Live-Report by Christian Tallone (Proofread by Rich Davenport)
We arrived at Alcatraz at 4pm; the queue outside the doors was considerablely long, which already gave an idea that ahead of us was surely one of the “best-seen-shows” of late. Unfortunately, and because of some last-minute-chances with interviews, we missed almost the entire show of Israelis ORPHANED LAND, seeing only their latest songs on stage. The audience was ecstatic and the band left the stage in triumph after being immortalized in a photo with the Milanese public behind them.
To listen our face-to-face interview with ORPHANED LAND, just before the show, go HERE.
Orphaned Land pictures by Michele Aldeghi
But now to the real protagonists of the evening, the Teutonic powermetallers BLIND GUARDIAN! I hadn’t seen them on stage for 14 years so I admit I had a fear of getting disappointed, but around 9pm, as soon as the galvanizing intro started with “The Night Wave”, my fear was wiped away… the stage set was simple but apt, and the nearly sold-out Alcatraz went crazy with the entry of Hansi Kursch, in top shape. The first part of the concert was a bit understated, dedicated to latest tracks “Banish From Sanctuary” and “Nightfall”, but the guys played impeccably. Hansi was like a moving train, an exceptional frontman, laughing and joking with the audience, who were calling out for “Majesty” almost from the beginning of the set. However the guys knew how to keep the tension high, so after an acoustic intermezzo with “Miracle Machine” and “Lord Of The Rings”, for which there were lighters and emotions, what we all really wanted began; going back over the years to “Traveler in Time”, “Journey Through the Dark” and finally the highly acclaimed “Majesty”. The audience got wild in a constant mosh, under the spell of a performance without respite! This is the BLIND GUARDIAN that I remembered! With “And The Story End” the band left the stage, but we all know this story, the best was yet to come: in fact, after a few minutes, they were back with the first of the two encores, “War of Wrath” as an intro, and then with “Into The Storm” the hell was unleashed, followed by the more recent “Twilight of the Gods”. And then our necks really felt the strain with the fantastic “Valhalla” which the crowd didn’t stop singing even after the last chord faded, “Wheel Of Time”, “The Beard’s Song” and then finally, the wonderful “Mirror Mirror”!
BLIND GUARDIAN left the stage at 11:20pm after giving us more than two hours of thrills with a concert that was also recorded for release on an upcoming live album, which retraced the entire history of a band that absolutely does not feel the weight of time. A concert that turned out beyond my expectations, very great BLIND GUARDIAN!
To listen to our face-to-face interview with BLIND GUARDIAN, just before the show, go HERE.