New York `98

Ok... The following story narrates what happened before and during the New York '98 Helloween gig from my point of view.
All the names and facts are true, and it is my guess I had the best spot during the show, so if anybody
disagrees with the stuff I post in here, has any question, or wants to know more; feel free
to discuss that with me and send me a mail to

Hilda Armacanqui

Manhattan, New York: December, Sunday the 20th, 1998.

The hour, 4:40 p.m. I was on my way to Tompkins Square Park, the one chosen by the guys on the board to meet and introduce ourselves before the concert. Helloween was playing their first and only show in the United States in almost ten years, at Coney Island High at 9:30 p.m. and I could barely wait to see them live. This would be the prime of my lifetime: at last, my first chance to meet the greatest band in the face on Earth. I had already met Michael Weikath, my supreme idol, before, at the hotel where they were staying, and thanks to him, my entrance to the show was secured: he included me on his guest list, and I could not believe how nice he was in person.

In order to get to Tompkins Square, I took a subway and arrived at Astor Place at around 4:45 p.m. It was two blocks away from the local, and five from the park. I then started walking through 8th St., heading for the meeting place, and passed by by Coney High. There were three guys waiting and walking around. One was a blond, long haired guy, kinda cute, with a shirt of The Time of The Oath. I first thought he was the well known Helloween Webmaster, Tony WEBster, and wanted to approach them, but I felt a little shy so I did not speak to him nor to the other boys. The second one was a fair guy with short hair, a black cap, and a black

The Board Guys and I :)

The Message Board guys before the gig.
From left to right: Chris Skaryd (Future
, Tony "Officer Metal" Webster
(Where the Rain Grows), Timmons; me,
Hilda Armacanqui (Keeper of the Seven
; Joe, and Harmon Caldwell.

Jørn :)

Jørn goes out for a while
before the gig. Thanks
a lot for the nice pose!
leather jacket; he was also wearing a TOTO shirt. The third was a brown haired boy, with glasses, but I could not see anything else because I was already crossing the street in front of them. I then stopped at the park and waited around. There was nobody there with the descriptions the guys posted in the message board days ago. I walked and waited for about fifteen minutes and then headed back for the local. To my grateful surprise, there were more people, and among them, Michael Weikath! I stepped into the circle and exclaimed: "Hi, you the guys from the message board?" Weikath smiled and petted my head, then he greeted me and I said to the people: "Do you know who I am?" The second guy from the three I saw before answered: "Yes, I know who you are. You are Hilda, right? I'm Officer Metal." "Tony? Nice to meet ya," I answered. Then I got to meet Cyclonus, a big, nice guy, when Weikath had to leave and walked in to rehearse with the rest of the band, which were previously there and already began to rehearse for the show. This was at 5:00 p.m.

After that I conversed for hours with the board guys. The line to enter was starting to form and we had to wait more than two hours for Coney High to open downstairs. In the meantime I talked with Tony about Don't Spit On My Mind's messages and made funny comments. I was remembering that one fella mentioned once that Coney Island High was a 'hole in the wall', and the guy who said that turned to be the first guy I saw, the blond, whose name was Harmon. He flew from Atlanta with a friend of his to see Helloween, as I and Tony did, from Madison, WI and Cleveland respectively. Tony also commented that some time ago Chris Skaryd, from Future World was there with his brother, but they were probably hungry and left for a while. When Chris returned, I decided to take a picture of us all and someone took a couple with my camera.

More people formed in the line, and in front of the local, and a security guy came out and said we should stay away from the front and wait, since they would open at 7:30 p.m. and there were one hour and a half remaining. Harmon, his friend, and I went to the side, but still in the front, and waited there for an hour. Timmons, his friend, was a really nice guy. We both knew some Japanese and began talking some funny things about Helloween in that language. I also mentioned: "Soo desu, watashi wa Maikeru Vaikato ga ai desu, to dai, dai, dai suki desu!" What is: "Oh yeah, I love Michael Weikath and like him very, very, very much!" I guess I couldn't wait to see them playing in front of me. Well, I also got to meet a Puerto Rican guy, who posted as Joe, and while we were waiting we talked a little bit in Spanish too. Well, more than a talk it was just an expression I said. The security boys kept going and coming and closing the portals so loudly, and I freaked out the last time and kicked the doors, while saying: "Concha sus madres," what is "Mø+#erf*¢ker$." We could also hear the Helloween guys while rehearsing and Andi singing Sole Survivor and sang along.

By the time there were only thirty minutes left, two lines formed. Tony, Chris, Cyclonus, and the other guys decided to stay in the second line and I went along. Harmon, Timmons, and Joe didn't follow us. Tony said that that was the 'official' line to enter the show, and that the other people would be allowed in later. He was a little concerned about Harmon, who was in the first line and asked me to go and tell him to join us. I did, and Harmon said that the lines did not matter, and that we would be allowed in before, since we waited for longer. He was really determined to make it to the first row. I stayed with them then. After some minutes the

Markus before the concert.

Markus greets the fans before
the show. What a nice smile! :)

Andi Deris!!!

Andi singing "Eagle Fly Free."
He also has a pretty smile. :)
gates opened at 7:30 p.m. and we entered. I was the second one to enter the local. It took a while, since the admission guys were looking for my last name in the guest list and could not find it for some time. But they did and I stepped inside without paying a dime. Once in, I looked at the stage and I was shocked: I must say, it was REALLY, a HOLE IN THE WALL. It was extremely small! I was amazed by the fact that Helloween was playing in such a tiny place, but I did not care, as I had my first row place for sure. I had some time to look at the equipment too; Uli's drums were in there, and on top of them, a cute, cute, little pumpkin with a Santa's hat. On the sides, Helloween Better Than Raw T-shirts were also on sale, but it was too bad I did not have money with me. After some minutes Harmon, Joe, and Timmons joined me and we waited, as more people came in. Sadly, we could not find Tony nor Chris, but we made it to the first row, and I was right in the middle of the stage. Some time after, Markus came out, and the persons began to scream and ask him for his autograph and pictures. I took the digital camera I bought specially for this day, and took some shots of Markus. Then Jørn Ellerbrock came out and he made a nice pose for me: I had met him before too and told him I would take tons of pictures of him and the band. Afterwards, Weik made his appearance and I went mad. I got some nice shots of him too. But they had to leave soon because the opening band,
"CLICK", had to play before them and they were setting the stage and getting ready. I won't say they sucked (although I do think so) but their songs sounded all the same and I could not understand a word, so loud was the noise. Harmon was right beside me and he gave me something to stuff my ears with. It was terrible, the place was so crowded that some idiot guy behind me was also putting his hands where he shouldn't, and the sound was loud and harsh. Click played for about 45 minutes and then it was the turn of THE MASTERS to enter and rock the stage at 9:30 p.m. People were booing and saying shit about the opening band, calling Helloween, and singing the classic "Happy, Happy Helloween," so the guys didn't make people wait anymore and came out.

Deliberately Limited Preliminary Prelude Period in Z played; the crowd was frenetic; first came out Uli and Markus, and then Roland; Jørn was already there, and then Weiki appeared, and finally Andi. I was crazy: Andi and the other guys were just 5 cms away from me, and I got to see them and hold everyone's hands!! I didn't tire myself of taking pictures, and then Michael and Roland played an introductory solo, starting Eagle Fly Free right away. And what a start, we were all singing along, and everyone did his best; the solos from Mikey, Roland, Markus, and Uli, were fantastic, and Weiki posed for me when he stood in front of the stage for his turn in the solos. The next song was Dr. Stein and we started jumping and cheering, and Roland kept his nice tongue hanging out and always smiling. He was a hell of a funny guy. When Dr. Stein ended, they finally spoke. "Thank you so much! Well, hello...!," said Andi. "It's good we're back in here, isn't it? Yeah, I know... Well, some places I know, some places I don't..." Then Roland: "Maybe it needs more lights, doesn't it?" Then Weiki started talking about the following Christmas and Andi said: "It's been quite a while, but we've played in here. I think, uh... Nine years, right? Was this a welcome back? Thank you... Well, no... You people know

I just love him...  :P

Weiki unbuttons his shirt in the
middle of "Revelation" (And
what a REVELATION!). This
keeps getting better and better! :)

Dr. Stein grows funny creatures...

They just enjoy what they do... :P
So do we… :)
maybe that we've got a brand new album, all right? 'Better Than Raaaaaw....' We played a song out of that long, originally written by the man behind the drums: Mr. Uli Kusch." Then Uli proceeded to play a nice, short drum solo, and Andi exclaimed: "And we have now 'Revelation'..." By that time Roland stepped in front of me and started playing the intro; I was extremely excited and took more shots of him. Also, Weiki was in a funny mood, since he began to unbutton his shirt, joking. I got to take a picture of him while doing that. The song was good, but the stage and the crowd started getting rough around the middle of it. People started pushing the guys (Including me) against the front part of the stage and lifting some other boys as well. A girl beside me was screaming and pushing an imbecile the crowd was lifting, and so was the security man. Then I realized that a huge guy was behind me and this other idiot also started putting his hands where he was not supposed to. The band could hear us screaming, but they continued playing; what else could they do? It was a relief when at the end, Andi started holding everyone's hands. I loved to hold him so many times! He was a great guy. He then thanked and announced the next song: "Well I think we come to the 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' album... Well, actually it's the favorite song of mine written by the man over the guitar, Mr. Roland Grapow..." And Roland made a little demonstration of his excellent guitar playing
before Andi finally started: "All right! 'The Chance'...!" Then Roland again walked in front of the stage and played the intro for The Chance. During the song, Roland threw guitar picks and so did Weiki; I couldn't grab one right away and was looking at Michael with the intention to get his attention. He looked at me, and he knew I wanted a pick, so he grabbed one and gave it to me in my hand. Even though the stage was tiny, and I found it a place difficult to move in, Markus ran from side to side, and smiled at the crowd. He was also throwing handfuls of picks. After The Chance, Andi introduced the next song: "D-d-d-d-d-the first single of the new album...," and the crowd was yelling: "I CAN!" "Right, I think uh, you guys don't know it anyway, uh?" The people replied "YEEEEES!", and Andi: "Oh, O.K., some of you do; all right... 'I CAN'!" Weiki and Roland played the intro and the crowd went mad once more. During the song, Roland was very nice to me; he just kept smiling and hanging out his tongue and so one of those times I also hung my tongue out, and he laughed and petted my head too, messing my hair. Then he walked around, grabbed one of his picks, and put it in my hand too. The following song started straight away, and it was Sole Survivor. Things were again rough, as the people began to push against each other, and I could not listen to a great deal of the song, as I was more concerned about my own safety. When Sole Survivor ended, Andi paused and announced the next: "Well, we'll come up with this song which is probably the fastest and the hardest..." The crowd knew that this only could mean Push, and started screaming: "PUSH! PUSH!" After that, Andi asked: "Are you ready for ‘Push’!?," followed by the guitars of Michael and Roland starting the song. The guys looked pretty agitated and everyone was covered with sweat. Poor Andi was completely wet but nevertheless, continued singing and dancing. Michael grabbed a beer and drank from it while playing, and of course, He has MY beer!

Mike with his/my beer doing
the backing vocals for "Push".

It's a work of art... :P

Mikey posing for me.
One of my best shots from the gig.
he never stopped smoking his classic cigarette from time to time. I wanted to keep something from him after the show, so I started looking at his beer bottle. He got closer to where I was but to my disappointment, he gave the beer to the girl beside me! I was pretty upset for that, but I forgot the whole thing when he grabbed another beer and looked at me, like asking "Do you want it? You get it!" So he drank a little and offered the rest to me. That was one of the greatest moments for me during the show. Roland's solos were also magnificent, and the crowd was visibly happy. Markus started holding hands and throwing more picks too, and when the song ended, Andi thanked again and the crowd was asking for How Many Tears and Keeper of the Seven Keys. However, we would not have How Many Tears until the end of the show. Andi spoke once again: "All right. We come to a song we've recorded in the last live album... The album is called 'High Live', originally recorded in Spain, and I tell you, well, these people, they'd be dead now. Well, we'll, we'll try a little game on our own, this is, maybe worse, maybe not, depends on you, it's left against right..." The people knew immediately he was talking about Power and began to yell, asking for it, and then Andi asked: "Could you guys do that?" We replied: "YES!" And Andi: "All right, we'll lay an eye on you and if we see it's getting embarrassing we'll stop it, O.K.?" We laughed and then Weiki said: "It's not singing, by the way, uh?" Next, Andi started: "All right, the song is called 'POWER'!" Weiki
and Roland commenced the song, and the crowd was still full of energy to yell and shout. Well, I had another reason to yell and shout as well, since the people were getting rough again and pushing, crushing my knees and the other guys' who were in the first row against the front of the stage. Furthermore, they were carrying more idiots again, who wanted to make it to the best spots and they almost kicked my head, thanx God they didn't. During Power, Andi stood in front of me and divided the small audience into left and right sides, and when the time came to do the encores he shouted: "Try it!!," and the crowd sang along, when Andi exclaimed: "One more time!!" We sang louder, and he said: "Not too bad..." The crowd shouted yet louder, and Andi continued teasing us: "You can do better than that, come on!" Markus and Uli were making a great demonstration of their instrument playing now, the people continued singing, and Andi spoke again: "We have to make a decision, left or right..." We kept singing, and he said: "All right, I think the right people is a bit louder" I happened to be in the right, and that was a great feeling after he pronounced those words. He then put his microphone in front of us, the right side, and shouted: "Come on!" After we sang together, Andi offered the mic to the other said while saying: "On the left, please." And the left side sang this time, but the right side was still louder. Then he called Roland, I believe to have a bottle of water, I'm a happy guy!

A cute Markus close-up.
And still, he has the perfect smile. :)
and thanked him, giving then the mic to the right side again. After some seconds, he seemed very happy, and said: "All right, now it works... Now everybody please!" The crowd continued, now together, and Andi asked for one more. We sang at our best, and he ended with a "Thank you very much!," singing the last part of Power afterwards. I believe the next song was Where The Rain Grows and I was happy, thinking what would Tony feel right now that the main theme of his page was being played. The song was really cool, and I could not stop taking pictures of Michael, Roland, and Andi while they played.

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