Grugahalle, Essen (Germany)
One of my wishes should be fulfilled on 14.01.2015 as on that evening I went to the Grugahalle to watch the self-proclaimed Kings Of Metal of Manowar live. Outside it was seasonable cold and it took quite long until you entered the venue. Luckily, I was standing quite near to the front of the schedule so that I was on time inside the venue. Some others had bad luck and finally entered right to the start of the concert. What was the reason for that I am not able to tell.
Something special on this evening was the support act. Normally Manowar do without something like that but classic enthusiast and bassist of the band Joey DeMaio initiated a cooperation with the local orchestra of the Goethe school out of which roughly 100 musicians performed classic songs like Dvořáks „New World“ and adaptations of Manowar classics. The feedback of the roughly 5000 visitors was in the beginning during the classic songs quite reserved but got more enthusiastic during the Manowar song adaptations. Especially the boy playing the triangle became the hero of the evening and a lively interaction between him and the audience developed that ended up in loud “Triangle! Triangle!” shouts. A lively and entertaining opening that was followed by a long wait until the well-known sounds of Ben Hur were following.
At 21:00 it finally was the time and to the sounds of “Manowar” the four men stormed onto the stage accompanied by loud cheers of the not completely sold out Grugahalle. Flanked by huge loudspeaker towers and a large multi-part LED-screen at the background each of them had more or less a constant spot where one was playing. Bassist DeMaio stood and posed on the left side, guitarist Carl Logan worked on his strings on the right side, drummer Donnie Hamzik had his huge drum set standing in the middle on a risen platform and singer Eric Adams could be found mainly in the center. Many words were not spoken in-between the songs and so in the beginning they played the songs in one go like “Sign Of The Hammer” and the fast “The Dawn Of Battle” of the 2002 released equally named EP. It got then prayerful during the following “The Warrior’s Prayer” played in the 2014 version. On the LED screens there were battle pieces shown and accompanied by the sonorous voice of Brian Blessed as grandfather telling his grandson a story of a huge battle everyone at the venue was speaking synchronically with him the prayer (OK, thanks to teleprompter like on-screen displays of the lyrics it was not that hard). Directly afterwards this prayerful atmosphere changed into an hurricane that swept across one by “Blood Of The Kings”.
To nearly all of the songs there were beforehand short videos with scenes of the making of songs of the title giving album of this tour “Kings Of Metal MMXIV” which is a re-recording of the classic from 1988. Of course also the “I have the longest dick” solos of the two string pickers may not be missing and both were giving everything. Especially at Carl Logan this ended up very nice with on-screen displays of recordings from Scott Columbus and Ronny James Dio surrounded by his sounds. Also singer Eric Adams was in a really good mood and hunting from one scream to the next one. After the furious “Kings Of Metal” where the crowd got loud once more there were some words of thanks of Adams before Joey DeMaio addressed his last words to the audience. To be perfectly honest: One could have saved his breath! What do I care about him wanting to fuck a former girlfriend, the German beer being so great and the metal press being so evil? Anyhow, forget about it and let’s go on. With “Warriors Of The World” it got epic once again before finally the hall was teared down to the sounds of “Black Wind, Fire And Steel”.
105 minutes that really made one sweat and the voice also suffered noticeably due to singing along but that was worth it. A terrific show that was super choreographed with artists in a genial mood, awesome videos and a grandiose atmosphere. What more could one want? OK, the one or the other thing could have been skipped like Joeys speech or his cheering games with the audience and the sound could also have been some better as especially in the beginning it was quite bassy. But the guys showed why they are self-proclaimed Kings Of Metal and they really rocked the venue! At least I was completely satisfied like many of the other more than 5000 fans.
Short Notice: Unfortunately the quality of the pictures is extremely bad this time (for what reason ever), but nevertheless I decided to upload them to give at least a rough impression of this great concert. Many apologies for that.
- Call To Arms
- Kill With Power
- Sign Of The Hammer
- The Lord Of Steel
- The Dawn Of Battle
- The Warriors Prayer (2014 version with video)
- Blood Of The Kings (2014 version)
- Kingdom Come
- Fallen Brothers (with video and guitar solo)
- Heart Of Steel
- Sting Of The Bumblebee (bass solo)
- Wheels Of Fire
- Hail And Kill
- Kings Of Metal
- Warriors Of The World United
- Black Wind, Fire And Steel
- The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The Kings) (Outro)
Homepage of the US American band Manowar.
Homepage of the Grugahalle at Essen (Germany).