KIT XX Day 1 @ Lauda-Königshofen (DE) - Page 2


MariaV: After the amazing, melodic serving from Q5, again, it was time for something totally different; MEDIEVAL STEEL and their epic Power Metal are not a stranger to ‘KIT’’s audience, and I have to admit I was really excited watching them for the second time at this festival (the first one was back in 2013, and who can forget the epic closing of that set with thousands of people singing the “Medieval Steel” hair-rising chorus?). So yes, I was expecting equally epic moments here, and these expectations seemed not far away since the moment the band stepped onstage under the galloping tunes of “Battle Beyond The Stars”, the crowd approached the stage ACAP (as close as possible) and seemed to have studied the songs, the lyrics and the band’s onstage moves, being ready to participate to the festival’s activities. “Powersurge” and “The Killing Fields” hit us without a pause, while “Lost In The City” drove us all the way back to ’87, proving at the same time that Bobby Franklin’s voice is in the same top-notch form, no matter how many decades have passed, even though he joked “I am not the only one who has been drinking beer this evening, it’s so hard to sing”.

My personal favorite “Warlords” passed the baton to “Echoes” and put a semicolon to the oldies of the setlist, since it was time for the new and equally epic “Gods Of Steel”, making me think “what’s not to love here?”. I mean, we all love seeing bands reunite and play all the older tunes we love, but watching a band bleeding and breathing new music onstage is a one-of-a-kind experience and the palpable proof that our beloved music still goes on strong. And speaking about newer stuff, Bobby’s simple words “this one is from the “Dark Castle” album” was the perfect introduction to “Thou Shall Not Kill” that came back-to-back with the mid-tempo “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” and gave us some well-needed breathes, right before the triple attack of “To Kill A King” / “American War Machine” / (and of course) “Medieval Steel”. And in case you’re wondering if 2017’s MEDIEVAL STEEL’s set-closing was equally epic to the 2013 one, you’ll have to watch the videos from that night storming already YouTube and judge by yourselves. To everybody who attended this show, MEDIEVAL STEEL’s set was certainly among the first day’s favorites. Their onstage energy is so addictive that you can stay indifferent.

MEDIEVAL STEEL setlist:

01. “Battle Beyond The Stars”
02. “Powersurge”
03. “The Killing Fields”
04. “Lost In The City”
05. “Warlords”
06. “Echoes”
07. “Gods Of Steel”
08. “Thou Shall Not Kill”
09. “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow”
10. “To Kill A King”
11. “American War Machine”
12. “Medieval Steel”

MEDIEVAL STEEL

Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Medieval Steel @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DimK: The next on the billing was definitely not going to change the Metal mood MEDIEVAL STEEL had put us. OMEN were about to storm the stage being one of strongest representatives of the US Power Metal scene. And to make things even sweeter, the band had a new album under its belt with “Hammer Damage” having Kevin Goocher behind the mic. So, would OMEN top off what MEDIEVAL STEEL and Q5 have done before them? Keep also in mind, that the better the performances, the higher the fatigue of the crowd, so I was curious to see how things would pan out. Well, it did not take long to figure out how things would go down; Kevin screamed “are you ready?” and saw lots of fists in the air, seconds before shirtless Kenny Power walked in delivering the opening riff of “Hell Rider” from the earthshaking “Battle Cry” album. Oh yeah, everyone was ready to get the show on with the word “fatigue” remaining unknown. This album would have the lion’s share in the OMEN setlist, following the tradition of bands doing something special (and old-school, of course) for ‘KIT’. As much as I love getting to hear some oldies live, I still prefer to hear the new stuff from a band but this is what the ‘KIT’ prefers, right?

Kevin showed up with an axe in hand and started reciting the spoken of “The Axeman” and soon the crowd joined in and took over the last sentence. No matter your Metal affiliation, it is moments like this one that make live shows being this amazing. The first new song of the set was “Up From The Deep” which was released as a 7” split vinyl with BATTLEROAR. Unfortunately, the crowd’s response was kind of weak (when compared to the previous ones), underlining how wrong I am when asking for more new songs (especially, in this festival setting). Yeah, “Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)” restored the Metal concert atmosphere, even though OMEN sneaked up a new one without stopping. For me, “Hammer Damage” worked great live with the “hail, hail” part. Kevin praised ‘KIT’ saying “this is the best festival in the world” adding that his first time was back in 2004 before going back to singing with the epic “Warning Of Danger” during which the audience joined in singing – again, awesome! The bass intro brought “Hell’s Gate” to give everyone a short breather, while my personal favorite “Teeth Of The Hydra” knocked everyone’s shocks off. To me, songs like this one are the definition of US Power Metal and there is no room for further analysis here. “Battle Cry” was the obvious setlist-closer, and for this, Kevin brought his daughter to sing along and ROXXCALIBUR’s guitarist (I think it was Roger Dequis) to beef up the guitars. That ended the set on the highest of notes but there was room for one more... The loud cheers and the chanting of the band’s name brought OMEN back with “Die By The Blade” which properly ended the set, seeing Kenny crowdsurfing.

OMEN setlist:

01. “Death Rider”
02. “Last Rites”
03. “The Axeman”
04. “Up From The Deep”
05. “Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)”
06. “Hammer Damage”
07. “Warning Of Danger”
08. “Hell's Gate”
09. “Teeth Of The Hydra”
10. “Battle Cry”
11. “Die By The Blade”

OMEN

Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Omen @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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MariaV: I don’t remember to have witnessed a show so intense at ‘KIT’ like DEMOLITION HAMMER’s; sure, a lot of historic bands have stepped on the huge ‘KIT’ stage, but if my memory serves me well, I can’t recall watching such a violent moshpit at the center of the Hall right from the start, feeding from the energy this band was spitting from the stage through the lyrics and the fiery riffs. Whoever is familiar with DEMOLITION HAMMER’s raw Thrash shouldn’t be expecting something less than that, but judging that we were in a festival setting and so deep in the billing, one would expect the audience’s energy to have decreased a bit, especially since in the equation involved lots of consumption of beer. “Are you prepared for the violence?”, was the rhetoric question Steve Reynolds asked the moment the band appeared in front of the hungry-for-Thrash crowd, and the first notes of “Skull Fracturing Nightmare” filled nicely the Hall, significantly minimizing any echo-effect we have witnessed earlier in the day, as it was packed. “Neanderthal” followed without a pause, bringing back some ‘90s Thrash memories and it didn’t take long for the band to show their appreciation being in front of such an intense crowd: “It’s been a long fucking time, 25 fucking years”, Steve said before “Epidemic Of Violence” that was treated – as expected – with some more moshing.

“We are DEMOLITION fucking HAMMER from fucking New York and we have been all over the place, coming with “Infectious Hospital Waste” – wow, this might be the first time I’ve ever heard so many fucking-s in one sentence, but man, we loved it; this band’s onstage cool attitude and high-skilled playing, with less talking and more doing, was the best way to push our energy levels to the limit during such a full day, so any doubt I had regarding putting DEMOLITION HAMMER so late in the billing that day had already vanished into thin air. “Carnivorous Obsession” prepared us in the best possible way for “Crippling Velocity” as Steve asked: “Is everyone with us? We travelled thousands of miles to be here after 25 years, so let us make you go home with a ding in your fucking skull”. I know – cool, huh? The SLAYER-esque atmosphere and the entire-band-sings vocals pushed us even harder and it was really cool watching from a (safe) distance all those crowdsurfers / moshpitters taking care those falling down during the violent activities, underlining once more time that metallers show real respect for each other. “I would like to thank the security guys for taking care of the crowd” were Steve’s exact words right after that song, that led to the rest of the set without further pauses or comments, showcasing that DEMOLITION HAMMER really meant business and didn’t want to waste any time with unnecessary talking. Yup, “Hydrophobia”, “Aborticide” and “Cataclysm” came back-to-back, while the band’s absolute badassness proved with their onstage slaying riffs during the f’n awesome “Human Dissection” and the equally smashing “.44 Caliber Brain Surgery” that dropped the curtain after 60 minutes of pure and brutal Thrash joy. And in case you’re wondering, yes, there were a lot of metalheads heading towards the exit for some fresh air and refills, as rehydration was absolutely necessary at that point, and well, well deserved. And while waiting for the headliners of the evening to step on and continue the show, Steve’s goodnights for the night were still ringing inside my head: ‘Keep It True’, you rock, man - We are DEMOLITION fucking HAMMER.

DEMOLITION HAMMER setlist:

01. "Skull Fracturing Nightmare"
02. "Neanderthal"
03. "Epidemic Of Violence"
04. "Infectious Hospital Waste"
05. "Carnivorous Obsession"
06. "Crippling Velocity"
07. "Hydrophobia"
08. "Aborticide"
09. "Cataclysm"
10. "Human Dissection"
11. ".44 Caliber Brain Surgery"

DEMOLITION HAMMER

Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Demolition Hammer @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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DimK: After the DEMOLITION HAMMER that seemed to have drained the energy of a big chunk of the ‘KIT’ audience, it was time for the headliners. MANILLA ROAD had their own celebration on the way as this was the band’s 40th anniversary but it was also the 30th anniversary of the “Mystification” release. Too many anniversaries, right? So, we were up for a / another special treat  and, to be honest, I have started wondering if having such special sets are mandatory to draw more people to these festivals. On one hand, I do like those celebrations, and on the other, I wonder at what point an anniversary show becomes more significant than the band’s new album... Anyways, the truth is that the stadium looked absolutely packed all the way to the back with people willing to deplete their remaining energy watching the legendary band from Wichita, Kansas.

The first part of the MANILLA ROAD set had Randy “Thrasher” Foxe behind the drumkit, and seconds after the lights went out, the clean guitar arpeggio of “Astronomica” kicked off the show. That was an odd way to start the set but at the same time it gave some precious time to gather up the remaining strength and dive headfirst to the mysticism of MANILLA ROAD. Ok, I will admit I could not recognize the gentleman with the cowboy hat who was present during the stage preparations, but as the show started, I got my answer... Yeah, Hellroadie had acquired this looks and in a bizarre way fitted the always mystified atmosphere surrounding this band. As it happens each and every time, Mark “The Shark” Shelton amazed me with the volume of his guitar sound, especially during the solo during the six-string steps on the spotlight. Bryan introduced Phil Ross on bass and Randy behind the drums and turned up the Metal heat with “Weavers Of The Web”. Now there was some movement in the first rows as people started getting into the MANILLA ROAD vibe. But then, it was taken a notch down with the slow intro of “Mystification” but there was nice singing along during the opening lines sung by Mark. “Dragon Star” continued on the same vibe backed up by a pretty good sound and I think the packed venue helped reducing the annoying echo that was plaguing the majority of the sets. The first shivers-down-your-spine moment happened with the amazing melody of “The Ninth Wave” which Bryan introduced by raising an imaginary glass and adding these words: “hail to the king, the king Arthur. Of course, the chanting following Mark’s guitar riff amplified this to the max and right there the set gained the power I needed to get rid of all the fatigue. And to follow this with the title track from “Into The Courts Of Chaos”, one of my MANILLA ROAD album favorite, set up the night’s mood and picked up the pace. Add to this, “The Prophecy”, which Bryan said it was banned in South Korea, and I was a happy man! “Haunted Palace” dropped the curtain for the part with Randy “Thrasher” Foxe who stepped in the front of the stage to get his well-deserved standing ovation. Ok, not-literally because the majority of the crowd was already standing, but you get what I am saying.

Neudi got behind his set and “Flaming Metal Systems” set a different setting; there was more movement from the audience and the sing-along got more volume as if another band got on stage. But this is the uniqueness of MANILLA ROAD and this changing styles and atmosphere in a single set. Neudi requested this song and it has been a long time since we’ve played this live”, Bryan said before “The Empire”. There was a different mood inside the stadium as if the band and the audience had decided to end the first day of ‘KIT’ on the highest of notes. And that’s what happened starting off with the groovy “Queen Of The Black Coast” and climaxing with the double treat from the “Crystal Logic” LP, with the titled track and “Necropolis”. Oh yeah, there was a bit of everything; singing-along and moshing-along...

There were two encores with “Open The Gates” and “Masque Of The Red Death”, respectively ending the night on a high note, despite the fact that this was also the end of a really long day. Now, I see why MANILLA ROAD structured their set as they did; start off with the atmospheric songs and then kicked it up a notch with the faster ones that would be more inviting for the audience to participate. In other words, MANILLA ROAD played the role as a powerful headliner and closed the first day of ‘KIT’ which echo-issues aside saw great performances. Off to the hotel to regroup for day two!

MANILLA ROAD setlist:

01. “Astronomica”
02. “Weavers Of The Web”
03. “Mystification”
04. “Dragon Star”
05. “The Ninth Wave”
06. “Into The Courts Of Chaos”
07. “The Prophecy”
08. “Haunted Palace”
09. “Flaming Metal Systems”
10. “The Ram”
11. “The Empire”
12. “The Riddle Master”
13. “Queen Of The Black Coast”
14. “Necropolis”
15. “Crystal Logic”
16. “Open The Gates”
17. “Masque Of The Red Death”

MANILLA ROAD

Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Keep It True XX, Lauda-Königshofen (DE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Damien Thorne @ Keep It True XVII @  Lauda-Königshofen (GER) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)