Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Helloween at the PlayStation Theater

Andi Deris
Helloween was formed in 1983 by members of Gentry, Iron Fist, and Powerfool in Hamburg, Germany. The band quickly became a pioneering force in the power metal genre, and has sold over eight million records and received 14 gold and six platinum awards. Twelve musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, which since 2005 has consisted of vocalist Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble. The band's 15th studio album, My God-Given Right, was released on May 29, 2015.

Helloween came on stage at the PlayStation Theater tonight to the recorded sound of the title track of 1985's debut Walls of Jericho album; this was a bold move, considering that the composition that was recorded before many in the audience were born. Once in place, the musicians charged into 1989's "Eagle Fly Free," mixing a bit of thrash metal with Iron Maiden-like vocal melodies. Even when the 18-song set moved into newer songs, the concert paid homage to vintage 1980s power metal. In some ways, the performance sounded dated, but it accentuated the strength of that era of music, when clean metal dynamics and sterling instrumentation were more climactic and less abrasive. The songs featured speedy grooves, twin guitar leads, soaring vocals and occasional gang vocal harmonies on the choruses. Helloween also revived the old practice of guitar and drum solos towards the end of the nearly two-hour set. For those who were not yet attending concerts in the 1980s, Helloween's concert was a teleport to that metal age.

Visit Helloween at www.helloween.org.