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Road Reports

Artist: Hammerfall
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club
Opener: EdGuy, Into Eternity
Date: 8/16/2005
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Promoter: unknown
Photos: Ken Pierce (copyright 2005 for

I was really excited about his show mostly for the chance to see EdGuy once again and Hammerfall for the first time ever. When the announcement came that Into Eternity would be on the bill as well I knew this would be a triple threat event to be reckoned with. I would have to say that this is quite possibly one of the best touring lineups that I have seen in recent months. I find that it is too often that you attend shows and you wonder how exactly the decision for the show lineup came about. B.B. King Blues Club in NYC was again to be the scene to be on and I found it quite crowded from a very early time. Always a good sign when the crowd is there for all the bands. As referenced above, Into Eternity would start the show off. They are one of those bands that have been making a lot of great moves as far as shows go of late. This Century Media band is currently among my list of favorites and the guys are awesome musicians and people at the same time. Unfortunately their set would only be 30 minutes so it would be concentrated on music from their killer album “Buried By Oblivion”. In four months time I have seen them 3 times. Each performance is excellent and for those who hear the name for the first time think of a little bit Yes, mixed with Rush and Dimmu Borgir. Progressive Black is the genre I lock them into. Guitarist Tim Roth and Singer Stu Bloch told me they will be on the bill for some upcoming shows hitting our areas as well so watch those calendars and don’t miss them. You will not regret it.

EdGuy is one of those bands that if you enjoy their music on CD, you truly need to try and see them live when they come into town. Tonight would be the second time I saw them in about a years time and the last show they headlined over Sweden’s Tad Morose (another band I hope returns to our Shores). While it was to be at the same venue this time around they would open instead of headline and as good as I find Hammerfall I was truly surprised at this move. Backstage I was able to meet with Tobias Sammett and I can tell you that he is as animated back there as he we get to see on stage. He is no actor putting on a show, his energy and level of enthusiasm is all real deal stuff. A front man like Tobias is a rare thing for while this was only the second time I saw them I noticed his voice was dead on through the whole show. He also really seems to get a kick out of the audience energy that comes from the crowd to him on the stage. He interacts and talks with them almost the entire night and while one exchange of making the audience yell numerous obscenities was funny, I would have preferred to hear one more tune instead. The band made sure to do a good amount of tracks from their latest release “Hellfire Club” which came out last year on Nuclear Blast Records. They covered a lot of my favorite tracks which are listed below and I think it will be great to see this band return for a headlining tour in support of the new CD “Super-Heroes” which is due soon.

Hammerfall was as good as I had expected them to be and their performance would compliment my receipt of their newest album on Nuclear Blast Records. With “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken” the band was sure to give us all a killer set mixed with these great tunes and a score of their classics. The band would be on point tonight and I don’t think they had ever done a headlining show in New York City so it would be ultra special. Lead singer Joacim Cans is an excellent frontman and sounds quite like the recordings he has done. I jotted down about 13 songs in their just over an hour set, and found four of the new tracks performed. I am loving the new CD and the tunes are definitely suited for live shows, they achieved a clear success with this one. The rest of the guys in the band Anders Johansson (Drums), Magnus Rosen (Bass), Oscar Dromjak (Guitar), Stefan Elmgren (Guitar) all did an amazing job and were incredibly tight all evening. Magnus is a true rock star in his performance as he climbed on the amps over the crowd a couple of times and got the audience ever more anxious. I heard from a reliable source that Yngwie Malmsteen was in attendance for a time, as drummer Anders played with him for many years. I did not get to meet him, but since I heard this from his record company it was indeed fact. I advise fans of the classic style of Power Metal to try and catch this band and to support their newest release.

This evening I would also find myself in charge of the photo detail as well since I did not have Nell around to assist me. I admit it was tricky especially since there was no barrier setup for the photographers & journalists to lurk in and do this stuff in relative peace. Instead I got right into the mix and did what I could in the support of Metal. Not to easy to navigate what with the jumping, bopping and moshing crowd.

EdGuy Set List:

1. Under The Moon
2. Navigator
3. Land Of The Miracle
4. Lavatory Love Machine
5. Babylon
6. Van Glory Opera
7. Mysteria
8. Out Of Control
9. Tears Of A Mandrake – encore
10. King Of Fools – encore

Hammerfall Set List

1. Secrets
2. Riders of the Storm
3. Renegade
4. Let the Hammer Fall
5. Hammerfall
6. Fury of the Wild
7. Glory to the Brave
8. Hammer of Justice
9. Crimson Thunder
10. Heeding the Call
11. Blood Bound
12. Templars of Steel - encore
13. Hearts on Fire - encore

Official Web site:
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Official Web site:

--Ken Pierce

Into Eternity have been touring almost nonstop for a year, and they’re not even close to being done. They’re an ideal band from a booking standpoint to open a show as they have mid-level popularity and a sound that draws from several different genres. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, however. In fact, it’s really a bad thing. Into Eternity are a band that have attempted to cross power and death metal to create an unprecedented sound – instead they end up sounding like a really generic and overdone metalcore band with some technical skill. Instrumentally they are very sound, but vocally everything goes downhill. The new vocalist, Stu Block, is a little less annoying than Chris Krall, but his voice still makes me cringe. It’s just a really high, unnecessary whine. He also does some screaming, and guitarists Tim Roth and Rob Doherty contribute lots and lots of backing vocals. All these random vocal outbursts clash with the instruments and make what could be a handful of decent songs downright terrible. To add to that, Block acted like a bit of an idiot on stage. I suppose he thought he was keeping the crowd enthralled, but for the most part everyone was a bit put off. Strange faces and hand gestures (it looked like he was trying to cast a magic spell sometimes) won’t captivate an audience – good music will. I was in a lot of anguish throughout their set, and very glad when it finished after only a half hour.

Next up were Edguy. I don’t think I’ve been this excited for something since the time when I was eight years old and my parents bought me a Super Nintendo for Christmas. From the moment I heard “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the freak shoooooooow!” the line that kicks off their latest album, Hellfire Club, I was totally captivated by Edguy. It wasn’t just me – the whole crowed seemed to love them as well. Tobias Sammet is by far the most energetic and captivating singer I’ve seen on stage. Every single song sounded amazing, and they made a lot of them a lot longer than normal. Tobi talked to us nonstop the entire time, sometimes with random nonsense, and sometimes to get us to do stuff. There were shouting contests between halves of the crowd, and random bursts of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” During Felix’s drum solo, he played along to the Star Wars theme, which was a lot of fun. The crowd energy was the highest I’ve ever seen, and the bad absolutely loved it. I’ve never seen five guys get up and have so much fun on stage. When they were finished, I wasn’t happy, until I remembered an equally mighty band, Hammerfall, was up next.

Most of the crowd was utterly exhausted from jumping around like crazy during Edguy, and I thought no one (myself included) would have any steam left at all when it came time for Hammerfall. I was, however, mistaken - somehow the might of these Swedish power metallers gave everybody a second wind. This is a band with huge stage presence. All the members gave off very powerful auras during the performance. While Edguy were all about having fun, Hammerfall were about kicking your asses with some proper heavy metal (not that Edguy didn’t do that too, of course). The crowd was a lot more into them than I expected – mosh pits and crowd surfing were rampant. In fact, I was expecting a fairly complacent crowd, and was vaguely surprised when people began pushing and shoving me from all directions. Despite having to protect certain females in my vicinity from the ruffians in the crowd (as any valiant Templar should do, Hammerfall would be proud) and holding up frenzied crowd surfers, the set was still a blast. During Glory to the Brave (which began to get very emotional at one point) the guys decided to stop the song all together and Stefan began messing around on guitar. He played some Malmsteen-ish riffs, and then broke into a Metallica song. Afterwards Joacim said something like “If we had written that song we’d be millionaires! But we will NEVER sell out like that!” The crowd cheered and I screamed “FUCK METALLICA” as loud as I could – and a fair few heard. After this they resumed the ballad, although the mood had definetley been ruined for any would-be lovers out there (Joacim said something about grabbing that special lady next to you but I couldn’t entirely make it out). In the end, they gave a stellar performance – both bands did. Despite the whole Into Eternity fiasco, I left the building feeling like I’d had the best night of my life.


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