October 9, 2009. This is the last time I saw dragon strength to live with Arctic Sonata and Take the dawn so needless to say I was very excited for this show… in the same venue as last time, no less! Added only to the fact that this tour has been on the minds of everyone who originally planned to see it last year when Free the archers were on the bill, but now we have Firewind, Visions of Atlantis, and titans based in New England seven arrows to look forward to. Let’s stop wasting time and enter this evening of symphonic and power-metal fun.
First to take the stage are hometown heroes, Seven Spires. Even before the band took the stage, almost the whole hall was already full, it’s a local show for them after all. On tour for their latest album, gods of debauchery (Borders Srl), Spiers churned through a fast and tight set of new and old music to give their fans a taste of what they’ve been missing from their live show over the past two years. Soaring vocals, jagged guitar solos, some of the most complex bass playing I’ve ever seen in person outside of a Archspire show, and the drums that are literally part of death metal history, the drummer Chris Dovas is the active touring drummer for Vital remains. Long story short, go listen to Seven Spires. I really can’t say enough good things about them.
Then, after the crushing Seven Spiers set, there was a band I had honestly never heard of, but from their name I was excited, Visions of Atlantis. With a name like that, you can paint yourself a picture of what could happen. Soaring choirs, angelic and ethereal vocals, thundering drums and a cracker… and that’s exactly what you get. I can say with confidence that the Visions of Atlantis set was one of the most fun I’ve had photographing a group in a while. This is for sure a band that I will listen to and talk about for a while.
After the pirate party organized by Visions of Atlantis on stage, Gus G’s (Ozzy Osbourne) group Firewind, coming straight from Greece. Having only heard of the band but never heard the band’s music, I was eager to see what would happen next. One of the other photographers at the show was full of excitement to see them, this was the 12th time he had seen them live. And let me tell you something, Greece might have amazing food, but their metal… Gahd DAMN! A sonic punch to the face and guts. Super high energy, heartbreaking solos and a cover of “Maniac”. Yes, this “maniac”… of lightning dance. Never in my life would I have thought to see waves of surfers breaking through the barricade during a resumption of Michael Sembello. All that to say, check out Firewind, you won’t be disappointed.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, this group of Guitar Hero 3…Dragon Strength! Giant arcade machines, a steel dragon drum riser, smoke and confetti cannons and lots of blue and purple neon lights. So, in other words, compared to the course of Dragonforce. Starting with “Highway To Oblivion” and then immediately moving on to “Fury of the Storm”, you can tell the band was thrilled to be there. Fun fact for all of you, Dragonforce’s FIRST EVER show in America was at the Palladium on April 30, 2006, where they headlined (alongside Gamma ray) to the 8th New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. After the second song, we eliminate the intros and dive straight into the video game aspect of the show. A song about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sega Genesis advertising, Final Fantasy VII occasions, a barnyard banjo jam… I could go on and on. Hearing “Black Fire” and “Cry Thunder” back to back was a power metal dream! Closing the evening with their cover of At Celiene Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and of course…it wouldn’t be a Dragonforce show without hearing “Through the Fire and the Flames.” It was an epic power metal vinegar show that everyone should be able to enjoy. What you technically can, like Herman Li stream all shows on tour at its Tic channel!
Until next time, it’s Smallz, signing…peace and chicken fat y’all!
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WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS SMALL
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