Well it was full on power metal night at the Underworld tonight with Falconer headlining and support from fellow Swedes, Dragonland. We could have done with one more, perhaps local power metal band as well but two great bands would have to do I guess. We haven't had the pleasure of seeing Falconer for a few years now and when I heard about this gig I snapped up a ticket pretty sharpish.
First up were Dragonland who have a very low profile here in the UK it must be said. I like their albums a lot especially the latest one Astronomy but all their albums have great euro power metal songs. Live they were a very tight unit indeed. The singer did a great job, singing very high but very clear. The rest of the band was on top form and they went down well. The best song was the title track Astronomy and finally the last song, a rip roaring cover of Neverending Story from Limahl and the kids film of the same name which everyone sang along with.
Soon enough the Falconer guys took to the stage and got ready. Even after all these years being in and around a metal band, Mattias Blad's awkwardness as a frontman isn't any less obvious. He must be the only man to front a metal band and not have a bead of sweat on his brow hardly, at the end of their set. The man really is the least metal dude ever to sing in a metal band I have ever seen, it's almost quite comical to watch his lack of movement to these energetic songs. But what a voice he has. He sang to perfection tonight. The sound levels were pretty perfect too although a bit loud but it always is in the Underworld and hence the use of home made ear plugs to take the edge off the volume which actually made the sound perfect.
The band is more or less new apart from Stefan and Mattias of course but the tightness is there for all to see. Stefan plays the melodic riffs effortlessly and the new guitarist on the other side is very adept at his riffs and solos too. But it' s all about the tunes. They have quite a catalogue to choose from but they concentrated on the two latest albums and pretty much ignored the middle albums. Of course they had to include the 'hits' from the first two records but I could actually have done with more tracks from the phenomenal debut and follow up to be honest. The best songs of the night were Upon the Grave, Mindtraveller and finally the best of all was Clarion Call with it's massive sing along. The whole of the Underworld was singing that one let me tell you.
The fairly impressive 300-400 turn-out chanted hard for an encore and Stefan returned on his own and said "Thanks but we're not preofessional enough to have and encore!" which drew a few hearty laughs and smirks. So Stefan asked which song from the main set we would like to hear again? Despite his plea, every one was chanting for Heresy in Disguise but I guess Mattias doesn't know the words and they haven't practiced it, so the band launched into an over the top blistering version of Upon the Grave again which was even better than the version in the main set. Shame that they didn't play long at all, barely an hour, but hey it was good to see them.
Falconer aren't the most impressive live band by a long chalk but they play perfectly and Dragonland were more energetic and a good back up band which made for an enjoyable night for power metal fans in London and we haven't had that many of them recently since the Sabation gig if I recall correctly. Let's hope there's another one on the horizon sometime.