Wolfsnächte (English: Wolfnights) is the title of the Powerwolf headliner tour. This is now the second time around that the band performs its party like sacral Metal on a headliner tour. And there are a few more bands suitable for a party present – with one small exception…
Ashes of Ares, whose members include Matthew Barlow, Freddie Vidales (both ex- Iced Earth) and Van Williams (ex-Nevermore), have to make a start today. Although the involved members stand for high quality, the band does not really fit in the line-up. Compared to the other bands playing today, the music by these guys is much more complex and also way more thrashy and not really suitable for a party. However, those who are already present don`t care about that. They totally feel Matt and his sidekicks. Both the crowd and the band are in a perfect mood from the first second onwards – and both give 100% from the first second onwards. It is nice to see that even those veteran musicians do not hesitate to take the thankless first slot on a tour like this. However, the Rosenhof celebrates the band and especially Matt by chanting in chorus. Nevertheless, Matt corrects the audience. He wants the entire band to be celebrated, not only him. The crowd does him this favor and chants in chorus to the band as they take their leave.
Then Battle Beast, a younger band from Finland, is up on stage. When I listened to their latest album, it was not my cup of tea. Tonight however, everything is different. This is definitely the right band at the right place and at the right time. The crowd is really hungry for the old school Metal with some party touch. Songs like `Kick Down`, `Enter The Metal World` and the final one `Out Of Control` bring some fun and are great for singing along. In this case, it doesn’t matter that the bass player Eero’s interaction with the audience between the songs appears to be a bit nervous. The opposite is true because it makes the guys even more likeable. Therefore, the overall response from the audience is close to the Ashes of Ares’ performance: A good party on and in front of the stage.
The party that had started with Ashes of Ares and Battle Beast is carried forward with Majesty. After a short set change, Tarek and his sidekicks begin their show with the best of sounds. The crowd loves anthems like `Metal Law`, `Thunder Rider` and `Metal Union` and sings along as loud as they can. It doesn`t matter that the lyrics are full of cliché and that the music is quite simple. The mixture of these two ingredients sometimes resembles of Manowar in their better days. Tarek’s fairly new band fellows play and pose at their best – it is really a pleasure to see them interact on stage. After the show, everybody on and in front of the stage is really satisfied. Both thumbs up for this show!
After this great program so far, it is doubtful if Powerwolf can even raise the level. And to cut a long story short: they can! No matter which song they play tonight, regardless of whether older stuff like `Prayer in the Dark` from “Lupus Dei“ or newer stuff like `Kreuzfeuer`, everything hits and fits: the stage acting, the light show, the sound and also the response from the audience. The members give more than 100% today and you can feel that they are really thankful and also proud that they can play this headliner show in front of so many people. First of all, there are the two guitar players Matthew and Charles Greywolf who keep posing like hell, changing stage sides, let their hair fly in the wind of two big vents, which is a cool show effect. Only their silent “screams“ seem a bit strange, but that is more or less irrelevant.
There is one more, who does a lot of action on stage and it is – you could not believe it if have never seen Powerwolf live – organist Falk Maria Schlegl. He uses every break to run up and down the stage, raise a flag above the heads of the crowd or to heat up the audience.
Also drummer Roel van Helden interacts much more with the audience than many other drummers usually do. During his breaks, he often leans above his kit and seeks direct contact with the first rows. In this case, a short drum solo does not bother anyone.
At last, there is of course Attila Dorn, the front preacher. Not only can this guy sing, he has also learned to play with the audience. He does not only know the casual sing-along games; he also tells a lot of very funny stories and stuff. It is a fine line between being funny and doing slapstick comedy, but today Attila knows how to do this balancing act.
The great performance of the band, along with a brilliant sound and the response from the audience meet all expectations today. So it does not matter that the band did not play some of their greatest songs (e.g. `Saturday Satan`) and played some more or less obsolete songs (like `Resurrection by Erection`) instead. Maybe I am the only one who feels that way today because the level of enthusiasm is constantly high. So this remark remains on a side note.
The conclusion after this evening is simple: four bands, four times a 100% show, four times an enthusiastic audience and four times no more desires fulfilled. So what else could I do than to award the highest point score? However, this is really a pleasure for me and I would have to ponder for a long time until I would recall an evening like this. Excellent!