Gamma Ray, Freedom Call and more at Fuzz Club (2010)

Fuzz Club (Athens, Greece)

Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, Secret Sphere
There is absolutely no space for doubts that gigs held in Greece face the grave […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
February 20, 2010

There is absolutely no space for doubts that gigs held in Greece face the grave danger of not attracting a decent number of metalheads. This has been going on the last five years or so and has 'downsized' the concerts into small and inadequate venues. But there are always exceptions and GAMMA RAY is one of them. Kai Hansen happens to enjoy the unconditional love of the Greek metalheads who have managed -most of them- to look past his legendary HELLOWEEN days and have been enjoying the work under the GAMMA RAY moniker. So, every time the Rays come to Greece they face almost full venues.

The new edition of the Fuzz Club has little to do with its previous form. It has a concert-venue structure, is located almost near the town's center and is close to public means of transport. From the inside, one can enjoy the large stage and the different floor levels that give a good view of the performing band.

Another pleasant surprise for the METAL TEMPLE crew was the fact that the timetable was followed 100%. And this, is our excuse for not showing up on time to watch the first act SECRET SPHERE. Of course, working late on a Friday night has also its toll. So, while looking around the venue the stage crew was moving fast to prepare the stage for FREEDOM CALL. And as a second surprise the German act entered the Athenian stage right in time. "We Are One" was the first song and despite the lukewarm response from the Greek audience FREEDOM CALL seemed to be in a top mood and started their show having a big smile on their faces. Actually, this is what I respect with Power Metal bands and especially those from Germany. Almost all the bands coming from this genre are perfect to watch on stage and not that good on the CD. I mean, this type of Metal needs the visual stimulation to be enjoyed to the maximum. In any other case the music by itself seems to be repeating itself following all the possible cliches the Power Metal genre possesses. "Thunder God" was the first tune from the brand new album "Legend Of The Shadowking" and here, the crowd looked that it was starting to warm up and move a little bit. I tell you, you have to be such a headstrong person to manage not be carried away by this type of energy. Ok, the sing-along parts are something more than predictable but on the other hand they give you a reason to just have a good time. And so we did; FREEDOM CALL threw "Tears Of Babylon" and "Merlin - Legend Of The Past" from the new album and left the stage after "Freedom Call" earning an enthusiastic applaud by the majority of the crowd. Two thumbs up for their honest effort to be a very good opening act.

The crowd was getting bigger and by the time the lights went out and the intro "Welcome" preambled GAMMA RAY, Fuzz Club looked almost full. "Gardens Of The Sinner" opened their setlist and we were blasted by the very good sound. During FREEDOM CALL there were some problems while the volume was not that high. But those did not apply for the headliners who had also the lights with them. Indeed, the light show was very good and combined with the banner -showing the new album artwork- in the back created a really cool visual effect. The Greeks did not waste time and joined voices with Kai who looked -as always- that he was enjoying his time on stage. The mood was moving upwards in terms of recreation and by the time "No Need To Cry" hit us everyone was singing. It is true that the new tracks did not receive the maximum reaction but when you have "The Saviour", "Abyss Of The Void"
and "Rebellion In Dreamland" things cannot but to get even better. This band looked solid on stage and having rehearsed some basic moves kept the performance interesting during the entire setlist. Kai and Henjo are the ideal guitar duo and watching them exchanging leading and rhythm guitar roles was simply amazing.

Somewhere in the middle of the setlist we had to watch Daniel's drum solo. I have to confess that I do not like solos. Apart from the excellent technique the drummer has to show some creativity to earn my attention. Daniel managed to do that by using pre-recorded backing tracks combining classic music and the famous Offenbach's can can tune. The band returned and did -as expected- the title track of the album 'forcing' everyone to sing these cliche lyrics that we all love to hear and sing. The following tracks were from the excellent "Land Of The Free" album that brought as in front of the unique encore of this concert. While everyone was screaming for "Future World" GAMMA RAY entered with "I Want Out" that received the same reaction the former song would.

After this track something special took place; out of the blue part of the crowd started shouting for "Ride The Sky". Kai with an honest smile on his face rhetorically asked the metalheads if they wanted to listen to this song. After getting a loud and affirmative answer he turned towards the rest of the band to see what they were thinking. As he explained this was not included in the rehearsals for this tour so, it could be difficult to play. Actually Henjo looked so anxious that he wouldn't remember the song that started practicing the main riff while Kai was telling jokes and poke him about being nervous. So, we had the chance to listen once again this classic track where the riffs are simple breaking bones. As expected the Greek crowd went bananas and kept singing all the lyrics. This was so special that could make a bad live look nice! After getting another appreciation applaud Kai said that the following track would be the last one and hit us with "Send Me A Sign". Here the concert reached a climax and raised a couple of degrees the indoor temperature of the club.

To wrap this up I have to say that it was a type of concerts that I have missed. Tight schedule with bands that want to have a good time and entertain everyone who has to come to the gig. GAMMA RAY seem to be in a constant youth and provide on the stage something that many new bands would kill to have! I am glad that they did not do "Future World" and, if you don't mind my saying, they should stop using HELLOWEEN songs taking into account their huge back catalogue. The only thing they could do would be to play 'rare live' HELLOWEEN tracks like "Starlight", "How Many Tears"...

01. "Gardens Of The Sinner"
02. "New World Order"
03. "Empathy"
04. "Mother Angel"
05. "Fight"
06. "Deadlands"
07. "No Need To Cry"
08. "The Saviour" / "Abyss Of The Void"
09. "Armageddon"
10. Drum solo
11. "To The Metal"
12. "Rebellion In Dreamland"
13. "Man On A Mission"


14. "I Want Out"
15. "Ride The Sky"
16. "Send Me A Sign"

(photos by the Space Eater)



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