Thursday, 22 January 2015

Queen with Adam Lambert at the O2

I finally stumped up the big wedge to go to the O2 for this one. I wanted to see if the boy Lambert could cut the mustard live. Well to be honest, whilst he obviously ain't no Freddie, he was pretty bloody marvellous. The only thing I would say is that his voice was a bit too clean even at times. Some of their rockier songs need a touch more grit that Freddie was able to deliver to make them more manly sounding. Adam's voice lacked that slight rasp but he truly is a fantastic young showman and with time can become a true rock singer should he choose that direction. For the record the band played a packed out 20,000 crowd for two nights in a row. I attended the second night and it was hell of a lot of fun believe and well worth the money which was £60 and I was only 3 rows from the top of the highest tier. 

Adam doesn't sing the whole show by the way. Brain May sings a couple of tunes acoustically and Roger even sings These Are The Days of Our Lives. Brilliantly I might add. Overall it was worth the price although I was sitting in the Gods as you can see by the pictures below. Anyway young Mr Lambert, you proved you belong on that stage with these legends of English rock and then some! Oh and one more thing I have to mention - Brain May - what a brilliant melodic guitar player he still is. The man has fantastic feel on his leads and never ever overplays. And finally Roger Taylor's son is also in the band and covers the songs Roger can't play cause he's either singing or tired. I said and finally but I should point out the stage and light show throughout the more than 2 hour set was superb. Great laser work. Actually reminded me of a Jean Michel Jarre show. The best songs were Opener One Vision which was brilliantly rocking, Bohemian, Another one bites, I Want it All, Radio Gaga(amazing lasers in this song) and plenty more.

One Vision 
Stone Cold Crazy 
Another One Bites the Dust 
Fat Bottomed Girls 
In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited 
Seven Seas of Rhye 
Killer Queen 
I Want to Break Free 
Don't Stop Me Now 
Somebody to Love 
Love of My Life 
These Are the Days of Our Lives 
Bass Solo 
Drum Battle 
Under Pressure 
Save Me 
Who Wants to Live Forever 
Last Horizon 
(Brian May cover)
Guitar Solo 
Tie Your Mother Down 
I Want It All 
Radio Ga Ga 
Crazy Little Thing Called Love 
Bohemian Rhapsody 

We Will Rock You 
We Are the Champions 
God Save the Queen 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Sabaton with Delain and Battle Beast Live Report

What better way to start the gigging year than with the mighty Sabaton and two great support bands in tow. This gig was a huge sell out and by the time the Swedish war machine hit the stage at 9.30 or so the downstairs was rammed and the balcony was similarly full. I had probably one of the best seats in the house for this gig, being sat in the front row at the top with a fantastic view of the stage. I had been looking forward to this gig for quite a while and I can safely report report that it was a stellar night all round.

First up were the brilliant Battle Beast, a band I have grown to love since the last album. It seems the Sabaton boys love them too as they covered a song of theirs on the last album as a bonus and now they've taken them out on tour. Quite right too as they are an amazing band and they proved it tonight in their short but sweet second support slot. Lead singer and gorgeous gal Noora has a set of pipes that would be the envy of many a man let alone woman singer in power metal today. I swear that chick can belt it out like a female Halford at times! The new album Unholy Savior is a great piece of work and perhaps not quite as good as the previous self titled album as yet, as it needs a little more time to work it's magic.

In the live format they actually aired quite a few new songs and all of them went down very well including even the controversially poppy Touch in the Night which I personally love and loved even more having heard it live now. Other new songs like Far, Far Away and especially the awesome Lionheart also really blew the roof off with Noora letting out some piercing roars and screams. Black Ninja always works well with it's slow pace and amazingly powerful vocals. They are already a great live band and I hope to see them do a headline date one day in a smaller venue where they can play a bit longer and really flex their muscles. For now, they were near enough the perfect warm up act for the mighty headliners.

Direct support to the headliners were Dutch symphonic metallers Delain. I must admit the latest Delain album whilst good is not exactly earth shattering for my taste but they are a very good live unit and have a divine singer in Charlotte Wessels make no mistake. And she proved it too with a quite awesome live performance in this show. Her vocals are a mix between operatic and normal singing depending on what the song calls for but they are always pretty much note perfect. The vocal mix was very loud as well allowing her to be heard as clear as a bell over her band mates. They got a good response from the crowd but I slightly sensed that this was definitely a Sabaton kinda crowd and some of the niceties and lalala symphonic elements were slightly lost on this crowd although they did go down well with a more than warm response in the end.

However much the crowd appreciated the supporting cast, the atmosphere was fully charged as the stage was readied and everyone was pumped and ready for the Swedes. We soon reached fever pitch as the parping keyboards of The Final Countdown started indicating we were at near lift off for the war machine to lay waste.

The stage set up was pretty elaborate with a drum riser that represented the front of a panzer tank and a huge Sabaton back drop and mass lights on either side. In fact this was one of the best lit stage shows your likely to see. The band is now big enough to spend a good deal of money on their show and it showed in Monday night's performance. The Sabaton set list is pretty much set in stone although with them having so many albums a couple of fan favourites had to get the cull this time. Particularly my fave tine Cliffs of Gallipoli which didn't make it this time but I've heard that live enough times not to worry too much. Of course they were also touring their latest album so we got plenty of tunes from that including my fave Soldier of 3 Armies which was plain awesome.

All of the other Sabaton anthems were aired with majestic gusto and the usual Sabaton gleeful abandon. There was plenty of Swedish goofing around as well but I think the band were genuinely very happy to be playing to this adoring crowd and the mass chorus singalongs were constant and non stop. The constant "Sabaton!" chants that erupted in between songs seemed to take Joakim aback but I know that he knew it was coming and he played up to the crowd somewhat, as the fans love for his band is pretty much endless. There's just something about this band that other bands seem to lack which makes them unbeatable in the live arena and the fandom and adulation shows no limit. They just seem to feed off the energy of the crowd and vice versa the crowd seem to get more frenetic and enthused as the gig goes on.

The gig continued to it's conclusion with the usual rendition of Metal Crue before the band took a final bow and left with the crowd's mass cheers still ringing in their ears. Many bands are loved by their fans but I don't really know of any other band which connects to this extent with their audience and generates so much joy and happiness for the ninety minutes that they are on stage. Altogether an awesome threesome of melodic heavy metal for the 1200 strong crowd and a great way to start the new year off and the weather was bloody horrible outside but who cared eh!


Intro - The Final Countdown
The March to War
Ghost Division
To Hell and Back
Carolus Rex
Soldier of 3 Armies
Gott Mit Uns (in Swedish )
The Art of War
Far from the Fame
Resist and Bite
Smoking Snakes
(Chosen by the audience over Lion From the North)
Swedish Pagans
(Not on setlist, audience request)
(Chosen by an audience member over White Death)
Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe