Manowar -- Chicago, IL -- February 8th, 2014
Incredibly intimate show last night at the Logan Square Auditorium. Originally I had tickets for the Royal Oak show in Michigan a day before, but because of the cancellation for whatever reasons the Detroit fans were offered to come to the Chicago show instead at the Concord Music Hall. An added bonus was anyone who came from Detroit, got $200 worth of merchandise (which turned out to be more than expected).
Since I have never seen Manowar and have wanted to for the last decade, this opportunity was something I didn’t want to miss out on. Me and my friends talked about it the night before and three of us were down. The next morning, we lost another comrade for the trek, since he wasn’t able to go. We left Canada around 9am. An hour into Michigan we stopped at a gas station/burger king, and I checked my iphone. I had about 5 texts from people saying the show in Chicago might be cancelled. Apparently the roof of the venue the night before collapsed and we would be updated once the damage was assessed. Me and my friend waited in our vehicle for about an hour outside of the area before we decided to see if the nearest city nearby had a mall so we could have something to do. We headed to the Battle Creek mall to loiter for a while until a decision was made. About 45 minutes later in the mall, I read on facebook, the show was going to proceed. We were ecstatic to say the least. About an hour later while on the road we were updated that the show would now be at a NEW venue a couple blocks away from the old
We started heading to Chicago, and once there around 5ish the traffic was fairly bad. Atleast the roads weren’t slippery in this winter weather. Not being use to city driving many f-bombs were dropped. Turn signals would have been heavily appreciated. Once we got off the main express way, we were fine, but the worry of parking now came to be. When we found the place there were parking meters we could park at but they only had a 2 hour limit. We searched for about 45 minutes for a parking spot but couldn’t find one. Eventually we parked in a lot where other cars were parked but there were no signs saying if was okay to or not (we didn’t get a ticket so that’s all that matters). A couple other cars parked by us, so we just went on from there.
As we walked around the corner to the venue, fans were telling us the show had been pushed back to 8pm from the original 7pm start time. So since we had the tummy rumblies we decided to eat a nearby diner. The place was packed with Manowar fans. We stayed their for about a half hour than got into line for the Kings of Metal. The line was HUGE! We were fairly far back and waited outside for I’d say an hour. Not nearly aslong as others had, but it was quite nippy.
The entrance to this place was incredibly small, a very narrow stairway that I was almost sure was going lead us to a roach infested apartment. As we went up a bigger flight of stairs it led us to a ballroom that I’m sure hosted small wedding receptions or even small local events. The stage was incredibly tiny at the back end of the room, with a merch table off to the side. On either side of the stage were two big projection screens that were used through the performance, which were just slightly smaller than the stage. The stage really only consisted of the drums and a couple of Manowar’s signature metal as fuck looking amps. I’m sure with a bigger venue more could have been done, but given the circumstances I really wasn’t complaining. Never did I think I was going to see Manowar in such an intimate setting. We went to the merch table to get our complementary gift bags, but as soon as it was our turn at the table, the lights went out. They stopped selling merch at that point, and it was show time.
We chose to stand off to the side to the left. We were right in front of one of the screens. Behind the screens were amps that blarred the loudest noises I have ever experienced at a show. But more oddly I’m surprised there weren’t more people trying to clamor to the front. As the band took the stage, the rocker in me just took over. The loudness was overwhelming. From ‘Manowar’ to ‘Black Wind Fire and Steel’ I was headbanging, fist pounding, singing the entire time. This was probably my only time to experience Manowar, and darn tooten straight I’m going to become a whiplashing animal. Their were definitely some times, especially the video material that I could of done without, but Manowar thought it was important for us to see, so whatever. Probably the best part of the show for me was seeing Eric do the awesome singing/screaming during ‘Kingdom Come’. Hail and Kill was awesome, but during the slow part at the beginning one of Manowar’s security guards, im guessing, ran into the audience and yelled at a fan for using a more professional camera. They got into a heated argument, and probably for everyone else around it probably ruined the song for them. I really enjoyed the beginning of the set, and how they pretty much played Kings of Metal back to front instead of front to back. But my one BIG disappointment was, I was really hoping they actually play Crown and the Ring. It just played over the speakers as their outro. They did say they were going to play all of Kings of Metal, so I was disappointed that they didn’t, but that would be harder song to pull off, without the choir and all.
At the end of the show I was incredibly happy, and I could complain that they didn’t play this and that, but its fucking Manowar, and just seeing Manowar finally, was more than I could ask for. They pulled off an amazing show given the circumstances and I’m glad I can check them off my bucket list of bands.
2. Blood of My Enemies
3. Sign of the Hammer
4. The Lord of Steel
5. The Dawn of Battle
6. Blood of the Kings
7. Kingdom Come
8. Heart of Steel
9. Sting of the Bumblebee
10. Wheels of Fire
11. Hail and Kill
12. Kings of Metal
13. Warriors of the World United
14. Black Wind, Fire and Steel
-The Warrior’s Prayer was played on the speakers before Blood of the Kings and the outro was The Crown and the Ring
-a lot of fans were left outside apparently because of a capacity limit, including those with tickets.