Line-Up: ?, Noctura, Hell, Gloryhammer, Rage, Orden Ogan, J.B.O., Saxon, BLIND GUARDIAN.
When I heard that Blind Guardian are going to headline the second day of the Christmas Bash Festival this year I told my boyfried that we have to go there, but I did not order any tickets yet. Then I forgot about it and when they announced that the whole Imaginations from the Other Side album will be played this evening I ordered tickets as fast as I could. And, as always, I was not disappointed of my favorite band. In this entry I will reflect the whole day chronologically.
After a 3hour car drive we arrieved just in time for the first band, whose name I forgot. Before entering the location we had our belated lunch, so we almost missed the first band and only heard one song so I can't really tell how they were.
Noctura was the second band this evening, playing a mixture of black metal, death metal and black gaze, even covering ABBA (<3), and I really liked them, sadly they just played 30 minutes. After a 15 minutes break, my first highlight entered the stage: Hell. They are a typical heavy metal band, with a wonderful, dramatic show and an awesome singer. He acted and sang fantastically, I think he just was too heavy for broadway. The costumes of the band were fantastic too, they just looked as they haved escaped from an darker victorian era in a parallel universe. Sadly they are not that much known in Germany so the crowd was not that engergetic as later in the evening. Furthermore I think the missing popularity in germany explained the shortness of their setlist, they only played for 30 minutes. I hope they will tour again someday and play longer shows...
The band that followed Hell was Gloryhammer, the side project of the Alestorm singer. I am not a big fan of alestorm and Gloryhammer was (in my eyes) rather boring, even though they performed a funny, crazy show, with crazy costumes. Their music is some generic power metal, and their lyrical focus lies on some super-heroes saving the galaxy with heavy metal and alcohol. I think this kind of music is funny if you are super drunk, I found it ridiculous. So my bf and I took the chance, went back to the car to eat something and I grabbed all Blind Guardian CDs we listened to on the car ride to the festival, because I needed them for something that made this day the best day of my life. (I will talk about that in a moment)
Rage was the follow up of Gloryhammer who are a power metal band from Germany. A lot of people have gathered to see them but my bf and I decided to watch them from the back, sitting on a bench. From what I heard (i couldn't see anything) they have played and engergetic, fast set, with a lot of crowd siging and shouting, so they have been quite good but nothing super special. When they were almost through their set I got up and joind the queue for...
THE BLIND GUARDIAN SIGNING SESSION!!
I did not know about the signing session in advance, I just saw an unremarkable, small cardboard sign which announced signing sessions. Unfortunately the session of Blind Guardian was at the same time as the Orden Ogan show (which is one of my favorite bands) and so I joined the queue early and I only missed half of the Orden Ogan set. But this was absolutely worth it because I had some nice chats with other blind guradian fans while waiting in line and now I have a signed Imagiations from the Other Side, At Night at the opera, and Beyond the Red Mirror album and I just died inside when Hansi and the rest of the band stood in front of me (omg I'm such a fangirl, but this band is legendary. Really. And I have never thought this would happen to me ) .
After I have put my cds back into my pocket I joined my boyfriend in the crowd for the last three songs of the Orden Ogan show. I have seen Orden Ogan twice before, first in 2012 and another time last year and I just have to say that they have gotten better over the years and they are just playing awesome songs in an awesome show and everyone around me just shouted and screamed and sang along to their very epic power metal music. The setlist contained a well-balanced mixtured of old songs and newer ones. Another highlight of the evening was that my bf catched a drumstick and gave it to me. We went back to the car to put back my newest treasures and to sit down a bit. We were in no hurry because the following band was JBO.
JBO are also a german band, who have dedicated themselve to use famous songs, write new lyrics to the melodies and perform them in a "funny" way. Musically it was boring and lame, and as Gloryhammer this music is for driking. As Rage we watched them from the back and I was so happy when it was over. After JBO my boyfriend and I walked to the front to see Saxon and they were quite cool. As Hell, they play good, old heavy metal and it was fun to watch and hear and I had a great time and the 60 minutes show were over quite fast. There were a lot of people and a bit of crowdsurfing so I had a very nice time while wating for Blind Guardian.
As the attentive reader might know, the main act of the evening was Blind Guardian. I have seen Blind Guardian in May last year and so I had really high expectations for this evening. And I was not disappointed. They started with "the ninth wave" as opening song which is a perfect song because it builds up so nicely. Nightfall followed next and then Hansi, the singer announced what I already knew: that IImaginations from the other Side will be now played in full lenght. And every single song was played and performed fantstically. I truly have no words for it. Each of the musicians did a wonderful job, each solo and every note was just perfect. This is live music on such a high level, there are just a few comparable artists out there. My personal highlights were: imagiations from the other side, a past and future secret, mordred's song, born in a morning hall and and the story ends. After "And the Story ends" (which is the last song on the imagiantions album) they only played the two classics: the bards song and valhalla. The crowd was amazing in every single song. Every person around me knew every song by heart and so we all sang along to every epic chorus and verses. We didn't stop singing vahalla until the band left the stage and it was just a magical moment.
The only thing I have to critizise is that Blind Guardian did only play 1h and 15 minutes which was not enough but this was'n their fault. On the festival there were just too many bands and too little time.
Overall I just have to say that I had so much fun and I heard so many rarities that are seldom played live (mordred's song, I'm alive, born in a mourning hall, another holy war...) that I'm just a lucky person that I was able to see them.