First up were Crimes of Passion, or COP UK as they introduced themselves (apparently at the request of their label when they got signed). I hadn’t had chance to check these guys out before the show, so wasn’t sure what to expect. Opening bands can be a bit of a lottery – some good, some bad, some truly awful and some excellent. I’m very happy to say that C.O.P UK fall into the last category.
Their music is great – nice melodic metal with some really strong songs. Add to this the fact that they’ve got a great stage presence and you’ve got all it takes for a great set. These guys really impressed me and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
Next up were German three-piece Rage, here for the first time with their new lineup. Founder member Peter Wagner has recruited a new drummer and guitarist. They have a new album coming soon, and tonight’s set included a song from it – “My way”. They were definitely a good band, but I think they’d have been better as the opener – I felt C.O.P UK were a much better band. The set ended with a very long extended version of “Higher than the sky”, which included sections of “Sweet home Alabama” and “Holy diver”, but sadly including those covers just made the rest of the song seem weak in comparison.
Finally it was time for German metal legends Helloween. Whenever I’ve seen them before they’ve always put on a great show and tonight was no different. Their years of experience really show as they make putting on a great show look effortless. The band are always moving around as they play and engage well with the crowd. Andi Deris isn’t just a good singer, he’s a great frontman too, which is important if a band wants to impress. With the band in great form and a setlist packed with great songs then this was always going to be a great night. We get songs from the latest album and also from earlier albums including the ever popular Keeper of the seven keys parts 1 and 2 albums which contain so many Helloween classics.
The set ends with a medley that includes “Halloween” and “Keeper of the seven keys” before the band leave the stage. It’s not long before the inevitable encore. The night finally ends with “I want out” – a great end to a great night of music.
Eagle Fly Free
My God-Given Right
Waiting for the Thunder
Straight Out of Hell
Where the Rain Grows
Lost in America
Forever and One (Neverland)
Halloween / Sole Survivor / I Can / Are You Metal? / Keeper of the Seven Keys
Before the War
I Want Out