Gamma Ray + Lord
The Gaelic Club, Sydney; 10th December 2006
Sometime on Sunday afternoon 5 Novocastrians piled into a car and made the trek south yet again this time to see the king of power metal Kai Hansen and his merry troupe better known as Gamma Ray. As long time fans of Helloween all of us have loved the Music Kai has released and the chance to see Gamma Ray live was something none of us were prepared to miss. We arrive at the Madison Hotel around 7.30 on Sunday night and decided it`s time to re-fuel on some liquid refreshments. The five of us decided to take a pew outside due to the weather and suddenly we see the band coming out of the back entrance of the Gaelic and piling into a van. Despite charging back to the car to grab the camera for some happy snaps they take off giving us the horns when we yelled out to them. It`s so nice sitting outside and drinking that we missed Lord`s set, well I don`t miss the Gaelic`s over-inflated drink prices but missing out on seeing Lord was a shame as they sounded great when they supported Nevermore.
We entered the Gaelic Club confronted with a sea of power metal T-shirts, mainly BG and the Gamma Ray tour shirt. Decide I need one as well to add to the collection, so I checked out the T-shirt stand to find out all the XL`s sold out. Damn you Melbourne! Plenty of drinks and heaps of mates, there was a feeling in the air that this was going to be a great show. For what seemed like an eternity the house lights went down and the moment what everyone had been waiting for had arrived.
When the band came out on stage the crowd broke into the GAMMA RAY chant and the band blasted straight into `Garden of the Sinner` from `Powerplant`. Musically the band sounded great, though not as LOUD as Nevermore, was the music was incredibly clear unlike the usual muddy sound that the Gaelic Club offers. The band themselves were incredibly tight, Dan`s drums were solid and after hearing Henjo`s guitar work on the later Gamma Ray and Avantasia albums, and now, after seeing him perform live, I would say he is one of the most under-rated guitar players going around. Kai`s voice live is a varied as on disc, from low and deep to falsetto high, and Dirk moshed along all night which his trademark frog-like grin.
The band played a lot of stuff from the `Land of the Free` album right through to the latest release `Majestic``, even busting some old classic tracks like `The Silence` and `Heavy Metal Universe`. Kai at one stage between songs broke into the `Aussie Aussie Aussie!` chant to which the crowd responded with the obligatory `Oi Oi Oi!`. Kai got the crowd involved again during `Blood Religion` with the `I`ll sing one, you sing one chorus` which the crowd ate up. When the band started playing the intro to `Rebellion in Dreamland` the fans erupted, then they went from `Rebellion` straight into "Land of the Free`, two of the best Gamma Ray songs in their catalogue. The 2 highlights for me were `Valley of the Kings`, which is my favourite Gamma Ray song and the three song Helloween medley of `Ride the Sky`, `Future World` & `I Want Out`. I was blown away by the way the crowd reacted to these songs, there were a lot of guys there a lot younger than me but they knew the words to not only the Helloween stuff but also to all the Gamma Ray songs as well. I would have like them to play a bit more from the first three albums but I guess Ralf`s voice is hard to emulate live.
By the time alcohollica had well and truly kicked in it was encore time after the band had departed the stage they played one encore for the chanting fans. Saying goodbyes to all my Sydney mates and I find out Warhead is leaving Australia soon (see you next time Max!!). Arrive at my mate`s car after a killer night and the Passenger rear window is smashed and the car is cleaned out. He has lost a great deal of stuff and my wife`s wallet and handbag is gone. To the piece of human waste that done this- Karma will catch up with you, you thieving cunt, you put a dampener on but did not ruin our night. Hails to Gamma Ray for coming down under and putting on a great show!!
Gardens Of The Sinner
Heaven Can Wait
One With The World
Heavy Metal Universe
Beyond The Black Hole
New World Order
Rebellion In Dreamland
Land Of The Free
Valley Of The Kings
Somewhere Out In Space
Ride the Sky / Future World / I Want Out