First we had two support bands to get through and by heck they were both really good. But I already knew that was going to be the case anyway. First up were melodic power/thrashers Dendera who I saw last year and whose album Killing Floor is a really cool classic metal album. The singer has a serious set of pipes on him that's for sure and lets out some awesome wails here and there. The band plays a galloping form of power and thrash mix. Sometimes they remind me of Maiden of course and then other times a mix between Metallica and Megadeth. Their songwriting is really solid with awesome choruses like Senlac Hill which happens to be their best tune. They also aired a brand new song called In High Tide which bodes very well for their next album. A great start for those who bothered to come early enough which would only have been about 50 or so.
Next up were Tainted Nation which feels like a modern take on Eden's Curse and is basically an offshoot band of ex Curse drummer Pete Newdeck. Their album which came out last year now was easily one of my favourite albums from last year. It rocked so hard and had hummable choruses galore but still had an edge and heaviness that took it away from the 80s or classic AOR scene. The band overcame some technical gremlins with Pete's mic last night to deliver a fantastic and sharp 40 minute set and got a great response from the filled out Sunday night crowd. Most of the album was aired in their allotted time although oddly enough my fave track Hell is a Lie managed to escape their memory hehe and they never played it. What we did get was a real rock and roll show with Pete prancing round the stage like a total loon at times. Sure his look is rather odd for a band fronting a classic albeit modern rock band but the man's enthusiasm is infectious and you're soon taken along for the ride with his raucous delivery and boisterous stage antics. Tainted Nation really rocked the house out and I really look forward to hearing their next album.
Finally at 9.20 sharp it was time to get my first live dose of the 'Curse and boy what a performance they put on. New singer Nikola Mijic is almost perfect for the band and is a real livewire around the stage. He gets the crowd geed up when necessary and then lets his vocals cut loose when the song calls for it. They played a sprinkling of songs from all their albums with all tried and tested favourites present and correct. I loved the songs from Trinity best but I also loved the new songs. There wasn't really a lull anywhere in their set to be found. Lefty guitarist Thorsten pulls out some awesome melodic riffs and then shreds his shiny white axe when he gets his solo spot. Bassist Paul Logue and new drummer John Clelland hold it all together with a thumping percussive backing whilst keyboardist Steve Williams provides ample colour and shade to the proceedings. Although I must admit it was sometimes hard to hear him over the PA's guitar and bass heavy sound mix.
The band played for a long time and definitely gave the 200 strong crowd their money's worth that's for sure and it was close to 11pm before their set ended. I must mention two guest singers on stage. Pete Newdeck appeared to sing a very energetic number with Nikola as did Doogie White who sang LaBrie's parts in No Holy Man which was actually one of the songs of the night. During Evil and Divine the beautiful blond temptress that appears in the video actually came on stage and did her bit which was a nice touch to add a little drama to that song as in the video. The live Eden's Curse experience was definitely a favourable one with the band on tip top form throughout and with a great and energetic front man who didn't put a single foot wrong. I must admit I had doubts about the new guy but his voice is perfectly suited to the band and hopefully he will stay in the band a long time now.
What a fantastic night of melodic metal with three great bands for a bargain price and to top it all off we have the day off afterwards. Now that can't be bad can it!