It was one of several times that our beloved bards visited our country while on tour to play in Athens and Thessaloniki. The first show in the Greek capital, which we attended in order to remember our youth, was sold out!

The doors opened earlier that 21:00 as the crowd was flooding outside the venue getting restless to reach the front row. At 21:00 the biggest part of the club was full and the people was gazing at the wonderful stage. Thank God the tragedy we experienced four years ago, where there were sold more tickets that the capacity and we were crammed, wasn’t repeated this time and this was much better of course.

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Just a few minutes before 22:00 the lights went off and in between of loud cries the Germans, and the Dutch man took their place on stage. “The Ninth Wave” from their latest album kicks off the show, Hansi puts his foot on the stage to an apotheosis and the journey begins. Great, crystal clear sound throughout the show. Although the new songs are good, they are not concert material. Their complexity and long duration don’t let them pull out the magic they are supposed to. The next song was “Banish From Sanctuary”. That was it, the time machine took us back, there were Goosebumps and almost the entire venue was screaming at their top of their lungs with Hansi. Then, they played our beloved “Nightfall” which send even more shivers down our spines. “The Last Candle” found us chanting “somebody’s out there” for almost three minutes in the end. Amazing feelings with the hymns they gave to us in the past.

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The flow of the songs between older and newer material was ideal, but “A Night At The Opera” was ignored without not even listening to a note from it, while “Miracle Machine” and “A Past And Future Secret” was a nice acoustic intermission. As for the band Andre was cool and cheerful with his guitar, Marcus was more energetic, Mi Schuren was very descript, Frederik Ehmke amazing behind his drum kit, while the “noob” Barend Courbois (the aforementioned Dutch man) was giving way to the band’s leaders. Hansi was amazing as usual, with his in between songs jokes and taunts to his band members, while he was being adored by the Greek crowd and tipping us off that for those that haven’t noticed there were microphones on stage, as the show (as well as every show on this tour) was being recorded for the release of Blind Guardian’s next live album. Last song (before the encore) was the enchanting “Imaginations From The Other Side”, while after that the timeless classics “Into The Storm”, “Valhalla”, “The Bard’s Song-In The Forest” and “Mirror Mirror” that are never absent from any of their shows made us lose any signs of voice we had left.

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It was an exceptional live performance from an amazing favourite band. The only bad thing of the night was the youngsters who obviously didn’t know who they’d came to see. You just can’t push your way to the front, sit down on the floor when everybody around you can’t even stand and finally just stand and gaze around for the whole show because you don’t know the songs before “The Edge Of Time”. It’s impossible that you don’t sing on “Nightfall”, “Imaginations…” and “The Bard’s Song” and that you wake up on “Tanelorn (Into The Void)”. I am not supposing that you shouldn’t come to the show, but let those who are connected with their entire discography enjoy as they are supposed to. Oh, and stinking from head to toe with filthy uncombed hair is not “cool” and not “metal”. Actually, it’s disgusting and the people around you might want to have a go at you.

But, that doesn’t matter because there are not a lot of bands around that can give us shivers like the ones Blind Guardian and their epic hymns can. So, until the next time…

George Terzakis

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