Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Gates Are Open, Again

On the Wacken post I made not that long ago, I said I would likely post updates as new bands get announced assuming that I wanted to see them. Well there have been a few announcements which have pleased me. In alphabetical order they are:

Bullet – This band seem very much like Airbourne but there is some definite hair metal influences here. Anyway, they’re pretty good.

Hämatom – German thrash metal. Ok so there are other thrash metal bands at this festival but one more won’t hurt. I really like what I hear with this band.

Kataklysm – I don’t know why I haven’t seen this band live before. I know there have been many chances for me to (can’t remember if shows were cancelled or what) but I’ve wanted to see them live for quite some time so seeing them announced for Wacken is good times|

Shining – Ok, not the French rapper. I must admit I was somewhat confused when I clicked play on Spotify and RnB started. Anyway, they are billed as a Norwegian Black Metal Jazz band. I don’t think I really need to say much else than that to be honest!

Torture Squad – These guys are a bit thrashy and a bit of death metal. So in many respects, they are a good band. They have a number of good songs on Spotify so that is always good times.

I’ve just signed up to the Wacken newsletter, and apparently according to the last one (I didn’t get that) there is still a “big highlight” to be announced in the middle of this month. I’ve read suggestions that it could be Helloween which would be alright, albeit a touch cheesy. However I have a small hope that it will be someone else. I’m hoping as they are doing a reunion tour again this summer that it will be At The Gates. Now, last time they came to Wacken, I was there to witness the set and it was mindblowingly awesome. What also happened was this.

If you click here, you might just be able to listen. Ain't technology great?

Anyway, this is a fantastic live album and while their slot might be almost exactly the same as last time, if it is that good then it won’t be a problem as far as I am concerned. I originally thought that seeing as they played Wacken before, there is no chance they’ll do it again but then they were announced for Bloodstock (a festival they also played on their 2008 reunion tour) which gave me hope. These hopes have all but been dashed as I notice they are playing another festival in Germany the weekend after Wacken. Stranger things have occurred but I don’t think I’ll be seeing ATG this summer unless I scrape together the funds to go to Bloodstock, and truthfully, that’s unlikely! If that occurs though, I’m sure it’ll make it somewhere on this page, probably.

One decision which needed to be made when deciding whether to do Wacken or not was whether or not to see Iron Maiden. They are doing a UK Arena tour over the summer and the London dates (at least) clash with Wacken. As you might have guessed, I decided to do Wacken which meant I wouldn’t be seeing Iron Maiden live this year. That might not seem like a big deal but since 2006 this will only be the 2nd year I haven’t seen them live (including 2 times on their most recent hits tour). I read a lot of disappointment from certain groups of Iron Maiden fans that this setlist had few classics. Some people I saw even asked people to imagine what an entire setlist of classics would be like. I don’t need to imagine it, they toured it in 2008. Anyway, Maiden tend to not change their setlist so they play the same songs every night for the whole tour. They aren’t alone in doing that but I find that a little disappointing that they can’t mix it up at all. The setlist that I saw at Sonisphere 2010 was (courtesy of for the list):

1. The Wicker Man
2. Ghost of the Navigator
3. Wrathchild
4. El Dorado
5. Dance of Death
6. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
7. These Colours Don't Run
8. Blood Brothers
(Dedicated to Ronnie James Dio)
9. Wildest Dreams
10. No More Lies
11. Brave New World
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free

For all intents and purposes, a nice mixed playlist of newer material and classics. Granted it is only the last 5 that are classics (and track 3) in the sense they came from the earlier Iron Maiden era. The setlist for the upcoming tour has been released and it looks something like this:

1. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. Two Minutes to Midnight
4. Coming Home
5. Dance of Death
6. The Trooper
7. The Wicker Man
8. Blood Brothers
9. When The Wild Wind Blows
10. The Evil That Men Do
11. The Talisman
12. Fear of the Dark
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free

Now, based on classics, I’d say the 2nd setlist there is better, but truthfully having seen the list, I’m glad I’m not going to see Iron Maiden this summer now. There is nothing on that setlist aside from a couple of the songs from The Final Frontier which make me think “I have to see this band again”. They are awesome live, and I know if I had a ticket then I would be excited and would love the gig, but as I’m not I feel I can talk about this setlist unbiased. It is a good setlist but I feel it is a touch lazy having the same ending to two tours. I’m also a touch disappointed with the first 2 songs in this new setlist. The “Final Frontier” part of the first song is awesome, but it comes with 4mins of pointlessness before it, which hopefully won’t come across as boring live but it does on the record. El Dorado I’m going to presume is the lead single from Final Frontier, but considering it was played at the last set of dates, why not consider dropping it for say Mother of Mercy? Oh well, not my problem I guess, I just found it quite interesting.

50 Word Review: Taking Dawn were awesome not that long ago. As a live force they have influences from Airbourne-style rock music but also from Kill’Em All Metallica era – some of their stuff was very fast and very thrashy – I liked what I heard. Shout out to the support Dendera, who were brilliant.

That is all I’ve got for this time. I would just like to say that I am very happy and shocked that Portsmouth beat Doncaster. Considering we got turned over at home I was fairly concerned about the away game, but according to people I know who were at the game, we played well and deserved all 3 points. Apparently it’s the first clean sheet we’ve kept in a long time, and it was without Carl Dickinson, Ibrahima Sonko and Aaron Mokoena – I wonder if anyone will make a connection out of this......

Quote of the week – On hearing the news Ireland have chosen Jedward to represent them at the Eurovision song contest, a user from the Download Festival Forums makes a valid point:

“Ireland would have more of a chance of winning if they had the IRA representing them....”

No comments: