Tonight was Blind Guardians first visit to the UK since their co-headlining performance at last years Bloodstock festival, where their performance went down well with the crowd, and judging by the number of Bloodstock T-shirts here tonight, they gained some new fans there.
Despite there being engineering works closing much of the underground, including one of the busiest lines for fans going to Shepherds Bush empire, there is a long queue stretching outside the venue and around the corner well before the doors open.
The night is kicked off by Swedish metallers Steelwing who quickly get the capacity crowd warmed up. Steelwing played this years Bloodstock festival and are back tonight to support Blind Guardian. Its only the second ever UK show for Steelwing, but they clearly go down well with the crowd making future visits highly likely.
When the lights go down before Blind Guardian come on stage, a deafening chant of "Guardian, Guardian" breaks out - there's no doubting that the fans are looking forward to tonights show. As the band come on stage the chanting is quickly replaced by cheers.
The band start the show off with Sacred Worlds - a track from their recently released new album, "At the edge of time". The new material goes down a storm with the fans, many of whom were singing along.
Tonights show is not just about showcasing the new album and the band quickly move into "Welcome to dying" - a track from their 1990 album "Tales from the twilight world".
Singer Hansi Kürsch revels in the spotlight and interacts well with the crowd between songs, and soon gets the audience singing loudly.
Tonights show features 3 songs from the new album (Sacred Worlds, A voice in the dark, Wheel of time), and tracks from most of the bands earlier albums. The fans clearly know the songs well with many of them singing along for most of the night as they enjoy a rare visit to the UK by this German band. The band too appear to be having a good time, and based on the crowd reaction tonight then hopefully they'll be visiting the UK again more often in future.
The lightshow while poor for the first few songs, quickly improves after the first 3 or 4 songs when the giant video screens at the back of the stage start to get used, projecting imagery that suits the bands songs perfectly and enhances the whole experience for the audience.
Some bands play great music, but fail to seem confident on stage, but Blind Guardian are not one of those bands - Blind Guardian blow the audience away and make it look easy.
Welcome to dying
Born in the mourning hall
Time stands still
Traveller in time
The lord of the rings
This will never end
A voice in the dark
The bard's song
Wheel of time
Blind Guardian photos - http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17031
Steelwing photos - http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17035