The Time Of The Oath Tour
Two days ago I went to the first italian Helloween concert in Milan (the city where I live in) and I saw for the second time my favourite heavy metal band playing live their fantastic songs.
At 18:30, Skin (from UK) started the concert: they have been playing for more than half an hour their strange music, something between hard rock, metal and maybe grunge. Not bad, expecially the drummer.
At 19:20, Bruce Dickinson's Skunkworks were on stage. They played very well and Bruce, when his voice was hot enough, sung as the "siren" he is known. Skunkworks' bass player played all the concert without shoes and socks on his feet. Wasn't him afraid of any electric shock? The top of the concert was with the song "Tears Of The Dragon" in which all the people were singing with Bruce. During the guitar solo of that song Bruce climbed on the right speaker, coming back to the stage and to his microphone in perfect time to restart to sing the last verses. They finished at about 20:10. Very, very good.
Waiting for the big band of that night (or evening), all the people were screaming "Happy Happy Helloween", while the crew was preparing the stage for Helloween. Me, my girlfriend and my brother were waiting with other 2500 or 3000 persons until 20:45 when the lights went down. The caos was infernal, and I saw some shadows walking on stage. When "We Burn" started, all the lights were turned on and the excitation was impossible to be contained. The next song was "Wake Up The mountain", a better version than the studio one. "Sole Survivor" showed us again how a fantastic drummer Uli is. Then Andi presented "The Chance" a Grapow song in which the guitarist did all the solos. The next song was "Why?" and was followed by the greatest "Eagle Fly Free" I've ever heard: Andi didn't lose the comparison with Kiske, and Markus did a tapping solo with his bass! The next song was "The Time Of The Oath", with hammering rhythm guitars. After that song, the classics "Future World" and "Dr. Stein" with all the people singing along again (as in the other songs), even if "Future World" was maybe too fast and without the usual choruses heard in other live versions. "Before The War" was played before "Power" in which Andi asked people to sing with him the melody again and again: we played with him screaming with all the voice we had. This song was very long and people became very tired or have been singing so loud. "Mr. Ego (Take Me Down)" prepared people to the last song of the show: "Where The Rain Grows". The lights went down again but people were not already satisfied, so we asked their comeback. After some minutes, Andi walked alone on the stage with a 12-string classic guitar and played all alone "In The Middle Of A Heartbeat", and we sung with him. The rest of the band came back to play "Perfect Gentleman", in which Weikath was "dancing" like a queer to make us smile. The really last song was "Steel Tormentor" and we spent our last energies to scream again and to head-bangering for another time. At 22:15, Helloween saluted us and the concert really ended. I waited out of the door for one hour to see them exit and finally the band went out. I was able only to do some photos from close, because the italian security guys were very ugly and didn't let us to talk or touch our favourite musicians. I followed the group as I could, and I saw them entering in a pizzeria, but when I saw the bad guys of the security out of the door, I thought it was better come back home.
It was a great, great concert but I think they could have chosen better songs to play: when I saw them on November 1994 (the first tour with Andi and my first Helloween concert), they also played "How Many Tears" as the last song and also more classics like "Giants", "A Tale That Wasn't Right" and others.
By the way, I am quite sure they have recorded the concert: in fact, I saw a big truck from Holland of a mobile sound recording studio. I hope this recording will became part of the future Helloween live album.
I bought a t-shirt (very nice: on the front the "Before The War" pumpkin, on the rear the "Steel Tormentor" pumpkin) on which I found the next places in which Helloween will be playing.
I think they didn't play last night (22th) because in Rome there was the European Football Champions' League Final, in which my favourite football team, Juventus (Italy) won the match against Ajax (Holland). An exciting couple of days, isn't it? "We are the champions...".