You know that you are always in for a good time at a concert when it is an event that finds Tobias Sammet and his compatriots in the band Edguy at the center of attention. For over fifteen years they have been dishing out some of the most fun that you could legally have at a Power Metal show and their track record has yet to fail in this regard. Tonight's event at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill would be the third time that they had appeared at the venue but it would only be their second headlining appearance. Their last trip found them as direct support for Germany's and Nuclear Blast Records label mates Hammerfall. The guys would be continuing to support their latest release "Rocket Ride" and bring with them the might of Century Media's Into Eternity along with Light This City and Echoes Of Eternity. It was sure to be one of those nights that you regret the next morning and here is how it happened in case you missed it.
Read on for Ken Pierce's review of the September 16th show!
Echoes Of Eternity: The Los Angeles Progressive Metal band Echoes Of Eternity, or EOE for short have been a steadily rising sensation in the Metal world since they signed to Nuclear Blast Records in late 2006. They released their debut "The Forgotten Goddess" early in 2007 and from there have been jumping onto as many tours as possible. The band was founded by guitarist Brandon Patton and drummer Kirk Carrison who are excellent players both on record and in the live setting and they are fronted by the stunning lead singer Francine Boucher. I have to stop for a moment and advise those who might be yawning at the aspect of yet another female-fronted Power Metal band but let me tell you that Francine brings enough difference to the table to allow you to still enjoy your Epica, Sirenia, and After Forever without feeling as though you were cheating on them. With all of these bands on the same label one is likely to think that outside of Nightwish and Within Temptation that Nuclear Blast Records has a lock on the market. So with EOE being the first band on tonight their set would be criminally short and if you have listened to this album yet you would agree that it is deserving of more time to be heard and enjoyed in this capacity. Highlights of their performance would be "Voices In A Dream" and "Lost Beneath A Silent Sky" which are two of the best tunes on the album. As a band Brandon shreds with a technical ferocity that makes him a future guitar hero in his own right and as far as Francine goes, well she is one of the prettiest faces that Metal has had in a long time. Of course her voice rocks as well but I mention the other aspect because after the show many of the younger male members of the audience were dying to have their photo taken with her. I can't say that I blame them, but in all seriousness watch out for this band as they will be one of the standouts of 2007 that you don't want to miss. For a band that was not only the first one up tonight but also performing in NYC for the very first time I had to say that they went over quite well and really worked the audience for the short time that they were playing.
Light This City: LTC would come up next and I had absolutely no idea what to expect from them as I had not owned their album yet nor really heard of them. Sometimes that kind of surprise is a good thing and tonight it would be interesting to see how this largely Thrash Core type of band with a female lead would do against all this Power and Technical Metal. I had to admit that I observed a mixed reception to their set which was a shame because they are quite into what they are doing on stage and singer Laura Nichol gets right in your face while she sings. The band has three releases already and is signed to Prosthetic Records, a label that seems to specialize in this kind of stuff to some excellence so they are in good hands. Personally I found them energetic and interesting enough to see again when on a bill that better suited their style of music. I feel that a group of this kind doesn't work well within the confines of a Power Metal show but luckily some of the fans were interested enough to encourage them on. I did hear a couple of boo's and I must direct to those idiots that they should hit the bar next time a band they don't like comes on. Let everyone else enjoy themselves without you disrupting the night. LTC is on tour supporting "Facing The Thousand", so check it out when you can. If you like what bands like In This Moment and Walls Of Jericho are up to then I think you would like Light This City as well.
Into Eternity: Hey have you heard about this band Into Eternity yet? Of course you have if you've seen any number of Metal shows that have come through town since 2005. To my knowledge the guys have performed at BB King Blues Club so much that they are allowed to keep their equipment there as opposed to bringing it with them down from Regina all the time. All kidding aside you cannot fault the guys in this band for their hard work for the cause Metal as it has earned them some great gigs and tours like Gigantour and the chance to perform with Dream Theater. Finding them performing in NYC at this club was like the chance to welcome back old friends. They would be on the tail end of the touring for their last album "The Scattering Of Ashes" and based on their itinerary the record sure got some exposure as a result of all that they were doing. I had to smile when I considered that one of the times that I first caught the band they were opening for Edguy but tonight's show would be a co-headlining thing. It's been interesting to watch them progress as a group and as individual members over these short couple of years. Stu Block was new when I first saw him and now comes off as a seasoned front man who knows both how to handle each stage situation and get the crowd going to their loudest possible. Tim's guitar work is increasing in its technical skill and style and he leaves the aspiring players in awe with every set. Yes there has been some lineup shifts but it has remained Stu, Tim, and Troy for awhile and with new blood that is not too new anymore in Justin and Steve I think we finally have the lineup that the group is most accomplished with and accomplishes most with. The set tonight would focus on a little of everything from across their three albums and judging by the crowd reaction there wasn't anyone present who had grown tired of these guys. That's a good thing since 2008 is coming soon and that means a new record along with as many tours as they can find themselves on. Not a bad thing in my book but I think it's high time for the world to find IE doing some headlining shows. Great job as always guys we shall see you soon.
Edguy: When Edguy came on the audience was clearly on the spent side as far as their energy was concerned because four bands is quite a lot to handle, get excited about, and maintain a consistent level of life but as expected, as soon as the band hit the stage the energy returned to them. Metal fans are quite resilient when it comes down to it after all which is good because you truly need a lot of energy and then some with Tobias Sammet running all around the stage getting you riled up and excited. Tobias clearly was enjoying being back in New York and he expressed this to the crowd again and again. They seemed to be hanging on his every word which is often laden with double entendres and puns or insults to those who are around him. It's nice to see this reaction from the audience for a band like Edguy because I know very well that back home they perform for tens of thousands of people. For them to come to a region where the maximum space in most of the clubs they hit is far less makes you know that they enjoy the trip and the people that they encounter along the way. I've now officially seen Edguy three times, and this is each time that they have come to NYC and I am never disappointed in the show. You laugh, you scream and you answer any of the questions Tobi shoots off to you with a hearty yell. Their set would be just as much fun tonight as it touched upon several releases from their catalog. Another great thing I noticed about the audience was when each song was performed was that they were singing along to the chorus and often the verse parts as well. I guess this was what was keeping the smile on Sammet's face. He did joke and kid a lot and how could he do anything less with a song like "Lavatory Love Machine" in their set. You surely know their charming opus dedicated to a condom dispenser in a rest room right? Oldies like "Tears Of A Mandrake" and "Vain Glory Opera" were executed to the delight of the fans and we even got a smoking drum solo from Felix during the show. His solo is interesting for at one point he mimics the rise of Darth Vader from that last Star Wars film and then performs the "Imperial March" on his kit while a tape of the orchestration blasts overhead. It reminded me a little of how Cozy Powell used to do his "1812 Overture". I also gave credit to Felix for taking most of Tobi's ribbing tonight in good spirits. He was really letting him have it from the front stage and I was surprised that he didn't have to dodge a drum stick or two as a result of some of these jokes. The show from these guys tonight literally had everyone jumping around because the Edguy music is really fun and energized music. There is not much in the way of sad and morose subject matter from what I have been able to tell so far and it doesn't look like they will change this anytime soon. Tobi himself was quite the jack rabbit on the stage which was impressive based on the news that the singer had recently undergone surgery to remove his appendix. The swapped a number off their written set and as the night was drawing to a close would pummel us with "Mysteria", my favorite number from "The Electric Hellfire Club" CD, and soon the whole evening would find its end with a rousing performance of "King Of Fools". A song that I felt everybody in the club was singing along with when they did it. It was a great way to end the evening and all the more reason to want Edguy to return sooner rather than later. If you have not had the chance to catch Edguy in concert then I suggest the next time around that you do so because their stuff is among the easiest to get into and enjoy good times with friends.
Tonight's show was incredible and really brought out the best in all of the bands involved.
Edguy Set List
1. Catch Of The Century
4. Lavatory Love Machine
5. Tears Of A Mandrake
6. Vain Glory Opera
7. Drum Solo
9. Save Me
10. Fallen Angels
13. King Of Fools
Official Web site: www.edguy.com
Official Web site: www.echoesofeternity.net
Official Web site: www.intoeternity.net
Official Web site: www.lightthiscity.com