To celebrate the release of their new album Dragonforce have decided to do a special album release show (6 weeks before the release date), and rather than playing the size of venue they usually play, the show is at the Black Heart in Camden, a small venue that only holds around 100 people (in theory if you got rid of the merch stand then the capacity is 150, but 100 is realistic).
With no support, Dragonforce were due on at 8.30, but fans were queuing outside a long time before then, and by the time the band hit the stage the venue was packed and the temperatures were climbing fast.
It’s not just the venue that’s smaller than the band are used to – the stage is tiny, and that may be the reason why they dispense with keyboards tonight (there simply wouldn’t be space to put them on stage), but even on the cramped stage the band still find time to move around constantly, each taking turns on either side of the stage and centre stage. I’ve got to say, hearing them without the keyboards sounded great, possibly better than normal, certainly a more raw metal sound than normal.
The band are clearly in good spirits laughing and joking with the crowd, who can hear every word the band say to each other as there’s no gap between stage and crowd – the fans are just inches in front of the band. At one point someone in the crowd shouts out “Play some manowar”, so after a momentary discussion they do just that and play a short bit of Manowar, and as they stop playing the crowd carry on singing, leading Herman to jokingly complain that they’re not supposed to like Manowar more than Dragonforce.
It’s a great set, and I really don’t know how the band managed it – it was ridiculously hot and sweaty in the crowd, so how they managed to cope on stage with the added heat of the stage lights, I really don’t know, but kudos to them – they not only coped but still put in their typically high energy performances.
It’s not often you get to see a band like Dragonforce in such a tiny venue and despite the heat it was definitely a great night to remember.