November 11, 2010 at Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA
by Steve Trager
On the opening night of the long awaited and very much anticipated North American Blind Guardian’s at the Edge of Time Tour , which kicked off here at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, was nothing short of pure greatness. Been a few years since this band graced the live stage. But, it was well worth the long wait with all new material showcasing the band’s timeless efforts, which has always made Blind Guardian one amazing band, especially as a live touring act. Even before the first band was to take the stage the merchandise booth was already buzzing with fans swarming around snatching up as much gear as possible with fists full of money.
The opening bands always deserve some sort of plug; honestly, some you don’t know much about and others if you do your research, you become familiar with pre material which gives you a better chance to enjoy whatever time they do get to play before the main band sets the stage into a flaming blaze. Florida’s own Seven Kingdoms open the show with a 30-minute set featuring a few songs from both self-produced recordings. For a band that has been a local native in Florida and has gained the spotlight in the club circuit they seem to fit the bill quite nicely. Reminds me of a bunch of young eager musicians just wanting to get their name out their and enjoy the glorified road of a national tour with the big guns of Blind Guardian.
Nice thing about the Trocadero is the quick fast gear change over which led right into the set of Holy Grail. This band reminded me of the early days and the rock roots of Iron Maiden. From the minute the intro sounded and the band took the stage, you could just feel this vibe that the 40-minute set was going to be a heavy hitter. A band that has the best of both worlds: one being sizzling guitar players that just kill it with showmanship and a lead vocal guy with balls of steel that can hit the high notes. Holy Grail posses some great talent as a band and puts their backbone into the live show.
Another quick change over and at last the preparation for Blind Guardian’s metal assault on Philly. The lights went down and the intro tape began to roll out and that set the tone for what was to be the greatest performance of Blind Guardian yet. The set list compiled featured some great amazing heavy hitters that have become a staple in the band’s set over the years. Even if Blind Guardian is truly known as a four piece, this time out while in Philly on the warm up opening date live setting shadowed out as a six-piece, complete with melodic guitars at full decibel volume. Nothing displays a more pure admiration for a band when you can hear the chorus notes from everyone’s mouth from the very beginning on the opening song of the set list. As if 90 minutes wasn’t enough to fill the metal veins of everyone that attended the show, we at least got to see and hear some amazing live power house anthems that made this band great over the years. Unlike most bands that just step onto a stage and rip into songs and then say goodnight, Blind Guardian certainly gives you the best of both worlds with what seems to be a fan participation with chanting song lyrics back at front man Hansi Kursch, as he often would hold up his hands up to his ears to as if to say “Are you still with me? I can’t hear you Philly!“ Indeed they were, as every song sounded great from not just the fans providing secondhand vocals but the band themselves had given the fans nothing but the best. In fact, every Blind Guardian show is always a fun-filled and entertaining concert.
Truly an epic performance with Blind Guardian this time around back in Philly, on the first night of their most recent tour of North America. A short but sweet 23-city trek not to be missed — period!
Blind Guardian Set List:
Welcome to Dying
Born in a Mourning Hall
Time Stands Still
Traveler In Time
This Will Never End
A Voice in the Dark
Lord of the Rings
Imaginations From the Other Side
Wheel of Time
The Bard’s Song – In the Forrest