Wow, so many questions to answer in my proper review:
We got to the venue around 4:30-4:45ish and were the first people in the line. Apparently there was some VIP/Meet and Greet thing people payed extra for that I didn't even know about - not that I would've bought it anyway. I just didn't even see anything about it online. I was right on the rail, a little bit left of center.
Show started promptly at 7:30 with NYC-area band DesDemon. Not great, but not bad either. This was my 3rd time seeing them and my favorite performance of the bunch, so not bad at all. Second support band, The Absence, was on at 8:15. Not my thing whatsoever. Some decent instrumentation (guitar work kinda reminded me of Evergrey at times actually), but the vocals were just all horrible growling. I've seen far worse, but to say I didn't enjoy them would be an understatement. Third and final support band were Powerglove, who went on around 9:10. Jesus christ, I finally understand why this band attracts a lot of hate. This was quite honestly the dumbest spectacle I've ever witnessed at a concert. The combination of the costumes, the concept, the sloppiness of their playing, or how seriously most of the audience seemed to take it... Wow. That's all I can say. For anyone curious about the set, I don't know what they've decided to rename the songs to, but I do specifically remember hearing music from Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, and the god damn Pokemon theme. Wow, the whole 45 minutes was gayer than 2 men having sex.
By the time Firewind came on, I'd say there were probably about 500 people inside the venue. Not amazing, but for them headlining, pretty damn good. My point about Gus playing with Ozzy was definitely proven though. Overall the crowd was a mix of trendy metal kids and old fogy guys in Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Judas Priest t-shirts. Now, this wouldn't be a real issue if like NONE of these people seemed to have actually been familiar with Firewind's music. I mean, I guess you could argue that it doesn't matter, because they're getting more popular either way. But it's just exactly what I expected - they're not really gaining genuine fans.
Either way, Firewind hit the stage at like 10 or a little later and absolutely slayed. I have no idea who was playing bass for them, but it was not Petros Christo, and I can't for the life of me find any info on who was filling in for the tour. But Gus G and Bob Katsionis were incredible as expected, and new drummer Michael Ehre (Metalium) really impressed me. Apollo was also in top form as a frontman. Overall the mix was good, as was the sound quality. My only complaint was that Katsionis was too low in the mix. Aside from that, really no complaints at all. Great show all around, they did not disappoint. Definitely one of my favorite shows of this year.
with Bob Katsionis: