Tonights opening act are Italian band Trick or Treat who originally formed as a Helloween tribute band but soon developed their own material. Unfortunately tonights winter conditions have caused major train disruption so I only manage to catch their last few songs, but thoroughly enjoy what I hear. The band has a style that will appeal to Helloween fans as well as most power metal fans. Visually they are quite striking with their brightly coloured guitars and colourful outfits. A band definitely worth checking out.
Next up tonight is Stratovarius. They are clearly a popular choice with the fans - as the bands backdrop is hoisted into position at the back of the stage, the cheers from the crowd are almost deafening. Tonight the Finnish power metal act are without their drummer Jörg who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment, so Alex Landenburg is standing in for him on this tour with Helloween. The bands set tonight includes a new song from the forthcoming album Elysium, as well as plenty of crowd pleasing favourites - for the last few songs, all singer Timo had to do was shout out the first word of the title and the crowd completed it for him. A good solid performance from Stratovarius.
Tonight is Helloween's second UK date (the other being the previous night at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Prestatyn), and only UK headline show. The setlist is almost identical to their festival performance, but with the addition of a medley of "Keeper of the seven keys"/"The king for a thousand years"/"Halloween".
The first thing the crowd see is the enormous drumkit with 4 kickdrums - a truly massive and impressive drumkit, although there is plenty of speculation among the audience whether two of them are just for show or if all four are actually used.
When the lights go down, lights illuminate a large spiked metal object - similar to a japanese ninja throwing star, but around 2 metres high which is located just behind the drumkit (its also depicted on the tour T-shirts and on the cover of the latest album 7 sinners) This starts to spin before slowing to a halt as the intro tape ends and the band come on stage. Helloween kick off with a track from their latest album - "Are you metal?" and the crowd are clearly loving it. They quickly move into a real crowd favourite - "Eagle fly free" and then move on to "March of time" - two tracks from the keeper of the seven keys. "I'm alive" as well as a medley including "Halloween" and "Keeper of the seven keys" are all from the Keeper of the seven keys - Helloweens biggest albums to date. Two of the encore songs are also from this album - "Future world" and "Dr Stein".
For tonights performance a number of fans have come dressed as the Dr Stein character and are invited on stage for the final song, "Dr Stein".
Helloween are a band I've wanted to see for a long time but never managed to catch, and after a long wait I've managed to see them twice in two nights, and can definitely say it was worth the 20 year wait - they were absolutely fantastic live, and I look forward to their return to the UK at some point in the future.
Trick or treat photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17596
Stratovarius photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17601
Helloween photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17571
Kiss of Judas
Speed of light
Hunting high and low
Are you metal?
Eagle fly free
March of time
Where the sinners go
A handful of pain
Medley (Keeper of the seven keys/The king for a thousand years/Halloween)
I want out
Ride the sky