Blind Guardian in Melbourne, Australia

Event: Blind Guardian: Australian Dates
Written by: Judas
Published: 20.02.2007

This was the first time Blind Guardian had ever come to Australia for a show, and was the first of only two concerts played Down Under. With the crowd gathering from all corners of Australia and New Zealand, the atmosphere was quite epic even before the doors were opened, and the Bards did not disappoint in any way! The fans' long wait was totally justified by the assault that the German Power Metal Gods delivered.

I had the fortune to meet the band as they arrived at the venue, and asked them a few questions about their Australian experience so far. Unfortunately, the only real answers I got were along the lines of "It's way too hot here!" but they all seemed very excited about the prospect of their inaugural show here. The Forum Theater in Melbourne was the location, which is a colonial film house that has been converted to a live venue for both bands and dramatic productions. The decor surrounding the stage was like a Roman palace, with statues and marble columns, and was very fitting for a colossal act like Blind Guardian.

L - R: Hansi Kürsch, André Olbrich, Frederik Ehmke, Joel (MS Member 'Hyvaarin'), Myself, Alex (a friend), Marcus Siepen, David (a friend)

Support was provided by two local bands, Dissymmetry and Eyefear. The former were a standard Death/Gore Metal offering, and were rather ill-received. In fact, ridiculed would be closer to the mark, as the crowd was overwhelmingly made up of Power Metal fans. There is a time and place for bands, and unfortunately for Dissymmetry, their bloodstained costumes and masks/corpsepaint was not what was called for. Eyefear, on the other hand, were generally liked, not only because their vocalist had the longest hair that I've ever seen (it was down to his ankles!), but also because of their catchy choruses, great powerscreams, stage presence, and the fact that their keyboard player actually sat on a drum stool for the whole set! On the whole, their Progressive/Power Metal more than made up for the mistake of having Dissymmetry on the bill, and certainly got the crowd amply hyped for the main act.

Dissymmetry vocalist

Eyefear vocalist

As usual, the Bards used "War Of Wrath" as their intro before unleashing their full force on the audience with their opener, "Into The Storm." "Born In A Mourning Hall" followed, before vocalist Hansi Kürsch announced that we would hear the tale of the Noldor race in Middle-Earth as told in the song "Nightfall". This was delivered with such emotion and atmosphere that I'm sure it will remain in everyone's minds for a long, long time. Then it was time for "The Script For My Requiem," which preceded "Fly," the first single off their new album "A Twist In The Myth." The introduction to this was quite funny, with Hansi asking, "Who's from Sydney? Did you come by bus?" and then responding to the roars with, "Well, we're going to teach you how to FLY!"

André Olbrich

Marcus Siepen

The next song took us back to 1989's "Follow The Blind", and was extended by a few minutes because the crowd wouldn't stop chanting the chorus. Of course, I am referring to the great "Valhalla". After Hansi succeeded, at length, in calming the audience down by issuing the threat that if we didn't stop, they would be forced to cut a song from the setlist (!), it was back to Middle-Earth, with "Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)." The band seemed to really enjoy playing this, with André and Marcus frequently dancing around the stage, and Frederik having a real blast on the kit (excuse the lame pun). Then came an unexpected surprise, with "Lost In The Twilight Hall" from their "Tales From The Twilight World" album, before another regular, "Mordred's Song." Hansi then introduced the next song by saying that we were such a good audience, that he hoped that this will never end. The song, clearly, is called "This Will Never End," and it is the opener off their new album.

Hansi Kürsch

The evening then took a softer and more epic tone, with the sombre "Lord Of The Rings" being followed by the monumental "And Then There Was Silence". This song was also interrupted by a chant, this time of 'Badadadadadadadada' (although to a tune, obviously) accompanied by some hilarious bass courtesy of Oliver Holzwarth. The band then left the stage, in an obviously planned move, then when our chants of "Guardian, Guardian!" had reached fever pitch, they returned, to play "Imaginations From The Other Side". Then they finally brought out the acoustic guitars, and we knew that the night was coming to an end, as Hansi invited us to sing with him, "The Bard's Song." But they still had one more left for us! How could they leave without..."Mirror Mirror"! Everyone screamed their hearts out for this last hymn, and it was a fitting end to a magnificent evening. The band clearly loved the crowd, who were great (not many hardcore kiddies, which was a nice change!), and everything seemed to run like clockwork, from the sound to the lighting through to the performance delivered.

The Band

I really hope that they can come back here soon. And for those of you who haven't been to see Blind Guardian yet, then I thoroughly recommend attending a show if at all humanly possible. As said by the advertising posters, this is not just another gig. This is an experience.


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 11   Visited by: 20 users
06.03.2007 - 02:14
I saw them in cleveland this past november and that was also amazing. The song list was a little different, but not much, the songs they played were my favorites. Very much worth seeing them.
06.03.2007 - 02:28
Account deleted
Guess who's just behind the band on the first photo !!!!! :D
06.03.2007 - 04:32
Written by Guest on 06.03.2007 at 02:28

Guess who's just behind the band on the first photo !!!!! :D

Cool review, dude. Brought a smile to my face at a couple of moments - the Eyefear keyboardist's stool, the godly performance of ' Nightfall' and the singalong/hilarious bass bit of 'And Then There Was Silence'.

Wanna review Saturday's show, Necrowinter?
"Summoned By Words Never Spoken Before..."
06.03.2007 - 10:20
Hey I met that David dude at the Gamma Ray concert in Sydney (little Columbian dude in teh GR shirt). He was from Queensland. Him and his friends sure put a lot of effort in seeing all their bands! \m/
06.03.2007 - 18:12
Nice review...wish I could have been there

Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
07.03.2007 - 23:25
They didn't play Majesty?
08.03.2007 - 04:34
Resident Quack
Written by Stigmatized on 07.03.2007 at 23:25

They didn't play Majesty?

They played that on the Saturday night. The sets were different for the two shows, I got the Friday setlist, Hyvaarin got the Saturday one. He might review that show later.
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn both go back into the same box."
08.03.2007 - 18:18
Down Under Staff
@Hyvaarin: Sure
"Scream for me Melbourne!!!!"
- Bruce Dickinson

"I don't see any god up here"
- Yuri Gagarin (while in orbit, 1961)
08.03.2007 - 22:52
I saw them in Atlanta last December, one of the best shows I've ever seen. I would give anything to see them again, this show sounded amazing. Great review.
To become the strongest, I am left with no regrets. Even if I am damned to Hell.
11.03.2007 - 03:03
Eternal Flames
Great review. I'm spewin' that I missed the show. I can imagine it was a great night. Well, both nights would have been great. Saw a few videos from the show too. The ending of Valhalla seemed amazing. Hopefully they'll be back again next year (or in the near future) when I'll actually be able to see them.
19.03.2007 - 16:52
Account deleted
I saw then last Saturday in São Paulo. Wow the bards are amazing, and the audience were great singing all the songs.

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