Blind Guardian at Vosselaar (2002)

Vosselaar (Vosselaar, Belgium)

Blind Guardian
It's been about 3 years since Blind Guardian's last live performance, so I was quite […]
By David Kaluza
April 13, 2002

It's been about 3 years since Blind Guardian's last live performance, so I was quite curious to see how they would hold up live after all that time. The show tonight, as well as the show last night in The Netherlands were actually try-outs for the real tour which starts on the 25th of April.
To my own surprise the venue was actually sold out, which didn't happen last time they played down here (98, same venue), since for some reason, a lot of German bands aren't very popular in Belgium. The place can only hold about 500 people at maximum, but still, it says something for the growing popularity of the band if you can sell out a show without any actual promotion (no radio, ads or anything).
The band opened with the intro of their previous album (War Of Wrath and Into The Storm) and the crowd immediately went wild, which also was quite a surprise since last time they played here, there wasn't really a lot of reaction, save for a handful of die-hard fans. This was completely different tonight, and I can safely say that the majority of the crowd sang, clapped, headbanged (hell there even was a mosh-pit and the occasional crowd-surfer) like their lives depended upon it. What followed was an hour and forty-five minutes of classics, with an occasional surprise such as Run For The Night(!!) (which got one of the best reactions out of the audience), and a handful of new songs thrown in as well of which The Soulforged was the most notable, this one really has everything to become a new classic in no-time. It has to be said though that the band messed up at one small point during the gig, namely with Punishment Divine, but also managed to correct the mistake really quickly which once again showed their class (and they could even laugh about it afterwards, which made them come across even more sympathic).
The band did a superb performance, proving once again that they are excellent performers and first-class musicians, with a special notion to Thomen, who, despite having had surgery at the end of last year, showed us that he is absolutely one of the best drummers you'll ever hear and see live, the guy is just amazing. Another thing which really did show was that it seems as if Hansi is really a lot more comfortable these days with his role of frontman as opposed to the tour for Nightfall..., on which he let Sieges Even bassist Oliver Holzwarth take over his role as a bass-player for the first time. (who is an excellent musician btw, and a very nice guy to boot, just like the rest of the band).
All in all this was an excellent gig, and since this was just a warming up it can be safe to say that the upcoming tour will absolutely blow you away. The only real nag I had was the fact that some of my personal favorites like Somewhere Far Beyond, The Last Candle, Sadly Sings Destiny & Maiden & The Minstrel Knight were not played, but then again, you can't please everyone and with such an amount of excellent songs to choose from it really doesn't matter that much anyway. Superb !!

Set list for tonight: War Of Wrath (intro)_ Into The Storm / Welcome To Dying / Nightfall / Under The Ice / The Bard's Song / The Script For My Requiem / Soulforged / Mordred's Song / Run For The Night / Time Stands Still / Punishment Divine / Valhalla / Imaginations From The Other Side / Lost In The Twilight Hall / A Past And Future Secret / Mirror Mirror.

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