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On stage: Demons & Wizards

- Demons&Wizards & Angel Dust - June 2000 - Krefeld (D) -
- Demons&Wizards ...and more - June 2000 - Pratteln (CH) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2000 - Balingen (D) -

Demons & Wizards, Sentenced, Dark Tranquility, Anathema & Vanden Plas
- June, 9th 2000 - Pratteln (Switzerland), Konzertfabrik Z7 -

It's always the same! If you don't want to go into the venue with the masses and wait a little longer, you'll miss the first songs of the opener! The Swedish Dark Tranquillity were well chosen to open the night. Full power from the moment they entered the stage! The quintet presented a mixture of songs from their black metal era and newer stuff which is more speed / power metal like. Perhaps it's caused by the new line-up or it might be just a progression... Anyway, the progressive rock touch the new material has, made the sound more interesting! The song mix pleased the audience and it seems that the new album will bring them more attention.... We'll see when they'll come on tour in fall!
Next another Scandinavian act and label mates from Dark Tranquillity... The Finnish Sentenced! The band of singer Ville Laihiala played some of their classics as well as new stuff from their latest release Crimson. Like Dark Tranquillity their past was more black metal like and has developed into power metal. Everyone who saw them before knew that they are talented and play live is fun for them. So they rocked the house and the fans sang along. No. 3 of tonight were Anathema. The British played a decent set, but the audience kinda cooled down. After two power metal acts the music of the English was not powerful enough to keep the fans hot. Their sound was a little boring after the powerful Scandinavian acts, but the ballads were emotional and gave me goose-bumps.
With a big bang (thanks to the pyro-technician) Demons & Wizards entered the stage. The expectations the fans had were huge and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) gave their best to satisfy the fans. Due to Hansi's unique voice and the partly Blind Guardian influenced riffing a more BG-kinda sound. Probably also through the bass player Oliver who played on the last BG tour, too. The band played their 2nd show and due to the fact that they hadn't enough time to rehearse the songs to choose from were limited. They played the whole album and as encore AC/DC's Hells Bells and Alice Cooper's School's Out. Especially the AC/DC cover pro­fit from the powerful drumming of Richard Christy (Iced Earth, Death, Control Denied).
Last, but not least the German prog power metaller of Vanden Plas entered the stage. Unfortunately many left after Demons & Wizards and missed a good show! The band from Kaiserslautern were clever enough to kick the ballads off the setlist and played more powerful tracks like Rainmaker and Far Off Grace. Vanden Plas gave every band member the possibility to show their talent in soli. Again the band of singer Andi Kuntz offered a great show and they are still underrated.
Conclusion of the event: The crew of Pratteln's Z7 did a great job and got together a pretty good billing! Thanks!

Claudia Ehrhardt


Demons&Wizards & Angel Dust
- June, 7th 2000 - Krefeld (D), Kulturfabrik -

For most fans it was a surprise to see Angel Dust opening the warm-up show of Demons & Wizards. Quiet a few fans waited patiently in front of the Kulturfabrik, fans also came from Holland and Belgium to witness the premier show of the German-American collaboration.
The Dortmund based band just released their 3rd after their comeback which is called Enlighten The Darkness. During the show singer Dirk Thurisch and his mates almost presented new material to see how it works live. And it worked out fine! Nothing more to say!
After a break the premier show of Demons & Wizards started with a big bang. Due to the fact that the band had just one day to rehearse the show wasn't perfect, but quite good. The band of Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch (just doing vocals) and Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer presented all songs from the debut album live and got a helping hand from Richard Christy (Death, Control Denied) on drums, a guitarist I don't know (sorry, but I can't know everybody!) and on bass Oliver, a German guy. Visually the band got supported by a decent light show, pyros and back drops to pose in front of. The time between the songs was a little longer as usual, but Hansi talked to the fans and made jokes, so the people didn't really recognize the little breaks. After the main part which shows the album tracks, the quintet played during the encore 3 cover versions of classical metal tracks. The guys offered Alice Cooper's School's Out, Iron Maiden's The Trooper and at least AC/DC's Hells Bells.
A decent show with a few little mistakes, but due to the circumstances it was pretty good. Beside that I think everyone was aware that this was a live premier and so nobody expected a perfect show. None except Jon Schaffer.....

Claudia Ehrhardt

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