Dragonforce

support Firewind
author AP date 26/10/06 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

With Dragonforce as hyped as the band is, the announcement of a gig in Copenhagen established sky-high expectations. These expectations were multiplied, having heard odd tour stories about blazing pubic hair and blood-retail from the band's keyboardist, Vadim Pruzhanov. And Sam was going to be wasted, he said. Unfortunately, the ROCK has the uncanny ability to diminish a good live-act; this coupled with a static audience hindered what had the potential and characteristics of a perfect live show.

Firewind

One doesn't hear much about the Greek metal scene these days, and never has. Nonetheless, Dragonforce's choice of opening act was of Greek origin, namely Firewind. What Firewind laid on the table for us was a solid yet variety-lacking set of pure power metal. Granted, when your name is Apollo and you possess an impeccable voice, some things are bound to go right. Indeed, Firewind's performance largely relied on Apollo Papathanasio's vocals, and while energetic, their set failed to inspire a great deal of interest. Whether or not it is a stereotypical the ROCK-audience that was to blame, or the fact that Firewind lacked uniquity, is debatable. While falling short of Dragonforce's intensity, Firewind put up a good fight against the audience of the ROCK, and deserve some recognition.

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Dragonforce

As the sweat began building up, so did frustration. Setting up at the ROCK has a tendency of taking unusually long; and the absence of airconditioning make waiting in this venue a living hell. Before the show, I was familiar with "Through The Fire And Flames" only, and my expectations were thus based on this. People had of course told me that I was facing probably the best live show ever, so I waited in sweat-coated anxiety.

When Dragonforce finally entered and began pounding their set, I knew I was in for a treat. However, the rest of the audience didn't and refused to be entertaining. The result: two moshpits during the concert, each enduring a sorry fifteen seconds. Dragonforce also faced horror of realization when Theart pointed his microphone at the audience. The absence of any kind of response (read: singing along) caught the band by surprise and playing instantly seized: "Okay... has anyone here even fucking heard of Inhuman Rampage?" It took a good deal of showmanship to inspire the crowd to raise their hands instead and scream how much they appreciated Dragonforce, and probably how embarrased they felt not knowing jack about them.

Listening to the album, one seriously doubts whether or not the guitarwork is electronically accelerated, but mark my words: Herman Li and Sam Totman are the most talented contemporary guitarists. These guitars milked out Pacman-style midisounds and Super Mario tunes while Herman and Sam tapped their fretboards from below, from above and cross handed with unbelievable speed. All of this coupled with free-hand beer-drinking while playing a solo, intense stage wreckage and playing guitar with a giant larping sword (Yes, somebody brought a sword to the concert) produced an incredibly entertaining and intense stage show that easily surpasses Hatesphere's showmanship.

In fact, the only negative aspect of the show was the audience. Shame on you!

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