Demons & Wizards - Demons and Wizards, Lizzy Borden, TYR
Live Gig

Release year: 0
Demons & Wizards
Reviewed by Joel
On the night of September 28th, I traveled to Chicago to the Concorde Theater for a night of metal. WIth openers TYR, Lizzy Borden, and Demons and Wizards. The chance to see Demons and Wizards to me, in a live setting, is nothing less than a dream concert. I always thought two of my favorite bands together, would be an amazing experience. With each band on the show, I did not feel like there was a true opening band, cause I would have seen any of them as the headliners on any date.

After a fiasco of getting my will-call ticket(venue related), I missed the opening song from TYR. For a band I have been listening to for close to 10 years, it was my first time having the opportunity to see them live. Through the 7 song set, I heard familiar tracks, like Blood of Heroes and Hold the Heathen Hammer High. The title track from the latest release, Gates of Hel, was played towards the middle of the set. Was a very energetic set for the time they played, and it got the crowd excited. I already knew how talented this band was musically by listening to them, but that shines even brighter when you see them live.

Eighties shock rocker, Lizzy Borden was next, and what a spectacle. Different masks he wore throughout the set, one with three faces, one where he looked like he was committing suicide with an axe and fake bled everywhere. A mix of glam, shock, and straight up heavy metal for 45 minutes, transported everyone back in time. I think a few people who have never heard or seen Borden, did not know what to expect. A few mouths were dropped by his outfits, a few others probably didn’t know what to say. The band worked the crowd through every song, which ranged from My Midnight Things(a 2018 release on Metal Blade, which I did not know came out till a few weeks before the show) to the anthemic American Metal and Me Against The World(I was 11 when I first heard this song, and I am 41 now). I know there is more here about the spectacle than the music itself, but this is an experience you have to see live and not read about! The musicians accompanying him, were also top notch, two amazing lead guitarists, who I do not know their name, but are very talented. Borden himself, sang with the same range he had years ago, which made the aforementioned songs sound like they were in a time capsule and brought to 2019. A fun subversion from the normal concert, and it was a great time.

Now came the mighty Demons and Wizards, and with two albums full of material from their Self-titled(1999) and Touched By The Crimson King(2000) albums I could not wait to hear which songs they played. The set opened the same as their self-titled album began with Rites of Passage and Heaven Denies. For a band that only began playing live and practicing just before Wacken festival, they sounded really tight. As you would expect from this band of professionals. With the mighty Jon Schaffer(guitars) and Hansi Kursch(vocals) together, how can it not be great? The lead guitars were provided by Jake Dreyer, a guitarist I am a big fan of(he plays with Schaffer in Iced Earth and has his own band Witherfall(which is also really good!) who played each solo with precision. As expected throughout the set, songs were played from both albums. Highlights were the acoustic Wicked Witch, with Schaffer and Kursch as the only members on stage, as well as two Iced Earth songs and two Blind Guardian songs. The first of those were Burning Times, from Something Wicked This Way Come from Iced Earth, and for Blind Guardian, it was Welcome to Dying. Terror Train from Touched By The Crimson King, was one of the fastest songs, as it blistered through. I almost forgot how fast that song is! That was actually followed by, what Kursch said was one of his favorite Iced Earth songs, and that was I Died For You. It might be a ballad, but it raised the crowds excitement to new heights! The Blind Guardian classic, Valhalla followed. The final five songs completed the set(with two as the encore, Blood on My Hands and the moving, Fiddler On The Green).

This was a great show with three bands that could easily headline any show themselves. I believe the near 100 miles I drove was for a show, I would never have the chance to see again. The Iced Earth and Blind Guardian songs were an added bonus, along with a collection of amazing songs. Before the show started, I had the honor of interviewing Hansi Kursch, please follow the link to my soundcloud to hear the interview.
Hansi Kursch Interview

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted
Other albums by Demons & Wizards that we have reviewed:
Demons & Wizards - Touched By The Crimson King reviewed by Jason and quoted 92 / 100
Demons & Wizards - Demons & Wizards reviewed by Chris and quoted 91 / 100
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