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On stage: Helloween

- Helloween, Rage & Mob Rules - Nov. 2003 - Cologne (D) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2004 - Wacken (D) -
- W.O.A. - Aug. 2011 - Wacken (D) -

Helloween, Rage & Mob Rules
- Nov., 27th 2003 - Cologne (Germany), Live Music Hall -

A rainy November night and a few hundred fans came to Cologne to see German power metal, they came to see Helloween and Rage. Both bands are around for almost 20 years and for some it was a surprise that there was another German band on the road with them - Mob Rules. It seems that something is against me seeing them, coz again I missed most of their set. In the late afternoon I did an interview with Peavy - mastermind of Rage - and then left for a coffee. When the doors of the Live Music Hall opened I learnt that I was on the guest list, but not with a photo pass. It took awhile to sort things out and thanks to the local crew who were patient and tried to support. When I finally got in I heard the last notes of a song - can't identify it with just 30 sec. time - and then they started with their last song Rain Song which is from their debut album Savage Land.
After a break the multinational trio Rage entered the stage with War Of Worlds from their latest release Soundchaser. After another new one the track Send By The Devil followed. Fans were waiting for Rage and so soon they shouted for certain songs and sang along loud. After Going Down guitarist Victor Smolski showed his abilities during an extended guitar solo. Then it was time for the title track of their current album - Soundchaser. A track from Unity followed - Set This World On Fire... And the trio set this place on fire! From the first notes fans were shouting for Mike Terrana, demanding a drum solo. Usually the drummer is always a little bit in the background, but here he's as important for the band as anybody else, even for the fans. And so Mr. T. had the chance to play a short, powerful drum solo which included more then just metal elements. The last track of the regular set was their hit Don't Fear The Winter and it seemed that everybody in the venue was singing along. Peavy and his mates finished their set with Higher Then The Sky - another Rage classic.
Fans impatiently waited for the headliner and it seemed that the break took for ages. Then the Hanseatic band Helloween entered the stage with a classic - with Starlight! Another old one was presented by the latest line-up, guitarist Michael Weikath and his band presented Murderer, another classic from the Hansen-era. It was like a travel through the band history, coz next was the opus Keeper Of The Seven Keys. Bassist Markus Großkopf was always in motion and was beside singer Andi Deris the man in motion. Future World followed. New guitarist Sascha known from his work with Free­dom Call seemed to be focused on his guitar parts, guess he'll act more in future when he's more familiar playing with Helloween. Continuing their trip they offered Eagle Fly Free and Hey Lord. Two more - incl. Open Your Live - and a short look back to their past with Dr. Stein followed. With Power they finished their set. The very last song tonight was again How Many Tears. The new line-up incl. drummer Stefan Schwarzmann presented a tight set, even if fans complaint that they didn't play more new songs, from Rabbit Don't Come Easy they just presented Open Your Live, Sun For The World and Back Against The Wall. Others will still ask for more old songs... Well, personally I don't like to hear old Helloween classics sung by Andi Deris, even if he's doing a great job on the new material. Guess it's just because I saw them in their early days - the Hansen-era - as well as several times with Michael Kiske and I'm still into the old albums. But the majority of fans were happy with the songs and the performance and left happily after an almost 2 hrs. long set.
At least this tour proofed that their a still a lot of fans who want to see power metal in it's different shades and that the 'old' bands are also attractive to young fans. And I can just recommend to see Rage during their headlining shows in January 2004, never so them in a better shape!

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-20101 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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