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Blind Guardian, Grave Digger @ Corona Theatre, Montreal (Canada)

BLIND GUARDIAN / Grave Digger
in Friday, 30 October 2015 at Corona Theater
by Sebastien "Bass" Parent

 
The Corona Theater in Montreal; this venue is rapidly becoming a must stop for metal bands passing through this city. It was again the theater of a magnificent show that I had the honor of covering for you all.

The night started in force at 8:00 pm with GRAVE DIGGER. The crowd was restless, calling out “Digger” “Digger” “Digger” on top of their lungs while the lights were dimming. Amazingly, in their 35 years of history to this date, this was their first appearance in Montreal. The fans made sure they won’t forget to return to this city next time. The energy emanating from the crowd was contagious.
 


 
As I looked around inside the venue, one thing that struck me was the T-shirts the fans were harboring. I would say around half had a GRAVE DIGGER T-shirt and the other half was obviously BLIND GUARDIAN. Well, of course, when you get two bands with such a long history on the same stage, you can’t expect the crowd to be one-sided.
 
 
GRAVE DIGGER gave us an amazing performance, Chris took time in between the songs to point out how crazy the crowd of Montreal is. With even a few words in French to get everyone even more fired up. The venue was literally singing the songs along on each hit. Chris even decided to let the crowd sing the intro to “Rebellion” to the great pleasure of everyone.
 
 
This opening act gave us a good 50 minutes of pure Metal, 10 songs that the crowd was waiting to hear for so long. Everyone was breathless around me. But the evening is just starting.

Setlist:
1. Headbanging Man
2. The Round Table (Forever)
3. Witch Hunter
4. Ballad of a Hangman
5. Season of the Witch
6. Excalibur
7. Tattooed Rider
8. Highland Farewell
9. Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)
10. Heavy Metal Breakdown
 
 
The party is officially on in the venue, the beer is flowing and the T-shirts are getting sold by the dozens at the GRAVE DIGGER merchandise stand while BLIND GUARDIAN is setting up. In about 25 minutes, the stage is ready to receive the main event of the day.

As the light dimmed on the opening of “The Ninth Wave”, the place roared in anticipation of what would be, a night to remember. BLIND GUARDIAN hasn’t performed in Montreal in 5 years, so the crowd was eager to hear their melody once more in this North American Metal loving city.
 
 
The Corona Theater literally exploded with the chant of the fans. Mosh pits and crowd surfers didn’t wait any longer to get into action. Even to the point where the security couldn’t manage having to look out for the photographers more than 2 songs with that much action happening around us.
 
 
After around 5 songs, Hansi decided to let the crowd know that this show was recorded live for a DVD. Needless to say, the crowd roared even more. It took a good 2-3 minutes before he got control of the theater again; to his pleasure I might add. Hansi is very charismatic on stage, the crowd loves him and he knows it. So he doesn’t pass up any chance he has to fire up the fans at every high point of the show.
 
 
This led to some amazing moments. He decided to let the fans sing most of the song “The Last Candle” while he was holding the microphone to them and encouraging the crowd to sing even louder. And later in the show, the band played “Valhalla” for a very long time while the crowd was singing the lyrics of the refrain. Hansi decided to just sit down in front of the drums as he just couldn’t believe how long the song stayed alive; he had to step back in to close it up because the fans didn’t want to song to end.
 


 
This was, to memory, the longest I’ve seen a band on stage in one go. No break, no drum or guitar solo that lasts forever while the rest of the band is smoking a cigarette back stage. A full 2 hours and 10 minutes, 17 songs of pure awesomeness by BLIND GUARDIAN.

It was such a pleasure to cover this show. I couldn’t have asked for a better first try at live reviews than those two bands. Thank you again for this beautiful display of showmanship and please do not wait another 5 years to bring us back those powerful melodies.

Setlist:
1. The Ninth Wave
2. Banish from Sanctuary
3. Nightfall
4. Fly
5. Tanelorn (Into the Void)
6. Prophecies
7. The Last Candle
8. Lord of the Rings
9. Majesty
10. Bright Eyes
11. Imaginations from the Other Side
12. Sacred Worlds
13. Twilight of the Gods
14. Valhalla
15. The Script for My Requiem
16. The Bard's Song - In the Forest
17. Mirror Mirror
 


 

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