On Sunday 30th June hundreds of fans came down to the Islington Assembly Hall to see Demons and Wizards, that power metal supergroup led by Hansi Kursch and Jon Schaffer perform songs from their two albums. The gig was extra special as it was the first time the band had ever played in the UK.
They started off strong. “Chant,” “Rites of Passage,” and “Heaven Denies,” got the crowd going, they were seriously amped up and when “Poor Man’s Crusade,” kicked in, you could tell this was going to be a special night. The band were in top form, with Kursch belting out the vocals as though this was 1999, not 2019. Schaffer as always was on point with this rhythm work. “Crimson King,” got a rip roaring reception and was one of the many occasions when fans got to see exactly why Schaffer is up there with James Hetfield as one of the greatest rhythm guitarists ever. “Loves Tragedy Asunder,” delivered a hammerbolt and when the band moved into a cover of Iced Earth’s “Burning Times,” the room shook with intensity.
From there, the band ventured into “Welcome To Dying,” a Blind Guardian song which drew roars of approval. They then slowed things down and brought out the acoustics for “White Witch,” which had fans using their phones as lighters. From there came “Beneath These Waves,” another song which drew roars from the crowd and had them singing along mightily. “The Gunslinger,” “Terror Train,” and “I Died For You,” brought the band to a rapturous mid way point and the last song had everyone singing along mightily.
“Valhalla,” by Blind Guardian started off the final third of the show. Fans got going and a mosh pit even started off. “Tear Down The Wall,” “Gallows Pole,” and “My Last Sunrise,” brought the crowd up and kept them going as demands for an encore grew louder. Those shouts were answered by “Fiddler On The Green,” and “Blood On My Hands,” which sent the fans cheering away into the night.
Demons and Wizards dominated and showed why they are legends. Don’t wait another nineteen years to come back please!