After two weeks off of the beer, I was apprehensive about a "sober" gig. So had some beers.
We turned up late and missed Turisas but to be honest, we've seen them before - fun as they are, I wasn't overly devastated. The one thing that did shock and to a degree, appall, was the fact that me and Hot Chick were amongst the oldest 10% of the clientele at Astoria last night. Big deal, says you, but with a combined age of 54, we're hardly over the feckin' hill. But as we stood there watching a group of three lads aged about nine chugging 3 fingers of beer and acting shitface rat-arsed, it suddenly hit home. I looked around, up to the balcony, around the pit - I WAS that old shaven-headed guy that I used to avoid. Mixed emotions, people, mixed emotions.
Anyone, enough of my self-realisation. The 'Force took to the stage and it began. As expected, Sam Totman and Herman Li fucking ruled. It's amazing that they play the solos virtually note for note as they sound on the albums, adding masturbatory hand signals at each other, licking the guitar strings and various other [un]necessary onstage wankery. Beautiful. However, what I wasn't prepared for was quite how piss-bollockingly amazing Dave Mackintosh is on the skins. Combine the biggest drum kit I've ever seen, cage and all, with the most frankly ridiculously fast double pedal in history and you've got a spectacle to behold. For over an hour, the bloke who can't be more than about 5-foot tall owned the stage as far as I was concerned. It must be something about being a short musician - Joey Jordisson, anyone?
Never have I seen a band have so much fun. Frederic Leclercq on the 4-strings did not stop smiling for the whole set, and even ivory tinkler Vadim was going spastic crazy on the keys. ZP Theart did a great job of getting the crowd going, with perhaps the exception of the seated section up top - I know the gig had sold out but really, seating at DragonForce??
Obviously they finished with Through The Fire and The Flames, self-indulgently introduced as "the song that made Guitar Hero III famous" and amidst a flurry of plectrums and sticks, I did notice Dave missing one cymbal but overall, they were spot on.
DragonForce really are the most ludicrous band I have ever seen. Every song follows the same formula, most of the lyrics are pretty much the same, the solos saw Sam and Herman stepping to the front of the stage and taking turns to shred and call each other a wanker for the whole set, and the thunderous double pedal continued non-stop. Nothing original about any song at all. But Judas Priest (stole that from Corey Taylor; I like it) they are tight. They have a gargantuan amount of fun and you can't watch them without smiling. They really do make sure you have a fucking good night out.
Disturbed tonight - hopefully we won't be the oldest again....