign" doesn't fail to put a smile on everyone's face and it's unfortunately time to say goodbye to Gamma Ray for another few years, or perhaps we'll see them one last time before the night is out.
Setlist: Anywhere In The Galaxy / Men, Martians And Machines / The Spirit / Dethrone Tyranny / Master Of Confusion / Empire Of The Undead / Empathy / Rise / Future World / To The Metal / Send Me A Sign
With the stage cleared and set up for Helloween, complete with epic drum kit looming at the back, a camouflage netting hangs covering the stage for their welcoming. The London venue now at its busiest, Helloween take the stage behind the netting and open with Freddie Mercury tribute "Wanna Be God" before the net drops and "Nabataea" gets things properly under way.
For a band probably most well known generally for their old material, Helloween's last couple albums especially have been as good as anything in their history. It was great pleasure then to hear "Straight Out Of Hell", but the band had great success with their setlist flicking from new to old, with a few in between. "Steel Tormentor" was the first song from that middle era played and it sounded fantastic. So fantastic that a large mosh pit broke out in the centre of the floor and seemingly didn't stop until the end of the set. Enjoying yourself is one thing, but it was very obviously annoying a good portion of the people who just wanted to watch in peace.
"Live Now!" might not be one of the most exciting portions of the new album, but Andi orchestrates the only drawn out audience sing-along of the night well during this song bringing it some life live. "Hell Was Made In Heaven" was another popular choice as the band returned to their often overlooked and underrated Rabbit... album. Unlike the start of Gamma Ray's set, Helloween's sound was thankfully absolutely perfect, and both band and audience seemed to be enjoying this one-off UK date.
As always the band close the show off with a selection of the oldies, with the help of Kai Hansen and Gamma Ray on this special tour. Both bands on the stage was a great sight, as it was five years ago on the first Hellish Rock tour. It seemed a shame for the night to end, but alas, all things have to. Both bands put on superb sets, and the London audience certainly left having enjoyed this treat of a tour.
Setlist: Wanna Be God / Nabataea / Eagle Fly Free / Straight Out Of Hell / Where The Sinners Go / Waiting For The Thunder / Steel Tormentor / I'm Alive / Live Now! / Hold Me In Your Arms / If I Could Fly / Hell Was Made In Heaven / Power / Are You Metal? / Dr. Stein / Halloween-How Many Tears-Heavy Metal (Is The Law) / I Want Out
||Written on 27.04.2013 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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