German rock/metal legend Kai Hansen releases a live album later this month. From Helloween to Gamma Ray and Unisonic, Kai Hansen has been a big part of the German (and international) music scene for over thirty years (hence the XXX title of his recent studio album).
Last year at Wacken he played a one-off special show with some guest musicians. He’s no strangeer to Wacken having first played there with his band Gamma Ray in 1994, back when the festival was a tiny one, and he’s been back several times seeing it grow to the giant festival it is today. His close relationship with the festival was visible when he released the XXX album – he donated his advance for it to the Wacken foundation (A foundation formed eight years ago by the festival organisers that helps support young hard rock and heavy metal bands).
It’s slightly odd as this live album, released 9 months after the Kai Hansen and friends studio album, XXX, was actually recorded several months before the release of XXX.
As you’d expect, the live show and studio albums have a very similar track listing, with almost all the songs on the studio album also being in the live show. There are differences though – 2 of the songs on the album didn’t make it into the live show, and the live show includes some songs not on the album – four covers of Helloween songs (“Ride the sky”, “I want out” “”Save us” and “Future world”.
For the Wacken show Kai Hansen’s band was Alex Dietz (Heaven shall burn) on bass, Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray) on drums, Corvin Bahn (Crystal breed) on keyboards, Eike Freese (Dark age) on guitar, plus two backing singers – Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) and Clementine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis).
A benefit of the special show being at Wacken is that the audio and video is always great – a lot of bands have released live DVDs or albums from their Wacken sets. As always with Wacken shows, the sound is spot on, and the performance was filmed with multiple cameras and the picture quality is excellent.
It’s a great performance with a good strong setlist. The new songs sit comfortably alongside the Helloween classics, and the band perform well together.
“Thank you Wacken” is available on Vinyl, MP3 download, CD+DVD or CD+BluRay. I really like the fact you get a CD and DVD or BluRay – you can enjoy watching the DVD or BluRay, but it’s not always convenient to set aside an hour or so to watch a concert, so the CD lets you enjoy the music at other times too.
A great release for fans of Helloween, Gamma Ray, Unisonic or Kai Hansen.
“Thank you Wacken” will be released on 23rd June 2017 via earMUSIC.
1. Born free
2. Ride the sky
3. Contract song
4. Victim of fate
5. Enemies of fun
6. Fire and ice
7. Burning bridges
8. Follow the sun
9. I want out
10. Future world
11. All or nothing
12. Save us