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On stage: Blind Guardian

- Blind Guardian & Freedom Call - April 2002 - Düsseldorf (D) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2002 - Wacken (D) -
- Blind Guardian - Aug. 2002 - São Paulo (Bra) -
- Blind Guardian - Sep. 2002 - Istanbul (Tur) -
- Blind Guardian - Oct. 2002 - Vienna (A) -
- Blind Guardian & Steelwing - Sep. 2010 - London (GB) -
- Blind Guardian & Steelwing - Oct. 2010 - Vienna (A) -
- Blind Guardian - Nov. 2010 - Barcelona (E) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2011 - Wacken (D) -

- Blind Guardian - Nov. 6th 2010 - Barcelona (E), Saint Jordi Club -

Power metal fans had a date with Blind Guardian on Saturday, November 6th, in the Saint Jordi Club, a venue that may presume a big place and capacity.
The show started, about 9 PM, after an hour of waiting, with no opening acts, only classic heavy metal songs played.
Even in darkness, the beginning of Sacred Worlds with the band coming to the stage and the symphony continues, a great start, without any doubt.
After the first song, Hansi said hi to everyone and thanked us for being there. Then, they presented the classic Welcome To Dying along with Born In A Mourning Hall and Nightfall, all awesome.
After these, the audience start asking for Majesty, but the bards say nay, because they were very tired of last day's show in Madrid.
Fly, one of my personal favorites, and Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) were their way of trying to calm down the audience, that still ask for Majesty.
The typical singer-audience game started with Traveler In Time and then, Majesty. A totally epic performance of this one, as it is meant to be.
Time What Is Time and another track from the new album A Voice In The Dark follow in the set list. At a giant screen, behind the band, we could see the promo video of this song.
Imaginations from The Other Side was chosen to finish the first part of the show, and after a few minutes with the lights out and everybody asking what's going on, Blind Guardian returns to the stage with another track of the new album - Wheel Of Time -, in my opinion a very long track which somehow becomes boring alive.
We came to an end, 13 songs been played, and the final part offered four of the most wanted songs of the night... The Bard's Song / In The Forest, Valhalla, Mordred's Song, and last but not least... Mirror Mirror.
It was a great concert! Sound, venue and set list get a 10 (meaning, it was awesome). Even if the Germans don't move around too much on stage compared to other bands, they were joking and grateful for everybody attending which they expressed between the song. Too bad they didn't play To France, maybe next time........

(guest writer)
(translation; Victor Castillo)


- Blind Guardian & Steelwing -
- October, 16th 2010 - Vienna (A), Gasometer -

This time the ticket said 'show start 7PM', but when we arrived at 7:30 PM we found out that the support Steelwing won't start before 8:30PM. So we checked out the merch and visited the bar. What really annoyed me that at the doors they took my bottle of contact lens care solution and even if they give it back afterwards, what the hack is the reason for this? It makes no sense at all.
Anyway, soon we ended up in front of the stage and stand first row to the left. I just knew their song Roadkill (...Or Be Killed) and so I was really surprised by their show. The sound wasn't perfect, but okay and they knew how to cheer up the audience. Unfortunately they had only limited show time and so they ended their set with the aforementioned song. They convinced me again - like they did at MetalFest - and I'm pretty sure they will make it.
A 30 min. break between Steelwing and Blind Guardian I used to go to the toilet and look for a better spot. Well, better... Depends on what you are looking for, coz instead of standing first row to the left, I now stood behind the sound board, where I had a better view and probably the better sound. As usual they opened up in Vienna like every other night with Sacred Worlds - the orchestral parts playback. The audience was ready to celebrate 2 hrs. with Blind Guardian and right from the start there were fan chants. After Sacred Worlds they presented a classic - Welcome To Dying. Born In A Mourning Hall was the last fast track before they slowed down - like Hansi said 'get more romantic'. And he was right, coz everybody sang along Nightfall - that gave one goose bumps! Fly is in my opinion the best song off their 2006 release A Twist In The Myth and what the one they played next. Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) marked the end of a part with newer songs. Valhalla was a real highlight, the fans celebrated this one and kept singing the refrain for several minutes. Then they traveled back in time and presented Majesty, a song especially long-time fans were grateful for. Blood Tears they played for the first time on this tour, a premier. I was excited when they announced the song, and disappointed when it was over, coz Hansi hit some wrong notes during the refrain. It's a pity, but well he isn't getting any younger. Unfortunately they had This Will Never End next in line, another song off A Twist In The Myth - and one I wouldn't have missed. A Voice In The Dark promoted their new album and with Imaginations From The Other Side they offered - for me - the best song on the setlist and ended the regular set. Fans didn't have to call for encores for long and Blind Guardian returned with Wheel Of Time - from the first notes the house was on fire. It was obvious that it's one of their newer tunes, coz not everybody knew the lyrics and so not everybody was singing along. An all-time classic is The Bard's Song - In The Forest and so everybody joined in. The fans took over the singing, even if not as good as Hansi... Getting closer to the end they offered a nostalgic moment with Lost In The Twilight Hall and with another classic they closed this chapter. The fans gave everything when the band played Mirror Mirror.
Great event, even if I missed some classics (Bright Eyes, A Past And Future Secret, Punishment Divine) and it's obvious they aren't youngsters. They didn't move around on stage and Hansi failed on the high notes and so the song been played in a deeper tuning. So I was a little disappointed about the show, but I would hesitate to see them live again.

(guest writer)
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


- Blind Guardian & Steelwing -
- September, 26th 2010 - London (GB), Shepherd's Bush Empire -

In a dark and dreary corner of London there lies a music venue. One night, it was transformed from a music venue into a meeting hall - a meeting hall for bards. The bards gathered from far and wide - from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and beyond - to greet the heroes of their kind: Blind Guardian...

...First though, there was Steelwing. They had a short set, only playing five songs, and their music was pretty monotonous, although not bad by any means. Saying that, Riley - what a voice! Incredibly impressive and powerful vocals. He totally made the band worth seeing and his true skill and talent shone out. He is an underrated singer in modern heavy metal, but puts in an awful lot of effort regardless.
Perhaps a reason for Steelwing not sounding their best was that the guitars weren't loud enough. Honestly, it was like a big blur of noise with no intricate notes sounding. Another let down for the band was the fact that they hardly put on any sort of stage show. Sure, Riley was up there, clearly having a whale of a time, but the rest of the band just seemed somewhat rigid.
Despite a few sound issues and a lack of jumping around and going crazy, the band were alright, and they certainly made a good 'warm-up' band for the legendary gods of power from across the pond who were to grace the stage with their presence next...

Blind Guardian. A band whose name alone is thrilling to write. Their performance was far more thrilling though. They opened with Sacred Worlds, the fantastic first song from their most recent album, At The Edge Of Time. This sent the crowd stir-crazy and wild, and with good cause too! The band put an enormous amount of effort into the performance, their heart and soul. Sadly this produced a small crowd of eager moshers who made it more difficult to enjoy the performance for those around them...
Next they played more classic songs such as Welcome To Dying and Born In A Mourning Hall, each being well-received in their turn. Then, yes, quietly it crept in and changed us all...Nightfall. There was somewhat of a cheer from the crowd. Obviously. This was - sorry, is - one of their most splendid, magnificent and beautiful songs ever written. The next three songs were Fly, Time Stands Still and Traveller In Time. Admittedly, the songs just aren't the same without the fantastic orchestral backing, but never fear - the audience will provide the band with the choral backing! It was a bad 'choir', yes, but at least the enthusiasm was there... However, this leads to the fact that Hansi Kürsch really wasn't given a chance to shine; he was too busy being drowned out by the noise of the audience 'singing' along.
Next song was Valhalla - yes, the setlist was incredibly good - followed by a wonderful performance of Lord Of The Rings. That's the beauty of Blind Guardian. They are one of the few bands that can manage to pull off transitions from hard-hitting, fast music to slow, acoustic music well.
The band made their way once again to A Twist In The Myth for This Will Never End. They followed this with another song from their latest album, and the title track for the single of the album, A Voice In The Dark. This song had already, in the quarter of the year since it was released, become ingrained in the fans, and the majority of the audience knew it and loved it - the band's performance of the song most certainly lived up to expectations too! The main set was finished with a blindingly superb performance of Mirror Mirror, which was simply pure perfection.
Of course the band got an encore though - they're Blind Guardian. The encore was opened with Hansi and his cup of tea. Oh yes, and Punishment Divine. Obviously they played The Bard's Song - In The Forest - there probably would have been an uproar if they didn't. After that, they attempted to play their epic final song from At The Edge Of Time, Wheel Of Time, which, unsurprisingly, was somewhat less epic live. After their slightly-above-average performance of Wheel Of Time, however, was a brilliantly played Imaginations From The Other Side to wrap up the night, and what an ending.

Sure, it wasn't perfection. There were a lot of problems, such as the drums being too loud and the guitars being too quiet, and the crowd were inconsiderately rowdy, but nevertheless... Was it fun? Yes. Was it breathtaking? Yes. Was it worth the effort and the money and the travel? Without a shadow of a doubt. As the bards flooded the streets of the city to return to the many distant dwellings from whence they came, there was an awesome feeling of 'life is good' in the air - that belittled and discounted feeling that is generally produced at concerts.
Music truly is a most wonderful thing, and there are some bands out there which just get that statement and slap it across people's faces. So, dear bards and lovers of bards, never give up on music, never take it for granted and allow it to embrace your soul. Treasure every note, every lyric and every beautiful and complex aspect of its harmony, or its lack thereof. If there is any justice in the world, every lover of music will experience this sort of awe at some point in their lives.

Stephanie Malin


- Blind Guardian -
- October 12th 2002 - Vienna (Austria), Music Planet -

On Saturday, October, 12th at 00:30 a.m. 27 Czech fans began their journey through the our country on the way to Austria. I have to say that during all the Blind Guardian life they were only one time - during 1998 tour - in our country doing a show. There;fore what can we do than take the bus and go for the show to Germany or to Austria!?! I was now four times on a BG show and during the old - this time from 1990 (when I saw BG first time) - till to­day I must say: the guys are very kindly and friendly! All these past times when I came to the band backstage we did interviews and photo sessions and now it were the same thing. It was awesome when 27 Czech fans take place in the very small backstage dressing room at Music Planet club in Vienna. Hansi and Marcus give us some minutes for a signing session and photo sessions (a big thanks for it guys!). I have to say that Henry (BG tour manager) was very friendly, too!
I guess inside the club were perhaps about 600 fans (body by body) and the support band was Stormhammer. About 9.30 p.m. the BG show began with the War Of Wrath intro. Almost all fans screaming with Sauron and Morgoth: Fields is lost.... And we all sang "We are following the will of the one." I have to say something from history: When I take part first time in 1990 in Vienna the BG show was in small club called Rock Haus, there were about 150 fans and almost nobody knew Hansi's lyrics. Second time during Somewhere tour in 1992 - in the same club - were about 300 fans and some fans sang along with the band. During the Nightfall tour in Vienna's club Scene were about 500 fans and almost all sang every song and now? Now I have to say, we all have after the show hoarseness! Blind Guardian by turns played fast and mid-tempo songs like Welcome To Dying, Nightfall, The Script For My Requiem, Mordred's Song, Valhalla, Bright Eyes, Journey Through The Dark, Time Stands Still / At The Iron Hill. Yes, it was an awesome, genial set list! During the show comes three acoustical ballads too. First was Lord Of The Rings, second The Bard's Song and during the encores a small surprise for me... A Past And Future Secret. From the new album A Night At The Opera the band added two songs into the program: The Soulforged and Punishment Divine. The standard one for the shows end is the killer one Imaginations From The Other Side and guys take to the woods. Yes, maybe you can still hear the voices and roar: "Zugabe, Zugabe, Zugabe!".... One minute later the band started the closing ceremony with Lost In The Twilight Hall. What can I say to the end? Absolutely great and excellent sound, ingenious set list, 120 minutes of climax for me and many others and.... Absolutely crazy! Mirror Mirror to the end!

Milan Skoda
(head of Blind Guardian Czech fan club)
(pictures from today's show)


- Blind Guardian -
- September, 28th 2002 -
- Istanbul (Turkey), Bostanci Gosteri Merkezi -

German metal legends would finally meet with their loyal Turkish fans for the very first time this evening. I was at the out­side of Istanbul and on the way back to the city, but I would miss the support acts Soul Sacrifice and Bartlorn. After 8 hours long traveling I was in the venue and the doors had just been opened with five hours due, because of the technical and organisation problems, the support acts had been cancelled at the last minute. That was just a sad experience for the Turkish bands.
When the intro began to play the audience were just screaming loudly in the dark. The band started to their show with Into The Storm and just keep on playing with their classic Welcome To Dying. That was a good sign for the older fans who were waiting for songs from the past albums. As I am one of those fans who expected to hear songs from Tales From Twilight World, Somewhere Far Beyond, etc. I was also quite happy to see Blind Guardian. And the band was aware of the fact which being the first time here and they wouldn't let the fans disappointed. They first made the fans crazy in the venue and then, they felt great... While all of the fans in the crowd were singing the whole songs in the setlist. That was really one of the best concerts with audience respond for the performed songs on the stage. The band seemed very happy and Hansi made his well-known speeches between the tracks. He first mentioned how happy they were to be in Turkey at least. And he was really very kind while he mentioned about the support acts cancellation and showed his support for the local acts by saying good wishes for their future. That was welcomed with respect by the audience.
Hits like Valhalla, Bright Eyes, Journey Through The Dark and the ballad Bard's Song were the highlights of the night. The crowd were so happy to see 'metal meets fantasy' idols live. Hansi was only bad at speaking in Turkish! He had a piece of papers that he was looking and trying to speak & thank in Turkish. He was saying just 'tesek' instead of 'tesekkurler' (means 'thanks'). But, there was no word like, 'tesek' in Turkish. That should be the funniest memory for every Blind Guardian fans remember now in Turkey. The band was finishing the show with their most successful album title Imaginations From The Other Side. However, the audience was too hot and loud to let them have a shower early! They came back and played 3 more songs. Lost In Twilight Hall was the right song to make the fans headbanging again. Mirror Mirror was the last track from the set-list for the Turkish Guardians.

Blind Guardian proved why they come from... German metal acts are well-known with their great live performance, but they lack on the show side. There was nothing special effect or something interesting on their live appearance, if you are the type of person looking for more than just listening songs live on stage. I think, the only German band who makes really amazing show on the stage is Rammstein. Anyway, the Turkish crowd and the Germans were quite happy while going back to their home...

Emre Alkoç


- Blind Guardian -
- Aug. 10th 2002 - São Paulo (Brazil), Via Funchal -

There was a great expectation for the second coming of Blind Guardian to São Paulo. When their first came, years ago, the concerts were a huge success, and this time, things promised to be titanic.

Since midday, the queue for the concert was already big. When the gates opened, with no delay, a mass of crowd got into the Via Funchal Halls. The opening act was done by the young Brazilian band called Heaven's Guardian. They did a fair good performance and warmed up the audience for the most expected moment.
The light went off and you could hear the intro War Of Wrath going out the speakers. The crowd went crazy. In unison you could hear them (us!!:-) ) screaming "Guardian, Guardian Guardian !!!" Into The Storm blew our heads!!!
A note to mention, few days before, drummer Thomas Stauch got a inflammation on his arm, and was unable to come to Brazil. Alex Holtzwarth (Rhapsody and brother of Oliver) rehearsed for a couple of days and came for the hard task to play with Blind Guardian.
For the delirium of the old fans, next was played Welcome To Dying... Heavy as hell it kept everyone screaming out loud. For a relax time, Nightfall made many cigarettes lighter lighten and everyone, I mean, EVERYONE (7,000 people) sing the whole song. Hansi looked amazed and was smiling at the crowd.
The band knew how the old songs have a great punch with Brazilian fans. Script For My Requiem made the walls shake, the floor was trembling at our feet. Following the great success of movie, they played Lord Of The Rings, and again people were singing every note of this wonderful tune.
We were feeling great, just old songs, and so came a new one, The Soulforged. A good song, and there was a great deal of people singing with Hansi.
Hansi kept proving that he is one of the best heavy metal singers. A perfect voice and feeling. The whole band was doing fine. Marcus and André were very comfortable playing there, and kept the riffs flowing very heavy. Oliver, well, what we can say about him? Superb. Playing and singing the backing vocals. It's already time for him to become a full Blind Guardian member. He was even helping his brother Alex, to got into the music. Alex wasn't perfect, but we could not ask for that. He had just a couple of days. he is a great player and made a real great show.
So...let's move one.... After the new The Soulforged, they played another old tune. Born In A Mourning Hall exploded as the audience went insane again. A lot of punch and Valhalla was played with a great interaction with the audience. Following, one of the best Blind Guardian songs Mordred Song. Tears rolled from many peoples eyes and fists were high on the air.
Again, you could see how Hansi was happy to play here again. Banished From The Sanctuary was a good surprise. a really heavy tune.
After many smiles and joking, Hansi announced that the next one would be special for the Brazilian as he knew that was our favorite song. Bright Eyes drove the audience into an ecstasy state. Perfect, and Hansi proving to be a superb front man, leading the masses to a climax! This song was very expected at the last time they were here, and as they didn't played at that time, it was like a feeling of 'void' for the fans.
Next was the best song from A Night At The Opera, Punishment Divine. This one sounded like the old Blind Guardian. By far the heaviest song of the new album. Bard's Song was, as usual, played with Hansi singing no words at all. The audience was screaming out their lungs for every note. André was looking astonished, he and the band and fans played as one. Imaginations From The Other Side did the perfect 'ending' (Well, we knew that was not the end at all).
For the encore, everyone sang a loud 'Happy Birthday' Hansi, as it was his 36th birthday on that day. The ending part was very special and they played the beautiful A Past And Future Secret, driving cigarettes lighters again. Journey Through The Dark rocked the place and, although exhausted, the fans moved madly at this song. For the real end, Mirror Mirror a classic, well, another classic.

The concert ended and everyone, fans and the band were satisfied. 20 songs, a compilation of all that Blind Guardian has as best, and the true feeling of completeness. Hansi said good-bye promising that they would return soon, and will not take as much time again to come back.
Hail to the Blind Guardian!

Rod Capozzi


- Blind Guardian & Freedom Call -
- Apr., 30th 2002 - Düsseldorf (D), Philipshalle -

Fast more and more fans showed up and queued. Others started a kind of B-B-Q in front of the Philipshalle at the parking lot. Soon fans shouted for Blind Guardian, but it doesn't effect the time schedule. Not really a surprise. Due to the amount of fans the doors opened about 30 min, earlier then planned and ticket holders ran into the venue to find a place in the first rows. The fans with exchange tickets were unhappy, coz they had to wait until the ticket desk opened and so had no chance to make it into the first rows. I was luckily inside the venue earlier through a meet &, greet and watched the die-hard fans ran in like raging buffaloes from a safe place.
In Düsseldorf the melodic metaller of Freedom Call opened up with We Are One. Soon the crowed shouted "Freedom Call, Freedom Call!" How could the band deny these request? The quintet gave the people what they want and played this tune. The band gets better every time I see them. It took awhile to convince the fans of Blind Guardian, but with Shine On, their 3rd track they succeed. A little later their new album Eternity should be in the stores and so the band took the chance to introduce two new tracks to the fans. It'll take more time to conquer the top of the melodic power metal league of Germany, but they are on their way. The sympathetic quintet had to undergo a line-up change and this probably took effect... Guitarist Cedric Dupont came from Symphorce and it always takes a while to become a unity. Eternity won't be their masterpiece, but the future looks bright. Hymn To The Brave was their last song for tonight, even if many fans would have love to hear more of them... Anyway, singer / guitarist Chris Bay didn't waste time talking, instead they played one more tune. Technical prob­lems they had to fight with, especially Ilker Ersin, but the headbangers didn't mind.
A short break and then the intro War Of Wrath called the fans' attention for the start of the show. They opened the show with Into The Storm and the fans went crazy. To their fans Blind Guardian are god-like! An unusual stage setting with several transparent and white breadths crossing create the basis for the work of the light tech who laid sparkles on it, later a window bow and then the sign of the dragon laid on. Later on he floated the stage in shades of colors and the smoke make it look mystical. Right before the 3rd track front man Hansi Kürsch welcomed the fans with "Thank you to the hundred fans who came and are no relatives or friends of ours!" It seems that Mr. Kürsch is a fan of role playing games, coz his song introduction followed that scheme when he introduced songs like Lost In The Twilight Hall, Mordred, Nightfall, Harvest Of Sorrow, Traveller In Time and The Soulforge. But he not just introduced them, he told short stories about the songs and the titles, gave the audience an image about it. One of the highlights was The Bard's Song and one of my favorites Valhalla. The fans sang along and banged their heads. Hell broke loose and so the members of the German Red Cross were busy all night. In the first rows more then just a handful of fans nearly collapsed and the Red Crossers had to pull out the exhausted fans. Thanks a lot for taking care! You - guys & girls - did an incredible job!!!
Everyone of the nearly 7,000 fans seemed to clap hands, stamp their feet and sing along with The Bard's Song. Even the ones at the seated area stood up, standing ovations like. It was obvious that the band was overwhelmed by the magic of this scenery. As a bonus they played Journey Through The Dark which wasn't on the setlist.
Beside the show in Stuttgart the band decided to record the Düsseldorf concert for a live DVD and DCD. I have my doubts that the cameras were able to ban the magic moments, but for fans it will be a great one anyway!

Anika Peterson
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

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