Live Action! Blind Guardian/Grave Digger live in Salt Lake City, Sept. 30 @ The Complex
Photos by Madi Smith and Review by Zane Wall ©2016
The autumn touring season is firing up, and Salt Lake City was lucky enough to play host to two troupes of German heavy metal stalwarts for the very first time, simultaneously with a rap show right across the hall. It wasn’t quite as funny as the night that Mayhem played across the hall from another rap show full of high school kids, but there were plenty of amusingly askance looks exchanged in the bathroom nonetheless.
I had wanted to see Blind Guardian for years, and they didn’t disappoint me or probably anyone in the building. They’ve been part of my reading soundtrack for a long time, so it was a bit odd actually seeing them perform, like if you were watching The Lord Of The Rings, and suddenly the Howard Shore was performing the score right next to you, in the flesh. Then I realized how awesome that would actually be, and couldn’t wipe the giant, stupid smile off my face all night. Blind Guardian’s live set sounded every bit as powerful and enchanting as their recorded work, and performed with just as much enthusiasm. It was delightful to watch Hansi Kürsch’s energetic, passionate performance, playing the crowd like an instrument, prompting them to sing along, as nearly half the crowd knew every word to every song on Imaginations From The Other Side while being played it in its entirety. The acoustic songs, which were A Past And Future Secret and The Bard’s Song, were especially great to behold live, and my personal highlight, even though you could barely hear the bass beats from the rap show next door.
Grave Digger and Blind Guardian’s first appearances in Salt Lake were a memorable and magical night, and hopefully one we get to relive very soon. It was also notable as the least stinky-sweaty big metal show I’ve ever been to. Let it be known about the Power Metal crowd that their hygiene is impeccable.