Live Review: Blind Guardian/Gloryhammer (17/05/16)

Posted: May 19, 2016 in Live Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

I am one of the biggest Blind Gurdian marks EVER. I waited almost 10 years after discovering them for the first time, and travelled to Slovenia to see them live for the first time. The German legends have NEVER played in Scotland in their 30 year existence, and you’re damn straight that the frankly too small QMU was packed for this momentous event.

But first, the tongue in cheek and fist raising power of homeland heroes Gloryhammer. As gloriously OTT as you’d expect, singalong anthems about undead unicorns assaulting Dundee and the like went down a stomr with the waiting crowd. My wonderful wife-to-be was hooked as soon as she saw she could get said zombie unicorns on a t-shirt. Safe to say, the band got two new fans tonight. The songs were great, the performance was full of energy, and they were the perfect opener.

But now, for the main course. Most bands would not stride onto stage before a rapturous welcome and break straight into a nine minute epic from their new record. But Blind Guardian don’t need to give a fuck what other bands would do. ‘The Ninth Wave’ and everything that followed was received like water in the desert. For a band that have been doing this for thirty plus years, Blind Guardian show no sign of slowing down. From modern favourites like ‘Fly’ through vintage prog classics like ‘Nightfall’ and the gloriously epic ‘Imaginations from the Other Side’, the Guardians of power metal majesty have no bad songs in their set.

We got ‘Majesty’ itself, a haunting rendition of ‘Lord of the Rings’, the speedy ‘A Journey Through the Dark’ and of course the iconic ‘Bards Song’, which raised hairs on the back of the neck. The crowd demanded ‘Valhalla’ and we got it. The crowd demanded ‘Mirror Mirror’ and we got it. In fact, I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen the traditional ‘one more tune’ chant actually result in one extra song at the end, a rocking ‘Barbara Ann’ to send us all home happy.

I didn’t think it would happen, at least not for a long time, but Blind Guardian unseated last year’s Judas Priest concert as the best live show I’ve ever been too. A spell binding example of how metal can galvanise, inspire, empower and thrill to the last. You might have told us repeatedly we were amazing Hansi, but we were nothing compared with you.

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