Thanks to a surprisingly early start & it being a Sunday London show we arrived slightly late missing the opening song, The Ninth Wave. It’s frustrating & I really question whoever came up with the idea of the headline band being on stage by 8pm.
That aside the second disappointing thing is just how empty the Forum is (for the band, not for us who enjoy a little extra space & decent view). The last time I saw Blind Guardian here it was packed to the rafters, now I could walk to the bar, order 3 drinks, pay & be back in my exact same spot within 2 minutes.
The emptiness isn’t reflected by the crowd that is there though, who are filled with energy & loud in voice. This is only the second time I’ve seen Blind Guardian live but I’m convinced that they would have the same happy grins on their faces regardless of if they were played to 5 people or 500.
The passion & intensity that oozes from the stage is infectious leaving a silly smile plastered over everyone’s face.
18 songs long with 2 encores, this was a set list jammed packed with quality. Such a strong back catalogue that fan favourite Nightfall can be dropped 3 songs in! It’s an incredible moment with the crowd singing louder than the band at times. Not enough is said about singer, Hansi Kürsch who might be the most under-rated vocalist within rock & metal. His range is incredible & his voice is note perfect…mesmerising.
The time just flies by in a blur of Tolkien-inspired power metal & it is nice to see the crowd working to get Blind Guardian back on stage (both Unholydarklotus & I hate the encore expectation that sees a crowd just standing quietly waiting – make some noise, let them know you want them back).
Both encores have some of the bands best songs with one of my own personal favourites, The Curse of Feanor getting an airing. The band finishes with the glorious double header of the beautiful & sorrowful, Bard’s Song – In the Forest & the punchy Mirror, Mirror.
Breathless & beautiful, Blind Guardian are so impressive once again. Just maybe don’t start so early next time? Some of us like to drink!
Full Set List:
1. The Ninth Wave
2. Time Stands Still (at the Iron Hill)
5. Tanelorn (Into the Void)
7. The Last Candle
8. Lord of the Rings
9. Time What is Time
11. The Script for my Requiem
12. Imaginations from the Other Side
13. Into the Storm
14. The Curse of Feanor
16. Sacred Worlds
17. The Bard’s Song – In the Forest
18. Mirror, Mirror
Blind Guardian @ The O2 Forum, London (23/05/16)