As Dragonforce brought ‘The Power Within’ Tour around the UK in support of their latest release, they decided not to do things by halves. Why not pack the bill with fantastic bands from top to bottom? And so it was done…
There are lots of comments of innovation or rejuvenation when it comes to The Defiled and metal. And that’s fair – dare we say it, but The Defiled are bloody brilliant. Seeing them in this very venue a 18 months ago supporting Murderdolls, it’s startling to see how far they’ve come. With many in attendance donning their merchandise, attendees gradually being lured into their music, it’s safe to say that they are earning everything they deserve. As they rattled through their set, with the typical instrument smashing at large, they were a highlight. It’s fair to predict their meteoric rise will continue, and we can’t wait to see where they go.
Next up were Alestorm, pirate metal pioneers. As you entered the venue earlier in the evening, you may have noticed security had confiscated a number of plastic swords, hint enough that the response would be wild. And it was. As the band took to the stage in their excitable glory, the capacity of the ABC leapt into life, roars echoing the hall. As they rattled through their set, lyrics were sang back with an unbridled strength.
The band took full advantage of their home set, quirkily bobbing their heads in accordance, commanding attention throughout and pandering to the country’s alcoholic love by playing ‘Buckfast Powersmash’. Their closing number ‘Captain Morgan’s Revenge’ proved a highlight, and by the time the band left the atmosphere was absolutely electric. That was a set worthy of a headlining slot, but there was still one more to come. Drumroll, please…
Though the roar that greeted Alestorm seemed mammoth at the time, it was quashed by that which met Dragonforce. It was simply deafening. Their energy is unrivalled, their stage presence undeniable. Marc Hudson has a fantastic vocal capability, and that shone in this setting, it proving to be our initial live dalliance with him. The band have a certain camaraderie on stage, from patting each other on the back as they pass to grinning like children throughout (cough – Hi, Herman).
Though there has been past controversy regarding their playing speed, that is dispelled in a setting like this. From ‘Seasons’ and ‘Die By The Sword’ to the famed ‘Through The Fire And Flames’, Dragonforce proved a force to be reckoned with. They’re constantly running, constantly moving and consistently seeking to put on a show. That enthusiasm and energy was fantastic, something a lot of other bands could take heed from. It was just such an enjoyable show to watch, even visually. They just seemed to be very into it, and when you watch a band invested in their show, it’s hard not to get sucked in, especially when Herman Li decides to lick his guitar mid-riff.
This tour was always set to be a fantastic one because the line-up was completely packed with quality bands. It certainly lived up to expectations on each slot and, dare we say it, we can’t imagine many line-ups being able to compete with this. There was barely time to catch your breath, it was just a high energy assault from band to band, and an assault we were happy to be a part of.