The Saints Marches On And Still Deliver Big Time
[Dajana] It is actually no real anniversary. On the other hand, there is no need for if you want to celebrate an iconic record and to play it in its entirety on a headliner tour. There is even less need for, when you talk about one of the most likeable and most underrated US metal bands: ARMORED SAINT, who feature in their ranks – and that needs to be said too – the best metal singer to date: John Bush. That is what this Sunday is about: ARMORED SAINT playing their legendary 1991 album Symbol Of Salvation in its entirety. Yes, we talk in superlatives, but it has to be that way!
[Psycho] No problem. It’s ARMORED SAINT. It’s ok to be crazy about them ;)
[Dajana] For such concert the whole (German) NOCTURNAL HALL crew left everything behind and hit the road towards our second home, the :: Turock :: in Essen. You know, kind of an editorial meeting… In a club, at a show… ;) I think, we didn’t do it before. Oh, we already did… at Rock Hard Festival. But that is a summer open air…
[Dajana] However. While having a dinner next door we discussed about possible support acts. Till the last minute I didn’t know who would open this concert evening. I heard rumors of a local support but didn’t hear any name. Other had but couldn’t remember…
If you ask me, there is no support needed. ARMORED SAINT can be excellently enjoyed pure and solely too ;) First, Symbol Of Salvation in its entirety, and then a sixty minutes best-of-set from all the other records = 2 hours of best entertainment :) Might be a bit exhausting for the band, but, well, in this matter I’m selfish...
:: pics :: GREYDON FIELDS ::
[Psycho] A suiting support act is no object to me but we got :: GREYDON FIELDS :: instead. Okay, they truly were local, but so utterly unnecessary. Perhaps, the guys were just super nervous and they are probably nice lads off stage but their house-husbands-that-do-music-in-their-free-time attitude was so out of place. The music GREYDON FIELDS do was like their attitude: boring 08/15 heavy metal without guts and power and sloppily played. Thank Buddha, the spook quickly was over…
[Dajana] Yep, I have to agree. Unfortunately. Musically it surely was not the worst but their live performance was boredom on a high level. I just hope the guys watched Armored Saint and took a leaf out of their book. GREYDON FIELDS played a 30 minutes set presenting their second full-length, Tunguska.
Setlist: Golem, The Key, Tunguska, Sole Survivor, Island, Walking Dead
:: pics :: ARMORED SAINT ::
[Psycho] Waiting felt long but was accompanied by Judas Priests Delivering The Go(o)ds. Nice. And we can go on that way as :: ARMORED SAINT :: kicked off with “All Guns Blazing”, warming up the crowd with one song each from the first three albums. Well, you can’t do anything wrong opening with March Of The Saint.
Eye-catcher, next to John Bush, was once again bass player Joey Vera. No one else can pull so many faces while playing so focused and being caught up in the music. This alone would already have been worth the ticket price. The best was yet come. After the stunning Chemical Euphoria, ARMORED SAINT dipped into Symbol Of Salvation, playing all 13 songs comprising the album. In between, John Bush shared stories and interesting details behind every song, its lyrics and how the album was created. It partly were lengthy speeches but Bush had such a charming way to tell us them, so it never got boring and even opened a different view on the band.
Although it was obvious, which songs would be played for the most part, it was even more thrilling, which other songs ARMORED SAINT would add to such memorable playlist and how they would perform and interpret songs they never played live before. Symbol Of Salvation is a record that is special in several aspects: It was the first release after the passing of guitarist Dave Prichard, who wrote a big part of the album but passed away before it was recorded. It is the strongest album in the band’s history and also, in my opinion, the most versatile record musically. I think it was probably the most important one in their career for the further development of the band. What can I say? The live performance was highly energetic, the band in excellent shape, playing loud and wild, raising the roof with every song. It was just brilliant!
All band members were in an electrifying mood, played with an incredibly passion and visibly from the bottom of their hearts. No need to mention their technical skills… We were granted with enthusing versions of Tribal Dance, Another Day and the title track for example. Just fkg awesome!
The expectations of the fans were high but fully met, and went even far beyond. The crowd actually went completely crazy. Again and again, the band was touched by the immense and overwhelming response. Classics such as Last Train Home were sung along full-throated and caused goose bumps. But also songs such as Burning Question (introduced as a stadium rock song) unfolded a huge live impact.
After the smashing Spineless (my secret fave on the album) that officially finished the main course of the show, a powerful and driving version of Win Hands Down followed, cleverly drawing the line from the past to the… um…recent presence (Win Hands Down was released in 2015 and already gathered dust *hint*, *hint* ;) - Dajana). From here, the band went into the “encore” part without leaving the stage or even doing a break. With the final Can U Deliver the Turock was brought down and the show eventually over. By the way, the show was close to the 2 hrs. playing time our boss demanded ;)
This was truly an exceptional and memorable concert evening. Unfortunately for fans only. More or less. I guess, ARMORED SAINT won’t become that popular anymore. Though, I say thank you to the dorks of Anthrax, who let John Bush go. That gives us the opportunity to experience the second life of ARMORED SAINT ;)
[Dajana] I was so much looking forward to this show and was squirrelly all day. ARMORED SAINT are one of my all-time faves ever since I discovered them, and it is ALWAYS a great pleasure to see them playing live. They never disappoint! It should be clear by now that the NH crew experienced one of the best live shows in 2018 here at the Turock. What a marvelous and mind-blowing show! I already had high expectations… which were nonchalantly excelled. And I finally got me a new tee. I grew out of the older ones :) Having said that, there nothing more to add. Psycho already said it all. The rest of the crew would just repeat.
[Dajana] All I can still say is: THANK YOU ARMORED SAINT for such a memorable evening and THANK YOU to Peter and the Turock team for making it possible.
Setlist: March Of The Saint, Long Before I Die, Chemical Euphoria // Reign Of Fire, Dropping Like Flies, Last Train Home, Tribal Dance, The Truth Always Hurts, Half Drawn Bridge, Another Day, Symbol Of Salvation, Hanging Judge, Warzone, Burning Question, Tainted Past, Spineless // Win Hands Down, Can U Deliver