<< archive


2011-02-26 DE – Oberhausen - Turbinenhalle

[Dajana] After having experienced the Neckbreaker Tour in January, Austrians tour smithy Rock The Nation has sent out its second trek, the POWER OF METAL TOUR 2011, with an explosive line-up, where especially PSYCHOTIC WALTZ stands out ;)

:: pics ::

[Dajana] Though, the trek did not get off the grid properly. The first tour day and gig was done without merchandise and NEVERMORE, its singer got lost anywhere on the way over to Stuttgart. As for the second day here in Oberhausen, everything was complete ;)
Entering the Turbinenhalle they seemingly went on to renovate, making the hall even bigger but for the tonight’s show the hall was pretty oversized. Never mind! No scramble and more room for us to move ;) Even the token-counter was not that heavily frequented. I remember long queues at other shows… The NH crew emerges as the proven entity consisting of new entry Terry, old… erm... former and still every now and then writer BRT and myself *lol*
[BRT] Hey listen… as for just looking over the edge of the table you have quite a big mouth ;)
[Dajana] :P

[Dajana] I’m not really in when Finnish :: THAUROROD :: enter the stage. The band with the high singer wear ;) Anyway, musically we get bombastic, better said symphonic Power Metal with sickly-sweet keyboard lines. Very talented musicians, great musicianship, as always when a band comes from Scandinavia, but too stereotype, too close to the known idols. How to do it right Symphony X gonna prove a little later.
[BRT] Euro-Speed-Power Metal (or whatever) is not my cup of tea. Musically the performance was ok; technically the guys are good, but generally exchangeable with any other band from this genre. And there are many of them out there. Brought us quickly to the bar…

[Dajana] Danish metal merchants :: MERCENARY :: right after were surprisingly fresh. At first. They guys not only present their brand new album Metamorphosis here, they also - much as the title implies - introduce their new line-up. And I have to confess, MERCENARY are only a shadow of their former self. I got in touch to their 11th Dreams times and liked them a lot. Many things has changed in the meantime regarding sound and expression and I’m not too sad having lost sight of them…
[BRT] To make it short with Fenriz’ (Darkthrone) words: “Modern Metal, I don’t give a fuck...” Boring songs and singing that was ok. That’s all. Again exchangeable and without any recognition value. Um… beer and bar?
Setlist: Into The Sea Of Dark Desires, World Hate Center, The Endless Fall, Through The Eyes Of The Devil, In A River Of Madness, The Follower, In Bloodred Shades, Firesoul

[Dajana] Now let’s talk about the secret headliner of the day :: PSYCHOTIC WALTZ :: I guess it's not exaggerated to say that most of the fans were here just to see them. Everything else was just a more or less nice side dish. Founded back in 1988 the band split up hardly 10 years later with 4 great records under their belt. The legendary status since the debut A Social Grace has remained. 14 years later the original line-up (Buddy Lackey, Brian McAlpin, Dan Rock, Ward Evans, Norm Leggio) gets together again, practices a little bit and embarks on the POWER OF METAL TOUR. Now to find the perfect (short) setlist to please everybody is… impossible. I recommend: special shows playing all 4 albums in its entirety! So! As you can see on the setlist, the show was way too short.
The first incredibly moving moment appears when guitarist Brian McAlpin rolls onto stage during the intro/opener Ashes. He’s wheelchair-bound since a terrible car crash but that does not stop him playing guitar, playing his ass off. I tell you I was deeply touched. After Into The Everflow some technical problems occur seeing singer Buddy Lackey offering us his second passion to be a stand-up comedian. He jokes and makes the crowd laughing. He made me cry. At Morbid my self-control is broken and I burst into tears. And I can’t stop till the last tone of Nothing is gone. PSYCHOTIC WALTZ are so… unique, haunting, and so amazing. I run out of words. For two decades now they accompany me with their music. My first PSYCHOTIC WALTZ show (and their very first tour) was on July 21 1991. So tonight’s show marks somewhat of my 20th PSYCHOTIC WALTZ live anniversary, something that’s ok to cry about. Thank you for this stunning show! Thank you that you are back. And I’m so much looking forward to a new album ;)
[Terry] Yes, I’d like to agree, although it is my very first PSYCHOTIC WALTZ show and I’m still not familiar with the entire work of this band. There was definitely something in the air and I found myself deeply stirred, partly mesmerized and headbanging while listening to the unique sound of the Cali guys. So I could not resist thanking Brian McAlpin afterwards, who spent time with the fans (as Dan Rock and Buddy Lackey did too) for this awesome concert and to show some respect. Touring is already exhausting, but doing so in a wheelchair drains even more.
[BRT] 20 years after that mentioned show in 1991(2 ½ hrs of a genius show with just one album released, thereof 5 cover versions of the Beatles, Metallica, Hendrix, Black Sabbath… etc.) and one gig at Dynamo Open Air 1991 (oh yeah, was there too – Dajana) I now face my third PSYCHOTIC WALTZ concert. To make it short: it was amazing, grandiose, emotional and way too short. My mate Roman, who attended the final tour in 1997 is likewise thrilled. But the sound still needs improvement. And of course, the short show made me miss some of the songs I would have loved to hear, such as Butterfly and Out Of Mind for example. Apart from that the band was in best mood and enjoyed playing live. I can hardly await the day a new album gets released, followed by a headliner tour (please, please, please do me that favor). Tonight PSYCHOTIC WALTZ play noncompetitive. Basta!
P.S. There were plumes of special smoke ware significantly to smell ;)
Setlist: Ashes, Spiral Tower, Haze One, Into The Everflow, Morbid, Cold, Halo Of Thorns, Nothing

[Dajana] After all this sentimentality we got something… crispy ;) :: SYMPHONY X :: I already saw supporting Dream Theater back then and was totally stoked. A feeling that got proven and deepened tonight. SYMPHONY X play slightly progressive energetic Power Metal with great melodies, decent keyboards and gets fronted by a singer that knows how to electrify the audience. Russell Allen is unbelievable. Sort of cuddly, seriously ;) He acts so lively, spreading good mood, is dancing and jumping without any touch of being kitschy or over the top. And his band does not fall any short. Just a great performance! Between the songs from the 1997 classic Paradise Lost and older material we also got to hear two brand new songs from the upcoming album Iconoclast, out in fall 2011. Expect something great!
[Terry] Yes, I was much looking forward to this show too. Another live premiere to me. Ranging in the fields between Power and Progressive Metal SYMPHONY X is the best band for me. And Russell Allen is undoubted the best singer of that scene. I really liked both new songs, especially Innocence. Be prepared for the new record! As said, the band focused on the five year old record Paradise Lost, for this I wish they would have played the one or the other track. It’s anyway debatable if it makes sense to let such great (and hardly ever touring) bands play in support of others for such a short time. Two bands less tonight and more playing time for the others is my recommendation ;)
[Dajana] Yep, I agree. Besides, SYMPHONY X was actually announced as the headliner of this tour. I don’t know what happened, they would have been definitely worth it to fill the headliner slot…
Setlist: Of Sins And Shadows, Domination, The Serpent’s Kiss, Innocence, Paradise Lost, Inferno (Unleash The Fire), Smoke And Mirrors, Dehumanized, Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)

[Dajana] Next up the headliner, here we go. What we got see and hear from :: NEVERMORE :: was a public disgrace. Especially of singer Warrel Dane. I have no idea what happened there. Was he drunk? Stoned? Both? Or maybe sick? Dunno. He was babbling something no one understood, his voice was bloody awful, while he partly uncontrolled stumbled over the stage. After the first three songs it got a little bit better, but all in all it was terrible to see him acting like that. Besides, the sound was pants, downright outrageous. Songs like The River Dragon Has Come and Narcosynthesis (some of my faves) were just a disaster. Methinks the sound guy tried to cover the bad performance with loudness. Many people left with shaking heads, some downright angry and I guess the sound engineer was in mortal danger. Maybe they should have cancelled tonight’s show too. Though, I quietly would like to take my hat off to them. NEVERMORE played the entire show. They could have cut the show short and leave. They did not. But I wish, I had not seen this one tonight.
[Terry] To call it disgrace goes too far. In fact, NEVERMORE often have sound problems during their shows. As of tonight, I think I hardly ever experienced such bad sound at any other concert. Apart from Warrel the band did the best to play a good show. Jeff Loomis was headbanging like the devil and guitarist Atila Vörös made the best of a bad job. Every now and then their play did not match but maybe they had a terrible monitor sound too. Altogether I agree with Dajana, the show was a disaster, and the boring setlist gave the rest.
Setlist: Moonrise (Through Mirrors Of Death), The Termination Proclamation, Your Poison Throne, Born, The Heart Collector, Emptiness Unobstructed, The River Dragon Has Come, This Godless Endeavor, Narcosynthesis, Enemies Of Reality

[Dajana] Let’s sum up: what’s left of the big POWER OF METAL TOUR 2011? A roller coaster of emotions. Flying high one minute (SYMPHONY X), down the next (NEVERMORE) and emotional deeply touched in between (PSYCHOTIC WALTZ). A really great concert evening it was not!
[BRT] Apart from that, the sound was disastrous through the entire evening as soon as one was 10 m away from the stage, what killed every fun I might have had at SYMPHONY X and NEVERMORE. Go for volume did not work, only for the beer bar…
[Terry] Apart from NEVERMORE and the unspectacular two support bands it was a nice evening. The location was too big and the sound (once again) a mistake. Well, to be honest, due to the circumstances there was never sparkling electricity and mood in the air…


story © Dajana, Julian & BRT • pics © Dajana