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On stage: Running Wild

- Running Wild & Grave Digger - June 1994 - Dortmund (D) -
- Running Wild & Iron Savior - Mar. 2000 - Cologne (D) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2000 - Balingen (D) -
- Running Wild & Rebellion - Mar. 2002 - Oberhausen (D) -

Running Wild & Rebellion - March, 27th 2002 - Oberhausen (D), Turbinenhalle -

I was on the motorway to Oberhausen and was looking forward for the coming event tonight. A week ago they played in Cologne, a good show which in my opinion mainly was caused by the support act Rebellion. Headliner Running Wild got criticized for their latest release Brotherhood and it seems that Rock'n'Rolf been effected by this critics. More about that later...
The former Grave Digger members Uwe Lulis and Tomi Göttlich and the other members of Rebellion entered the stage at punctually at 20:00. They opened up and an evening of metal began... Never boring, sometimes funny, but indeed an evening of true metal with a extremely high level of entertaining. That's metal what mastermind Uwe Lulis and his pales offered and especially when you think of the dramaturgy of Shakespeare's MacBeth! During Demons Rising guitar wiz Lulis had some technical problems, but soon joined in again. Beside that the band is very professional and made the best out of it. Only the master himself seems to be a little nerv-racked through the technical problems. It was obvious that the band enjoyed playing live and with singer Michael Seifert they have a frontman who is very talented and with a little work on his performance, he soon can be one of the best frontman in the German metal scene. The five-piece offered the ca. 600 metal fans the songs from their debut and most of the fans celebrated frenetically. When the band started playing the Grave Digger tune Rebellion the fans where parted into 2 parties.... Some disliked it, some liked it... I was part of the last mentioned group! Anyway, the guys did a great show and step by step they will make their way to the top of the German true metal league.
Stage time for Germany's former no. 1 (Former no. 1? If you take a look at the ticket sales, you'll know why they are the former no. 1!) of true metal.... Running Wild! Let me travel back in time for a moment... Remember, 10 years ago it was a spectacle when Running Wild went on tour! Remember the frigate heading into the audience, the huge skull which was the drum podest and all the other special effects... Okay, what's left over? Unfortunately not that much! Surely the amount of sold tickets didn't let expect a mega show, but as usual Rolf offered a great light show and lots of pyros. Luckily he no longer changed the outfit during the set as he did on the last tour, coz it's a concert not a catwalk! So the band started with Welcome To Hell, Bad To The Bone and Lead Or Gold. Opening with a new track followed by two Running Wild classics, but no flash over.... So, Rolf asked "Are you still awake?" which tells a lot about the situation, right? So, what's wrong? Former Angel Dust guitarist Bernd Aufermann did a really good job, but the other new members were nobodies and especially guitarist Peter Pichel's performance was boring. It seems that Mr. Pichel was waiting for someone getting him an armchair... Okay, drummer Matthias Liebetruth had a lot of fun during the drum solo, even if the drum solo was a little stiff... Master Rolf himself had a few hang-overs, but act very agile most of the time. Even the leaders of metal get older! Songs like Riding The Storm and some new ones from Brotherhood and Blazon Stone the show ends. The encore incl. their hymns Prisoner Of Our Time, Purgatory and Under Jolly Roger. And so the show ends... Final resume for the metal heads... Rebellion is a very interesting opening act and a usual performance of Running Wild.
I was on my way back home after a nice evening full of metal and to be honest, who's not thinking that it might be the last tour of the Hanseatic!?! So, a good reason to go again to see them live, right?

Setlist Rebellion:

  • Disdained Fortune
  • Letters Of Blood
  • Demons Rising
  • Husbandry In Heaven
  • William Wallace
  • Evil Speaks
  • The Prophecy
  • Rebellion

Setlist Running Wild:

  • Intro
  • Welcome To Hell
  • Bad To The Bone
  • Lead Or Gold
  • Riding The Storm
  • When Time Runs Out
  • The Brotherhood
  • Soulless
  • Soulstripper
  • Blazon Stone
  • Crossfire
  • Drum solo
  • Running Blood
  • Uaschitschun
  • Unation
  • Victory
  • Prisoners Of Our Time
  • Purgatory
  • Under Jolly Roger

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


Running Wild & Iron Savior - March, 13th 2000 - Cologne (D), Live Music Hall -

It was the last day of the Running Wild tour when the Hanseatic played at Cologne's Live Music Hall. About 800 fans showed up to see the quintet. First on stage been Iron Savior, another Hamburg-based band. The band of leader Piet Sielck and his mates played a cool mixture of their repertoire incl. Atlantis Calling, For The World, Desert Plains and Iron Savior. The quartet played at all about 45 minutes and between the songs the band members joked and Piet talked to the audience. Again the band played a solid set and obviously had a lot of fun. Okay, at the end of the show it was the same old talking.... Piet told the audience that it's time to leave and let them vote for a) the band leaves the stage and the audiences shouts for more and they return or b) they stay and play 2 songs instead of 1 as encore. Like in the past the fans voted for b and so them rocked on.... When they left stage the fans in front row been blown away and needed the break as much as the band! Btw, a good introduction of now steady drummer Thomas Nack to the crowd.
The flagship of German metal entered the stage with a loud bang! The Fall Of Dorkas was the opening tune and the pyros made sure that everyone recognized that this is the beginning of a Running Wild show! Rock'n'Rolf showed why he got this name and rocked! Chris Efthimiadis on drums and four-stringer Thomas 'Bodo' Smuszinski built a perfect basis for the guitars of Rolf and Thilo Herrman. The setlist incl. songs from all the years like Little Big Horn, Under Jolly Roger, TSAR, Prisoners Of Our Time, Victory, Conquistadores and Bad To The Bone. Bombs and explosions beside a great light show made this an unforgettable show. In the middle of the set Rolf made a statement! A few weeks ago he gave an interview to a free-lancer and this interview was printed in Metal Hammer. Rolf said that he would never ever gave the interview, if he had an idea that it would be released in Metal Hammer! Every Running Wild fan knows about the differences between Rolf and the magazine, so it was no surprise. Afterwards the band rocked and seemed to be more aggressive than before! Even if Rolf caught a cold during the tour he did an amazing show! Like in the past Rolf gave his mates the chance to show their talent and drummer Chris used his chance and played an impressive solo. After 18 songs the band left the stage. It was a great night for the band and for the fans, no doubt about it!

Running Wild & Grave Digger - June, 2nd 1994 -
- Dortmund (D), Ruhr-Rock-Hallen

That evening about 700 hundred metal heads waited for Grave Digger when Chris Boltendahl and his bunch entered the stage. A few days ago the band released the mini album Symphony Of Death as successor of The Reaper, their comeback album. In 45 minutes Chris, Thomas Göttlich, Uwe Lulis and drummer Frank Ullrich (ex-Holy Moses, ex- Living Death) played a mixture of old and new tracks, focus on the new stuff like: e.g. The Reaper, Fight The Fight, Legions Of The Lost (both parts), Ruler Mr. H., Tribute To Death, Symphony Of Death, Back To The Roots and House Of Pain. The band don't let the fans without Witchhunter and Heavy Metal Breakdown. The fans shouted for old tracks and Chris just could explain that the band will play more of these tracks on the next headlining shows. What none believe this band is back and powerful as in 1985 / 1986.
After a break Running Wild jumped on the stage upon a huge skull is build up as a kind of drum riser. The current line-up is Rock'n'Rolf (voc/g), Thilo Herrmann (g, ex-Risk, ex-Faithful Breath), Thomas 'Bodo' Smuzynski (b, ex-U.D.O., ex-Darxon) and drum mercenary Jörg Michael. Not that long ago Jörg played the drums on Grave Digger's Symphony Of Death album and also on the current Running Wild album. The band started with the intro of Black Hand Inn, sure Running Wild focused on the Black Hand Inn album. The album is a non concept album with a kind of a concept. The wild ones played nearly all tracks from the current album. It seems that the fans no every single song and sing along, e.g.: Black Hand Inn, Mr. Deadhead, Soulless, The Privateer, The Phantom Of Black Hand Hill, Powder & Iron, Genesis (a 15 minute long track) and Dragonman from the new one and old songs like Chains & Leather, Gods Of Iron and Bad To The Bone. Naturally Rolf gave his pirates space to play solo parts. The drum solo was impressive, Jörg still is one of the best German drummers in the heavy metal scene. The fans got value for money, Running Wild play more than 80 minutes and present a show with visual effects and gimmicks. The boys showed wild action on stage and not just the lucky fans had been really done after the show. For the first half of 1994 this has been one of the best shows out on the road.

           ©2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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