Tonight, the more melodic variation of heavy metal is coming to Gruenspan and that this genre has its fans is shown by a sold out show. Beast In Black are in town tonight, with Firewind as their support act.
At 7:00 p.m. sharp, Firewind enters the stage. The band headed by exceptional guitarist Gus G. have with the songs of their self-titled ninth album from 2020 still relatively new live material in the pipeline, as the pandemic situation prevented a massive live performance of these songs. With ‘Welcome to the Empire’ Firewind start directly with one of the new songs, which immediately evokes very positive reactions from the audience.
That also fans of the earliest time of the band are in the room is shown by the frenetic reaction to older songs like ‘Destination Forever’, which comes from the band’s debut album.
One position that often changed in Firewind is the singer. After Henning Basse was on the mic for five years, in 2020 a German colleague took over the vocal duties. Herbie Langhans, known from bands like Sinbreed, took over for the new album and tonight also provides an excellent live performance. Gus G.’s guitar and Langhans’ voice go very well together and even if the guitarist is the head of the band, all musicians involved have enough space to shine. Here, I also would like to mention bassist Pedros Christo, the goove machine of the band and rock solid pillar of the Firewind line-up.
I guess that not many attendants have seen Firewind earlier and are surprised about Gus G.’s guitar play, especially when he uses his special guitar for ‘The Fire and the Fury’. Lights on the guitar and smoke coming out of the guitar are visual gimmicks, adding an entertainment factor to the stellar instrumental.
It gets exciting in the second part of the set. Firewind test with ‘Destiny is Calling’ a new song on this tour, which fits very well into the context of the evening. The band stays true to their metal roots and fans honor this with proper applause.
And not to forget, tonight another musicians celebrates his birthday at Gruenspan. Was in Solstafir’s Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson a few days ago so is it Firewind drummer Jo Nunez who is the birthday boy of the day with the fans singing ‘Happy Birthday’ loudly.
With nine songs Firewind don’t have too much playing time tonight and so the band says goodbye with ‘Maniac’, a cover version of the Michael Sembello hit. Even if it is unusual to end a relatively short support show with a cover, the song serves at the same time as a good transition to the main act of the evening.
You can like the music of Beast In Black or not; yet you can’t completely resist the temptation of these sugary sweet melodies.
After Firewind is rather based in melodic power metal, Beast In Black offer a mixture of heavy metal, symphonic metal and a stronger essence of 80s disco pop. The mixture seems to unfold its impact, because it gets immediately lively in the venerable Gruenspan.
Framed by two female android torsos, the drums appear in the middle of the stage on a relatively high podium and Billy Idol’s ‘Shock to the System’ is the sign that it won’t take long until the main act of the evening gets off to a furious start with ‘Blade Runner’. It takes one song before Beast In Black get a rich and powerful sound, but this can be forgiven by a rather long setlist.
Beast In Black brought a long setlist to the show. For a band that has only three albums under the belt, the guys deliver with 19 songs a lot of music today and the fans thank them for their effort. The Gruenspan turns into a party location where there is some headbanging, but also jumping and dancing. Who didn’t know until now why the Reeperbahn is a synonym for ‘party’, knows it since tonight at the latest.
But not only in front of the stage the vibe is great, also on stage everyone is having a good time with music and show.
Beast In Black have been on tour for a few weeks now, but you don’t notice the strains on the guys. Always in motion, a lot of mimics and precisely presented songs are what the fans get offered and enthusiastically receive.
There are not many announcements. Nevertheless, frontman Yannis Papadopoulus tells a short introductory story to ‘Fifth Angel’ while otherwise it is rather the standard speeches. But after all the fans have come to Gruenspan for the music and not the talking. So the next round of music starts with ‘Moonlight Rendevouz’.
Song by song the atmosphere in the room is increasing to which also the stomping beat of ‘Crazy, Mad, Insane’ contributes. In addition there are the synthesizer melodies, which are so sweet that every dentist would be pleased. While the flashlight function of the cell phones is activated during ‘Oceandeep’ and reduces the battery power, the audience sings along with a strong ‘OhOhOh’ during ‘Born Again’.
So, slowly the evening comes to an end, or rather the show comes to the encore part. Band and fans give everything they have left in the tank on the final leg of this show and everyone is in a great mood to let the evening on the Reeperbahn come to a proper finish. All in all it was quite refreshing to have two bands on stage, if you think of all the packages that are traveling through the country these days and all the ones that appreciate a good melody that goes along with a guitar riff, enjoyed an entertaining evening.
Setlist Beast In Black
- Blade Runner
- Eternal Fire
- Die by the Blade
- Revengeance Machine
- Unlimited Sin
- The Fifth Angel
- Moonlight Rendezvous
- Crazy, Mad, Insane
- Sweet True Lies
- To the Last Drop of Blood
- Dark New World
- Beast in Black
- Born Again
- Blind and Frozen
- Cry Out for a Hero (Encore)
- One Night in Tokyo (Encore)
- End of the World (Encore)
- Welcome to the Empire
- I Am the Anger
- Head Up High
- Destination Forever
- The Fire and the Fury
- Ode to Leonidas
- Destiny Is Calling
- Rising Fire
Location: Gruenspan, Hamburg, Germany
Date: March 3rd, 2023
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