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[Gig Review] Blind Guardian @ Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, UK - September 26, 2010


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Who: Blind Guardian

Where: Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK

When: 26th September 2010

Guest artist: Steelwing




1. Sacred Worlds

2. Welcome to Dying

3. Born in a Mourning Hall

4. Nightfall

5. Fly

6. Time Stand Still (at the Iron Hill)

7. Traveller in Time

8. Valhalla

9. Lord of the Rings

10. This Will Never End

11. A Voice in the Dark

12. Mirror Mirror




13. Punishment Divine

14. The Bard’s Song – In the Forest

15. Wheel of Time

16. Imaginations from the Other Side



The Review



When I found out Blind Guardian were touring Europe back in April this year, I booked my ticket immediately. It was my first time seeing them, and I couldn’t wait as a massive fan of their music. And what made it all better was that it was over my birthday weekend – and my parents paid for my ticket and Northie’s, who I dragged along and mistakenly left behind at the back as I went into the crowd.


Despite what seemed a rather long queue, we managed to get in quite quickly, which was a good thing as it was raining outside. The place filled up, and soon Steelwing, a Swedish metal band, kicked off the evening’s proceedings. I couldn’t quite tell whether they lead singer was male or female, as they had lengthy hair and had an extremely wide ranging set of vocals. In the end, I deduced he was a male. They weren’t bad as a warm up act, but I was here to see Blind Guardian!


After what was probably 20 minutes, the lights dipped and the crowd knew Hansi and co were coming on stage. The traditional chant of “Guardian, Guardian” reverberated around the venue, and the music started. If you have listened to At the Edge of Time, their latest album, you will know that Sacred Worlds has an awesome intro, which makes it a fantastic song to play first up. Before the gig, if I had £1million, I would have put it all on as a bet that Sacred Worlds would be the first track. A great song to kick off the show!


Now, with a new album out, I was expecting them to play more from it. While I like the new album, I do prefer their older work, so I was pleased the set list included songs from their previous albums, including Nightfall in Middle Earth, which is probably my favourite album. The second song up was Welcome to Dying, that I know is awesome live since I have the Tokyo Tales live recording album. It’s a real crowd song (as are many Blind Guardian songs). Imaginations From the Other Side was the next album picked on, with Born in a Mourning Hall. I haven’t listened to that album much, so the song wasn’t that known to me.


Apart from Traveller in Time, the show moved into a stage where I was in pure rapture! Nightfall. Fly, Time Stand Stills and Valhalla rank up there as my favourite Guardian songs. Both Time Stand Stills and Valhalla are great songs for crowd interaction, and we really did push Valhalla to the limit, singing a large part of it as a crowd solo! But it was worth it! And we got applause from the band! Check out the video for some of it!


The next four songs came from a mix of albums – again, some I knew, and some I didn’t. I loved Mirror Mirror, since it came from Nightfall in Middle Earth. As mentioned earlier, I need to listen to a few albums more frequently, including A Twist of Myth and Imaginations from the Other Side. They did pick several songs from these, and didn’t recognise them! I need to do my homework for next time!


At the end of Mirror Mirror, the crowd were disappointed at the band leaving. And yes, the traditional “Guardian! Guardian!” chant started up again! And they duly complied with our demands, and the encore started. I’ve never heard Punishment Divine before, but enjoyed it. We sang The Bard’s Song and were egged on by Hansi, as shown by the video! Great band and crowd interaction! Next up was the Wheel of Time song. Now, I like it on the album, but I don’t think it is a live performance song. Justice wasn’t done to its epicness, especially the vocal parts. But it got a big cheer – and part of me wanted to yell out Carai an Shen an Calhar at some stage! And we finished off with Imaginations from the Other Side, which I did recognise from the album of the same name!


Overall Verdict

I never wanted the gig to finish! To date, the best gig I have been to – by a very long way! Hansi was on fire, and really got the crowd going. Having listened to Tokyo Tales, I was expecting this, so it was great to experience it. There was a nice blend of songs I knew and should have known! I was a bit disappointed songs like Majesty and Another Stranger Me didn’t appear on the set list, but it was still a great set of songs. Again, it was great to be down near the front. If you ever get to go to a Blind Guardian gig, watch Hansi’s eyes – they are crazy! They look like they are on stalks half the time!


My last comment is that Within Temptation (my favourite band) have a lot to beat come March 2011 as this does rank as the best gig ever for me!

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Again, I was fairly close to the front of the show, so it allowed me to take some reasonable pictures. At these sort of things, I do suffer from the shakes, but I have tried to remove the blurry pictures from my Facebook album. I might put the pictures up on photobucket, but for now, they are just on my Facebook profile in the album section, titled “Blind Guardian @ Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (26th Sept 10)”, which has been made public:



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I told u ages ago they were opening with Sacred Worlds. I saw their set list months ago.


The only problem with opening with it, is I believe it is their best song.


I have a question, do you rate the song Lord of the Rings?

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I don't have the album Lord of the Rings comes from - The Forgotten Tales. So it was the first time I had heard it. I was a decent song, but they do have better. And a strange one on the list, to be honest.


I agree that Sacred Worlds is a very good song - definitely the best from the new album. It does challenge those from Nightfall in Middle Earth, which is my favourite album at the moment.


Oh, and I forgot to mention they do plan to come back to the UK sooner than their last visit!

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