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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Blind Guardian

Live in Chicago, 2002

Review by Arnold Hablewitz

Blind Guardian went onstage to the introduction of friend and peer, Iced Earth's Jon Shaeffer, who (being from Indiana) drove out to intro his buds to the anxious crowd. Hansi Kursch and company then blasted through an hour and a half of career-spanning favorites that took more tracks off of the "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" album than anything else. Some notable omissions that struck me as odd were "Journey Through the Dark," a crowd-pleaser from the "Somewhere Far Beyond" album, as well as anything off of the "Forgotten Tales" disc, including the absolutely hysterical rendition of Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA." Rumors had circulated pre-tour that frontman Hansi Kursch would be resuming the bass duties on this tour, but this proved false as a session bassist and session keyboardist both took the stage along with the four original members, and everyone but drummer Thomas Staunch provided backing vocals to try to mimic the ridiculously multi-tracked vocals on the studio discs. Countless rockers and ballads, and two encores later, and they were done. We'd waited so long, and it was over so quick, but they promised they'd be back. Also, proving themselves to be quite the fan favorites, Blind Guardian stuck around after the show, conversed with fans, signed autographs, and were generally very cool to everyone. Take that, Fred Durst, you've been one-upped by Europeans with three times the experience, and about one third of the record sales!
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at
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