Rage @ Fuzz Club, Athens (GRE)

RAGE / GRAVE DIGGER / THE SILENT RAGE

Date: 29th April, 2011
Venue: Fuzz Club
Price: €35
Promoter: n/a
Photos: Vagia Anagnostou


Well that was a true German attack! The two representatives of true Power/Speed Metal RAGE and GRAVE DIGGER came to Athens for a promising co-headline show. In the middle of the 90’s those bands were more than famous in Greece with legendary albums like “Tunes Of War”, “Excalibur”, “Black In Mind”, “The Missing Link” etc. and each of them could pack venues at ease but what they can do nowadays?

Not much and I feel embarrassed that both bands couldn’t gather more than 600 people. Yes, we are in the middle of an economical crisis and yes, the tickets are not cheap at all. But when you see such a billing playing a full-set both when other bands perform about an hour with the same price… is there something more to add here? Let’s take it from the start though. I have to apologize once again to the supporting band THE SILENT RAGE for arriving late at the venue. Although my delay I got the chance to hear their cover on RUNNING WILD’s “Under Jolly Roger” and they seemed do a good job and they achieved a good connection with the crowd.

THE SILENT RAGE

The Silent Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou The Silent Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou The Silent Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou

(click to enlarge)


After a short break it was time for the ripper to rise from the fires of hell… the mascot of the band (which is performed by their keyboard player Hans Peter Katsenburg) came with the back piper on stage and we new it was time for some war tunes from Scotland! The intro “Days Of Revenge” was followed by “Paid In Blood” from DIGGER’s latest effort “The Clans Will Rise Again” and the full band was finally on stage with the timeless Chris Boltendahl (the grey) leading the Scottish crusade, dressed also as a Scottish warrior.

The crowd was on their side from the first moment of the show. GRAVE DIGGER decided to split their set in two parts. The first related to the Scottish saga and the second with songs from the rest of their career.  So, they continued with “The Dark Of The Sun”, “Hammer Of The Scots”, “Killing Time”, “The Ballad Of Mary”, “Highland Farewell” and “the very popular” as Chris said, “Rebellion”. Of course, the crowd’s reactions cannot be described with everyone singing the chorus (and everyone also taking those moments on their cell phones making it hard to see for some others…aaarrghh!!!)

The second part was also my favorite one as I always preferred their straight Heavy Metal tunes. So we had the chance to hear “Ballad Of A Hangman”, “Morgan Le Fay”, the medley of “Twilight Of The Gods/Circle of Bitches…emm sorry “Witches/The Grave Dancer” (although I wanted to hear the full versions since “The Heart Of Darkness” is my favorite record of them), “The Last Supper”, “Excaliburand “Knights Of The Cross” (sadly a very underrated album) all played with maximum power and energy from the band. It seemed like Chris could do anything with the crowd that followed his directions. Stefan Arnold did great on drums and also amused as with his tricks with the drum-sticks. I can’t say the same about Axel”Ironfinger”Ritt (guitars) who slaughtered the solos. I really miss Uwe Lulis (guitars during the glorious 1993-1999 period) as he was far better as a player and as a songwriter.

At that point DIGGER said goodnight but we wanted more so they returned to finish their job, paying first a tribute to Greece and Greece’s favorite singer of Chris, Vasilis Papakonstantinou playing his song “Hellas”, with the MANOWAR-ish “The Round Table (Forever)” and the classic through all those years “Heavy Metal Breakdown” and left while the entire the club was shouting DIGGER, DIGGER, DIGGER…”. Considering their performance they surely deserved to be the headliners of the night.

GRAVE DIGGER setlist:

01. “Days Of Revenge
02. “Paid In Blood”
03. “The Dark Of The Sun”
04. “Hammer Of The Scots”
05. “Killing Time”
06. “The Ballad Of Mary (Queen Of Scots)”
07. “Highland Farewell”
08. “Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)”
09. “Ballad Of A Hangman”
10. “Morgane Le Fay”
11. “Twilight Of The Gods” / “Circle Of Witches” / “The Grave Dancer”
12. “The Last Supper”
13. “Excalibur”
14. “Knights Of The Cross”
15. “Hellas(Vasilis Papakonstantinou cover)
16. “The Round Table (Forever)
17. “Heavy Metal Breakdown

GRAVE DIGGER

Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou
Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Grave Digger @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou

(click to enlarge)


Now the headliners had a difficult job. Could they beat their German fellows that shook the ground of Fuzz Club? From the fist notes of “The Edge Of Darkness” I knew they couldn’t. The crowd was cold and the sound wasn’t good. It was so loud that sometimes you couldn’t even understand the guitar melodies (even if Victor Smolski is a tremendous guitar player) not to mention how difficult was to hear Peavy Wagner’s voice (who was really entertaining and with some extra pounds on!). Peavy tried to get in touch with the audience dedicating the song “Hunter And Prey” “to all the girls in the house” but it was obvious that the crowd wasn’t familiar with the band’s latest works and from the main part of their set only “Higher Than The Sky”, which comes from the period were the band was half Greek, gained the attention. At the encore things got better for RAGE as they decided to play some older tunes with a fantastic medley of “Black In Mind” / “Solitary Man” / “Don’t Fear The Winter” and also paid a tribute to the mighty AC/DC playing the classic “Highway To Hell”.

In conclusion it was a worth seeing event that unfortunately the Metal audience in Greece didn’t honor it with their appearance. GRAVE DIGGER won the night giving us proofs for a promising future and RAGE that wasn’t very lucky with the circumstances but they have to reconsider and be very careful with their next steps.

RAGE setlist:

01. “The Edge Of Darkness”
02. “Soundchaser”
03. “Hunter And Prey”
04. “Into The Light”
05. “Drop Dead”
06. “Empty Hollow”
07. “Higher Than The Sky”
08. “Set this World On Fire”
09. “War Of Worlds”
10. “Black In Mind” / “Solitary Man” / “Don't Fear The Winter”
11. “Down”
12. “Highway To Hell” (AC/DC cover)

RAGE

Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou
Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou Rage @ Fuzz Club (GRE) photos by Vagia Anagnostou