On Tuesday night, 8/16/05, the New York Tri-State area was treated to two of the top European metal bands on one bill, Hammerfall and Edguy, with Canadian-based Into Eternity opening the show. Sea of Tranquility's Jack Toledano, Ken Pierce, and Pete Pardo were on hand at the BB King Blues Club. Being that Hammerfall and Edguy are both from Europe, and for the most part the European metal scene is a throwback to the great sounds of the early 80's, this turned out to be an awesome show for anybody with a taste for classic metal. Lastly, New York City did us very proud that night as a great crowd turned out for this show, proving to the world that metal is still indeed alive in the US, and it certainly is in the Big Apple.
Read on for the full report!
Jack Toledano, Pete Pardo, and Ken Pierce at BB Kings
Pete Pardo-Into Eternity, hot off the 2004 release of their Century Media album Buried In Oblivion, have been very busy on the concert circuit lately, recently performing with a batch of death metal bands, this night with Edguy & Hammerfall, and in the coming weeks joining up with Stratovarius for their US tour. This progressive metal unit, who add in some death metal influences to their highly technical & melodic sound, made some new fans this evening from the crowd in attendance. Songs like "Embraced By Desolation" and "Splintered Visions" went over well live, as the band throws in plenty of intricate and thunderous guitar riffs, melodic high vocals, and murderous death screams. This is a band that is certain to continue to grow and excel in the upcoming years, and their busy touring schedule certainly is helping by getting them in front of plenty of all kinds of metal fans.
Jack Toledano-After Into Eternity played for about a half hour, Edguy hit the stage and took New York by storm, opening with "Under the Moon". Edguy would go on to play 10 songs in an hour long set, including an encore, featuring 4 songs from their most recent release, Hellfire Club. Edguy certainly seemed like they had a blast, at times praising the NYC crowd, as I did, for proving the doubters wrong about the state of metal here in the US. Lead vocalist Tobias Sammett added some fun to a great set by getting the fans to chant curse words, singing Christmas carols (in August!!), wearing Elton John glasses during the beginning of the encore, and drummer Felix Bohnke doing a drum solo to the Star Wars Death Star theme song. As for Edguy's sound, I thought that they had the best sound mix of all three bands. Being that I am a longtime fan of Hammerfall, and attended the show mainly on behalf of Hammerfall, I found Edguy and their performance to be a very pleasant surprise.
Having been a fan of Hammerfall since their Legacy of Kings release, it was great to finally see them in the US as a headlining band. Hammerfall is touring the US in support of their latest release Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken. My only complaints were the fact that I thought their sound was a bit off, especially the guitars which sounded a bit too distorted for a classic metal style band, plus all of the annoying bodysurfers, who could have become a potential distraction to the band. In a funnier moment, an annoying stage diver ended up falling through the crowd and onto the floor, ala Jack Black in the movie "School of Rock".
Otherwise, from the opening scales of "Secrets" to the final song of the encore "Hearts of Fire", Hammerfall blew the roof off of BB King's. The highpoint of the set was during one of Hammerfall's favorite anthems, "Let The Hammer Fall", where the crowd participation was such that even the bodysurfers and moshpit stopped temporarily. Other cool moments came during "Fury of the Brave, where guitarist Stefan Elmgren played a few overtones of Judas Priest's "Painkiller", and Hammerfall played the first verse of "Enter Sandman", before lead vocalist/frontman Joacim Cans criticized Metallica for selling out. He also pointed out to the crowd that they were the best metal crowd in the US. It should also be noted that bassist Magnus Rosen seemed the friendliest, agreeing to an interview with SoT, and coming out in between sets to meet with fans and hand out guitar picks. Overall, Hammerfall was everything that I hoped they would be, playing their brand of medieval sword and sorcery metal, and continuing the metal party that Edguy started.
Ken Pierce- I was really excited about his show mostly for the chance to see EdGuy once again and Hammerfall for the first time ever. When the announcement came that Into Eternity would be on the bill as well I knew this would be a triple threat event to be reckoned with. I would have to say that this is quite possibly one of the best touring lineups that I have seen in recent months. I find that it is too often that you attend shows and you wonder how exactly the decision for the show lineup came about. B.B. King Blues Club in NYC was again to be the scene to be on and I found it quite crowded from a very early time. Always a good sign when the crowd is there for all the bands. As referenced above, Into Eternity would start the show off. They are one of those bands that have been making a lot of great moves as far as shows go of late. This Century Media band is currently among my list of favorites and the guys are awesome musicians and people at the same time. Unfortunately their set would only be 30 minutes so it would be concentrated on music from their killer album Buried By Oblivion . In four months time I have seen them 3 times. Each performance is excellent and for those who hear the name for the first time think of a little bit Yes, mixed with Rush and Dimmu Borgir. Progressive Black is the genre I lock them into. Guitarist Tim Roth and Singer Stu Bloch told me they will be on the bill for some upcoming shows hitting our areas as well so watch those calendars and don't miss them. You will not regret it.
EdGuy is one of those bands that if you enjoy their music on CD, you truly need to try and see them live when they come into town. Tonight would be the second time I saw them in about a years time and the last show they headlined over Sweden's Tad Morose (another band I hope returns to our Shores). While it was to be at the same venue this time around they would open instead of headline and as good as I find Hammerfall I was truly surprised at this move. Backstage I was able to meet with Tobias Sammett and I can tell you that he is as animated back there as he we get to see on stage. He is no actor putting on a show, his energy and level of enthusiasm is all real deal stuff. A front man like Tobias is a rare thing for while this was only the second time I saw them I noticed his voice was dead on through the whole show. He also really seems to get a kick out of the audience energy that comes from the crowd to him on the stage. He interacts and talks with them almost the entire night and while one exchange of making the audience yell numerous obscenities was funny, I would have preferred to hear one more tune instead. The band made sure to do a good amount of tracks from their latest release Hellfire Club which came out last year on Nuclear Blast Records. They covered a lot of my favorite tracks which are listed below and I think it will be great to see this band return for a headlining tour in support of the new CD Super-Heroes which is due soon.
Hammerfall was as good as I had expected them to be and their performance would compliment my receipt of their newest album on Nuclear Blast Records. With Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken the band was sure to give us all a killer set mixed with these great tunes and a score of their classics. The band would be on point tonight and I don't think they had ever done a headlining show in New York City so it would be ultra special. Lead singer Joacim Cans is an excellent frontman and sounds quite like the recordings he has done. I jotted down about 13 songs in their just over an hour set, and found four of the new tracks performed. I am loving the new CD and the tunes are definitely suited for live shows, they achieved a clear success with this one. The rest of the guys in the band Anders Johansson (Drums), Magnus Rosen (Guitar), Oscar Dromjak (Guitar), Stefan Elmgren (Bass) all did an amazing job and were incredibly tight all evening. Magnus is a true rock star in his performance as he climbed on the amps over the crowd a couple of times and got the audience ever more anxious. I heard from a reliable source that Yngwie Malmsteen was in attendance for a time, as drummer Anders played with him for many years. I did not get to meet him, but since I heard this from his record company it was indeed fact. I advise fans of the classic style of Power Metal to try and catch this band and to support their newest release.
EdGuy Set List:
1. Under The Moon
3. Land Of The Miracle
4. Lavatory Love Machine
6. Van Glory Opera
8. Out Of Control
9. Tears Of A Mandrake – encore
10. King Of Fools – encore
Hammerfall Set List
2. Riders of the Storm
4. Let the Hammer Fall
6. Fury of the Wild
7. Glory to the Brave
8. Hammer of Justice
9. Crimson Thunder
10. Heeding the Call
11. Blood Bound
12. Templars of Steel - encore
13. Hearts on Fire - encore
Official Web site: www.Hammerfall.net
Official Web site: www.EdGuy.com
Official Web site: www.IntoEternity.com