After four long years, German power metal kings Blind Guardian made their triumphant return to the United States to tour their new album A Twist in the Myth. However, the tour is not just to publicize the new album, but also to show the American metal fans that after more than 20 years of countless hits and a brand new drummer, they can still teach audiences what the word ‘epic’ really means.
The show took place at the Worcester Palladium – a venue with majestic artwork, a bar, and a known reputation as being one of the most ‘metal’ venues this side of L.A. Upon entering the Palladium there was a definitive charge surrounding the place, an anticipation of a piece of American metal history colliding with gods – the calm before the storm. Guardian came in swinging with their hit “Into the Storm” to supercharge the crowd and followed it up with “Born In a Mourning Hall” – a true sing-a-long.
Before long, the pit had started moshing to the overall explosive sound, excited to damage their bodies as well as their ears. The driving riffs complemented Hansi Kürsch’s vocals creating the melodic balance that everyone in the pit had been waiting for. The chaos and crowd surfing kept up as Guardian pulled hit after legendary hit out of their repertoire, leaving little dead air between songs. For a band that is known throughout the metal world as one to layer their tracks multiple times, they replicated the album versions of their songs to a remarkable perfection, then took it a step beyond, doubling and redoubling their energy. One of the biggest crowd pleasers, ‘Valhalla’ had fans’ energy shaking the Palladium.
Kürsch and guitarists Marcus Siepen and André Olbrich demonstrated long years of professional stage experience, involving and playing to the audience (though not much encouragement was needed to get people clapping and singing along). At one point Kursh cautioned fans about being too energetic (obviously a joke). The band loved doing their job and their chemistry extended past their musicianship.
To keep the adrenaline going, Blind Guardian only performed one acoustic hit during their main set. Towards the end of the show, with the feeling that the power and magic of the night was coming to a close, both the band and fans readied themselves for an unforgettable three-song encore. After waiting until the crowd’s anticipation peaked, the band charged back on stage firing into their power hit “Imaginations From the Other Side.”
They followed the thunder up with their most famous acoustic hit, “Bard’s Song,” an expectation at any Guardian show. Blind Guardian, as true metal warriors, reserved their most powerful and epic song for their finale: “Mirror Mirror.” The raw captivation the band had over the screaming, raging fans was enough to shock the body into shivers; a truly unforgettable night.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
One of the best shows musically and visually. Definitely a polished metal band and due to rare US tours, be sure to catch them if you can.