Dragonforce -- Philadelphia, PA -- May 3rd, 2006
Hello all, here I am with my second show review of the week. On Wednsday night, my sister and our good friend John (theclansman1114) attended show #2 for the week. Dragonforce at the Trocadero in Philly.
First of all, this show was sold out, so naturally I was expecting a lot of people, but holy fuck, the place was god damn packed to the rafters for the most part. By the time doors opened there was a line stretching as far as we could see behind us. We managed to be like 4th row during the opening bands' sets.
First band on was Sanctity. The Metal-Archives description was fairly accurate, melodic thrash metal. They had their more extreme bits, but when their singer tried, he actually was a decent singer, somewhat reminiscent of Jon Oliva with a little James Hetfield mixed in. Their guitar work was rather good. I'm not gonna start listening to them or anything, but I didn't mind standing through their set.
Protest the Hero was the second band. Wow. Holy shit. These guys were possibly the worst and most mis-matched opener I've ever seen. Even before they played a note you could tell what was coming. Their style was a little bit of a lot of things, but for the most part, I'd call it emo/screamo. Luckily just about everyone in our area found them equally as disgusting as we did. Within a couple songs, we managed to get many rows of people to face completely the other direction, boo the band, and give them the finger. However, for some reason, the band seemed to get some sort of sick pleasure out of the fact that we all hated them.
Alright, following that band, there was an oddly long wait until Dragonforce. The closer it got to the time, the crowd got more out of hand. By the time the intro music fired up and the lights died down, we decided we should move to the back of our section before things got rediculous. We decided correctly, as the place went mad when the band came on.
The question I'm sure most people have is whether or not Dragonforce can live up to the speed and complexity of their studio sound when they play live.
I will start by saying, it's far from note-perfect, but what can you expect really. The drumming was dead on, which was surprising, and the keyboards sounded good too. The bass was a bit too loud for my tastes. The vocals were overall good, but not loud enough. Now, the guitar-work... First off, I have never seen so much out-right wanking in my life. Not just the speed and difficulty of what they were playing, but how much they screwed around while doing it. The tone was very very obnoxious, and half the time all you heard was a blur, the definition of the notes was rather poor. I mean, I'm no guitar virtuoso, but I could tell that they were definately more concerned with showing off than playing things properly.
My biggest problem was that the set began to drag and blur together way too much from very early on. Every song is the same... 7 minutes long, fast as hell, 8 guitar solos, overly melodic chorus, etc... I mean I'm sort of a hypocrite since I like the band in the first place, but I was almost ready to leave 6 songs into the show.
Overall though, the band is a great example of a "good times band"... next to Edguy, they were the second most-fun band I've ever seen live. They weren't afraid to make asses out of themselves on stage, which is nice at times.
Anyway, I'd say the Gamma Ray show was definately better in terms of the overall band's sound and performance, and I didn't come home quite as disgusted at the audience, but Dragonforce definately allowed me to sit back, relax, and take a show in for once, rather than being right in the middle of the action. I had a good time.
2.Fury of the Storm
3.Operation Ground and Pound
4.Black Winter Night
5.Storming the Burning Fields
6.Dawn Over a New World
8.Soliders of the Wasteland
9.My Spirit Will Go On
10.Through the Fire and the Flames
11.Heart of the Dragon
12.Valley of the Damned