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Helloween – Brixton academy, London – 14th November 2017

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Tonight’s Helloween gig was due to be something special. It’s part of their Pumpkins reunited tour which sees the current Helloween lineup joined by former members Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske. For many fans this was their first chance to see Helloween with these two members. There was certainly a lot of excitement ahead of the gig even from the often jaded press who are largely of an age to have grown up listening to the classic Helloween albums such as Keeper of the seven keys, with Michael Kiske on vocals. The increased interest means the band are playign Brixton academy instead of The Forum where they’ve played on their last few visits to London, and while the venue isn’t sold out but it’s certainly busy.

With so much excitement and anticipation ahead of the gig, could they really live up to expectations? Well the short answer is that they didn’t just meet expectations, they exceeded them – this was the best Helloween show I’ve seen and has to be one of my top gigs of the year.

The show was brilliantly structured, starting off with both Andi Derris and Michael Kiske performing together, then as the show went on, each of them had several songs where they were the only one on vocals, Kai Hansen took a turn on vocals (he was of course the original vocalist), and for some then Kiske and Derris teamed up again.

During regular short breaks as the band or singers went off stage, we got Helloween animations on the screen at the back of the stage which worked surprisingly well.

While I really enjoy seeing Helloween with Andi Derris on vocals and think he’s a great frontman for the band, I grew up listening to Kiske era Helloween, so hearing those songs live with him on vocals was a really special experience. Hearing some of the songs with both of them together on vocals – that was something I’d never expected ever to hear so that just made the night even more special.

This was an incredible show – I’d got high expectations before the show and they easily exceeded them – a truly special night.

Setlist:

Halloween (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
Dr. Stein (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
I’m Alive (with Michael Kiske)
If I Could Fly (with Andi Deris)
Are You Metal? (with Andi Deris)
Kids of the Century (with Michael Kiske)
Waiting for the Thunder (with Andi Deris)
Perfect Gentleman (with Andi Deris)
Starlight / Ride the Sky / Judas (with Kai Hansen)
Heavy Metal (Is the Law) (with Kai Hansen)
Forever and One (Neverland) (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
A Tale That Wasn’t Right (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
I Can (with Andi Deris)
Drum Solo (Dani Löble & Ingo ‘battle’)
Livin’ Ain’t No Crime (with Michael Kiske) (partial)
A Little Time (with Michael Kiske)
Why? (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)
Sole Survivor (with Andi Deris)
Power (with Andi Deris)
How Many Tears (with Andi Deris & Kai Hansen)

Encore:
Eagle Fly Free (with Michael Kiske)
Keeper of the Seven Keys (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)

Encore 2:
Future World (with Michael Kiske)
I Want Out (with Michael Kiske & Andi Deris)

Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep – I’ve got coffee.


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