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HELLOWEEN In Cleveland, OH With Photos!

By Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor
Sunday, March 6, 2016 @ 2:04 PM


A Night Of German Power Metal In The Hall Of Fame City

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All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography

The founding fathers of the power metal subgenre, HELLOWEEN, paid a visit to the Cleveland Agora as part of their 2016 God-Given Right World Tour. The sparse, but enthusiastic crowd gathered near the barrier, awaiting the return of Germany’s premier metalers. Steadily over the past 30 years-or-so, HELLOWEEN has built a deep catalogue by releasing great metal albums about every two or three years. My God-Given Right, released last year, is yet another notch in the proverbial belt. With tasty hooks, infectious choruses and blazing guitar work, the bands latest work has proven to be one of their best. Support on this run of dates came in the form of the shock-metal act, THEM.

As I stood in the photo pit and watched the stage crew wheel out a full-sized coffin with fog leaking from the cracks, I started to get the feeling that we were all in for a wild ride. The band THEM, featuring SYMPHONY X bassist Mike Lepond, played selections from their soon to be released concept album Sweet Hollow. Think KING DIAMOND meets TYPE O NEGATIVE with the stage antics of an ALICE COOPER. Their set was complete with character actors, human sacrifice and a graveyard setting. Vocalist Klaus Konig, in his ghoulish attire, crept around the stage bellowing lyrics with his falsetto voice. THEM is not for everyone, but definitely worth checking out if you are into the very dark and twisted.

After a quick set change, it was time for some power metal. HELLOWEEN opened up with the up-tempo set staple, “Eagle Fly Free”. Vocalist Andi Deris explained that the band had just rolled into town after being in the Bahamas for the Monsters Of Rock Cruise – a difference of more than forty degrees. He made mention that the entire band had picked up a flu bug some where along the line and that they had struggled to make it on stage that night. Could have fooled me.

The entire band was full of energy and they all had an ecstatic look on their faces; like they were just so happy to be there, especially bassist and founding member Markus Grosskopf. The band went on to rip through song after song, with a few selections from the recent record, including the title track, “My God-Given Right”. One of the many highlights was “Heroes”, the opening track off of My God-Given Right, which has all of the right power metal ingredients; the solos, breakdowns, melodies, etc. Speaking of solos, there was a surplus of solos in the set including Daniel Löble on drums and Sascha Gerstner on guitar. With only a handful of dates in the states planned out, I was thrilled that HELLOWEEN decided to make a stop in Cleveland. It was a killer set through and through – no noticeable hiccups and although the production wasn’t quite as big as their prior shows across the pond, it was more than made up for with their persona and enthusiasm.

HELLOWEEN wraps up their run of dates in the states with a show in Los Angeles before heading back to Europe for a few dates in late April and then they will be hitting the festival circuit this summer. If you get the chance to make it out, they are not to be missed.

Setlist:

  • Intro: "Walls Of Jericho"
  • “Eagle Fly Free”
  • “Dr. Stein”
  • “My God-Given Right”
  • “Steel Tormentor”
  • “Mr. Torture”
  • “Waiting For The Thunder”
  • “Straight Out Of Hell”
  • “Heroes”
  • Drum Solo
  • “Where The Rain Grows”
  • “Lost In America”
  • “Power”
  • “Forever And One (Neverland)”
  • Medley: “Halloween/Sole Survivor/I Can/Are You Metal?/Keeper Of The Seven Keys”
Encore:
  • “Before The War”
  • Guitar Solo: Sascha Gerstner
  • “Future World”
  • “I Want Out” Check out some more photos from the show!
    All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography


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