Gamma Ray -- New York City, NY -- May 1st, 2006
Well, last night, May 1st was a day Iíve been waiting for for quite some time now. My sister, my good friend John, our friend Tony, and myself went to New York City to see Gamma Ray. For anyone keeping score, this was only the 3rd show theyíve ever played in North America in over 15 years since their first album.
We got into New York around 3:30 and got something to eat, and got in line around 4. Doors opened pretty much right on time at 6. We were maybe 5th in line in the normal line, but there was a good 20-some people in the VIP line. For those not familiar with BB Kings VIP tickets, they allow you to get earlier entry to the club and get a free poster. We were about 3rd row at the show, which was nice, unfortunately the long-ass wait for the first band was not.
The first band on was Arctic Flame. Iíd say these guys were more or less traditional/power metal, kinda run-of-the-mill, but nevertheless, I enjoyed them. I was lucky enough to catch one of their demo CDs they threw out.
The second band was Into Eternity. Well, for anyone who knows my show history, they know that this was my third time seeing this band because they opened 2 previous shows I attended last year. All I can say is theyíve definitely not grown on me. In fact, I now hate them far more than I ever did before. They have 3 guys in the band that sing, and none of them are at all good. Their frontman squeals like a little pig half the time and does very horrible growling the other half. The musicianship is very random and pointless as well. Not to mention this pointlessly aggressive music just brings out the worst side of every audience on earth. If I had to hear their pathetic frontman ask us how ďmetalĒ we were one more time or brag about how great it felt to be up there, I swear I was going to hurl. I fucking despise this band more and more each time Iím forced to stomach one of their live shows. Yes, I know Iím ranting, and I intended to.
Anyway, the opening acts were over by 9:30 and Gamma Ray came on around 10. The audience was very very into it, almost too much at times. Most of the folk in my area seemed to have good intentions, but things were very tightly packedÖ my arms were in the air the whole time because I couldnít put them down. I can handle being tightly packed in and experiencing a little back-and-forth movement if Iím seeing a great band, but I have no tolerance for people who want to be ass holes. Crowd surfing and moshing have absolutely no place at power metal shows. Though I hate the practice in general, I admit, it has itís place, but itís place is definitely not at power metal shows. I couldíve survived up front, but I was thirsty and tired, so about half way through the main set, I made my way towards the back. BB Kingís is small and has a raised level in the back, so I managed to get a really good view of the stage, and being farther back allowed me to take in the sound a lot better. I have to say, I was very very impressed, they were definitely one of the best sounding live bands Iíve seen. Especially the guitar sound, Kai and Henjo were phenomenal. All in all, I was rather disappointed about the short set length, because I know the band has been playing songs like My Temple, Heaven Can Wait, and One With the World at other gigs on the tour. Regardless, they still did a really great show, and I made my way back through the audience for the encores.
My friend John (theclansman1114) is a fan club member, so he got a meet and greet with the band. He got like a dozen things signed by them, but he was kind enough to get my Majestic booklet signed by everyone and my Michael Kiske Ė Instant Clarity booklet signed by Kai. We met up outside around quarter-of 1, and we managed to make good time on the ride home, despite getting lost in New Jersey. We got home sometime between 2:30 and 3. Definitely a good night, and if anyone out there still has the chance to see them on this tour, do it, you will not be dissapointed.
1.Gardens of the Sinner
2.New World Order
6.Heavy Metal Universe
8.I Want Out
9.Rebellion In Dreamland
10.Land of the Free
11.Valley of the Kings
12.Somewhere Out In Space / Rebellion In Dreamland
13.Send Me a Sign