Matrix Bochum GER – This year Saxon are celebrating their 30th anniversary. And those who know Biff Byford and his companions (tonight without bassist Nibbs) also know that they would of course make a special anniversary tour. Only in smaller venues.

Big Ball , today`s support act starts with some AC/DC inspired Hardrock right on time at 8 p.m. They don`t exactly fit to the headliner, but nevertheless they make a good impression. Songs like Free Fire Zone and Big Ball Crew are quite simply structured, but they have catchy choruses which makes singing along so very easy. The dedicated stage show and a brilliant sound do the rest, so Big ball can call this one a victory.

At 9 p.m. the lights are dimming and Metallica`s Seek and Destroy blasts through the speakers. After that, Saxon enter the stage with the opener of their latest release, Battalions of Steel, which should be the theme of tonight. The following Heavy Metal Thunder shows already what were are in for tonight. However, instead of playing a regular set, Saxon are rather focusing on older material, which they haven´t played for several years.

Surprisingly, the otherwise so enthusiastic audience in Bochum needs a long time to warm up today. Is it due to the fact that the gig´s in the middle of the week? Or is it because there are many older, more normal guys with their wives in the crowd? I don`t know, but it´s definitely not because of Saxon´s performance as they are giving their all as always. It´s only when the guys start playing a medley, consisting of Warrior, Battle Cry, Sixth Form Girls and Man and Machine, that the ice is finally broken.

After quite short two hours the show is already over. It is actually a pity that the latest releases, like Killing Ground (no song), Lionheart (featured only in the medley), The Inner Sanctum (no song) and The Labyrinth (latest release with only 2 featured songs), were more or less ignored by the band. So it is hard to call this evening a best-of show. But, on a positive note, it makes me even more excited to hear those songs at the upcoming concerts.

Timo Pässler - reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - - - Power, Speed, Melodic, Symphonic and Thrash Metal, sometimes also Black and Death Metal, when I am in mood for it - - - Favorite bands? - - - Blind Guardian, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Powerwolf, Kreator, Vader, Avantasia, Iced Earth, Amon Amarth and many more! - - - Other interests? - - - Music (listening + playing), sports, acting and scouts