Gotthard, Kingdragon at Gagarin 205 (2006)

Gagarin 205 (Athens, Greece)

Gotthard, Kingdragon
The mere idea for a live gig is to have a 'large' and enthusiastic crowd, […]
By Yiannis Dafopoulos
November 3, 2006

The mere idea for a live gig is to have a 'large' and enthusiastic crowd, good sound, a vivid main act and a trustworthy supporting act. With Swiss hardrockers Gotthard in their (commercial) zenith, it was a little bit disappointing to see no more than 350 faces inside the Gagarin205 club; contrary-wise, all other factors worked the best out for our entertainment that 'chilling' Friday evening.

Grigoris and I entered the club, after we got a taste of the merchandise. We grabbed a beer and started chatting about various stuff under the sound of what the DJ chose to play before the appearance of Kingdragon. Even though I was a bit ill, I was determined to enjoy one of my favorite bands performing live, Gotthard.

(Grigoris): Only close friends were aware of the band's existence prior to their setlist. Formed (and fronted) by ex-Spitfire / Raw Silk / Nightfall keyboardist George Aspiotis while surrounded by a set of proficient musicians, Kingrdargon hit the stage rather rapidly but did manage to caress our ears in the best way with their fine mix of AOR/'classic' Hard Rock music. Delivering the goods in a set consisting of six tunes out of their yet to be released debut effort, it was nice to see a fine 'onstage' behavior with Aspiotis delivering 'inner' glowing vocal melodies, full of sentiment and 'air', while sole axeman Anastasis F.'s rigorous technique did not overlap his non-stop banging manner, not even during the band's surprise Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) respected cover of this Journey classic. Backed by a good - overall - sound, we'd only wish the drumming would be a little more powerful, to co-exist with the pounding yet 'saccharine' bass lines.

All in all, a more-than-good performance by a 'bonded' band, whose debut release most of the spectators will now wait with much anticipation (grand melodies like the early Whitesnake-ish Burn It Up and the 80's Styx - meets - Saga - meets - Pyromania's Def Leppard Man Of Yesterday proved so).

(Yiannis D.): The Swiss hard rockers were ready to hit the stage with no delay. When everything was ready, the band made its appearance and the crowd seemed ready to party! Steve Lee (singer) seemed to be in a great mood, as well as all the other members. The band played many songs from their last album Lipservice (2006) like All We Are, Dream On, I Wonder, Said & Done, Nothing Left At All, Lift U Up and Anytime Anywhere.

Basically, the show was pretty much the same with the one that's contained in their live album Made In Switzerland (2006). I even noticed some phrases he also says in the album. Anyway, that is not the point. The point is that Gotthard delivered a great show which they seemed to enjoy as much as their fans. Classic songs like Sister Moon, One Life, One Soul, Firedance and Heaven could definitely not be absent from the band's setlist. Between the songs and even during the songs, Lee could not stop teasing the fans and especially the female ones. He kept on saying efharisto, which is the Greek word for thanks. Songs like Let It Be, Mountain Mama, Top Of The World, Moving On, Mighty Quinn and In The Name pleased even the most demanding fans. The whole atmosphere was more like a party with 350-400 people either headbanging or dancing! The two guitarists performed a 10-minute jam with incredible melodic solos and perfect coordination. The two classic Gotthard covers could also not be left out of the set, so Gotthard played Deep Purple's Hush and ended their set with Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.

Overall, it was a great experience to see those Swiss rockers hold the Glam_Hard Rock flag high! As long as there are bands like Gotthard out there, the Metal world will always be thirsty for their music! The only thing I have to do is thank Gotthard for this great experience! See you next time, boys! Keep on rocking hard!

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