Sunday, 23 September 2012

Firewind with Leaves' Eyes

Well the festival season is over and as the winter draws in the metal gigs start to pick and I've got a fair few lined up over the coming months. To break the duck after so long on the sidelines as far as gigs were concerned, I went to the Firewind/Leaves' Eyes gig last night at the Islington Academy. It was a Saturday night so it was worth the effort with no work the nest day although to be honest I've seen Firewind many times and they are a great band indeed so their live show holds no surprises for me at all.

As for Leave's Eyes well I quite liked their first couple of albums or mainly the second one should I say although the name escapes me right now, but recent efforts have not really moved me. They seem to have not quite got the song writing and catchiness to the levels that I personally like however it's always interesting to see a band live for the first time and especially the delectable Liv Kristine of course.

The band strode on at 6.45 or so for this was an early curfew night and went headlong into their midpaced heavy gothic riffs and allowed Liv to sparkle the music with her angelic vocals. It was teh first time seeing Liv in the flesh and she looked gorgeous though perhaps a little older than I imagined but I guess she's much older than I thought. Soon her massive hubby with Alex Krull, he of insanley long hair, joined his glamorously corseted wife for the beauty and the beast metal that Leaves' Eyes are best know for. Elegy was a stand out as well as the catchy To France. Liv sang beautifully and her big hubby was on hand in case any of the crowd got a bit lairy with her! They got a good response from the slightly disappointing crowd of 350 or so and left after nearly an hour or so. The venue holds 7-800 max and it was definitely only half or a little bit more full. I expect Firewind to be packing or nearly selling out but I guess their fanbase even with Gus being exposed to Ozzy fans has pretty much stayed the same with the hardcore fans being in attendance and the Ozzy fans not really giving a shit lol!

At 8.15 the stage was finally ready for Gus G and his cohorts to deliver their blistering melodic power metal as only they know how. These days Firewind are like a well oiled machine and deliver the good with ease. They sounded a bit tighter, heavier and better than I remember them on recent gigs. Apollo sounded a bit meaner live than he does in the studio although the high notes are sometimes a bit throaty. The new songs sounded very good live being heavy and crunchy with tonnes of fat guitar licks and trade-offs galore between Gus and Bob when he was not playing keys.

The band just sounded in fine fettle all night basically and delivered crowd pleasers from the previous albums interspersed with new tunes with every song being applauded and cheered to the rafters. I am the Anger is a huge highlight of and Firewind set and last night's was no different. Apollo is a rousing front man and got the crowd going with his vocal prowess and had the diehards eating out of his hand. Gus was his usual shredding machine self and a couple of classic Firewind instrumentals were played with flying fingers doing incredibly complex things on fiery fretboards!

On the second to last song of the encore Liv joined the band on stage for the song(I forget the title) they have off a few albums back that has the female duet. I've actually heard that song live when the original chick sang it when Firewind supported Dragonforce an eternity ago but it sticks in the mind all the same. Any how they haven't played the song since but since they are touring with Liv they get her up to sing it with Apollo every night. Good song too and Liv looked really beautiful in her change of corset from green to red. The last song of the night was Falling to Pieces and at just before 10pm Firewind made their farewells after yet another solid live performance. Like I said before a well oiled, slick power metal machine.


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