Dragonforce @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (11/25/2008)

If Metal that moves almost as fast as the speed of light is what excites you then Dragonforce is definatley the band that you have been looking for to feed that hunger.  The band was hitting New York City once again and would bring Finland’s “Battle Metal” heroes Turisas along for the ride.  The exciting show took place at The Fillmore NY and should you want to learn more and see a lot of photos just scroll past the logo below to see our thoughts on it all.

Logo - Dragonforce

Artist: Dragonforce
Venue: Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Turisas, Powerglove
Date: 11/25/2008
Label: Roadrunner Records

Dragonforce is definitely a band whose busy schedule of touring only seems to match the very speed of their music and with their inclusion on the “Guitar Hero” game and a blistering new release in “Ultra Beatdown” they have been a non-stop musical entity that is hell bent on entertaining the masses. Tonight’s show would be at The Fillmore NY, and it was amusing to be here again so soon since I was only here last night for the performance of Lordi and Lizzy Borden. Joining Dragonforce would be Turisas who I had some awareness of and a band called Powerglove who I had never heard of before tonight. Here is how the adventuring took place should you not have made it into the venue or even knew about the gig.

Powerglove: Tonight would be my first time ever even hearing the name of the band Powerglove and to the honest the whole thing sounded to me like something out of a super hero comic book. That’s not always a bad thing if its part of their overall approach but sadly I wouldn’t catch even a second of their performance and had it not been for the positie comments of the legions I would not have written this much. So I shall keep my eyes and ears open for them in the event that among the bevy of bands I regularly see that they manage to pique my own interest. I did arrive just as Turisas was set to dominate the stage and one could feel the Viking spirt flowing in the room as the intro music brought them out to entertain us.

Turisas: It was only a few months ago that we last saw Turisas when they co-headlined the first ever “Paganfest” which had landed in NYC for a show held back in May of this year over at B.B. King Blues Club. They appeared with Ensiferum, Tyr and Eluveitie and if you missed that particular gig then I feel bad for you based on just how good it actually was. The highlights of that show itself were many and I had to admit that both Turisas and Eluveitie were my favorites so it was nice to find these Viking Warriors back on our shores as they pillaged the town with their music. The six member group is fronted by singer Matthias Nygard, who comes off as a warrior chieftain commanding his troops into glorious battle for the sake of the Metal. If you have not yet seen photos of the group then you should be made aware of how they come out in an almost ancient type of barbarian armor and they all sport both war paint and what appears to be blood but of course we know that it is really nothing of the sort. I was surprised to find them opening up with “Battle Metal” since that’s more of their closing number but had to admit that it worked well as an introductory track.

Matthias talked to the crowd a couple of times and at one point was discussing how when they last played they had been given Budweiser beer, and with their being Finnish and used to stronger stuff that it was American piss . Tonight he held up a can of Heineken and mused aloud “German piss” to which the crowd laughed very loud. They were going over well and part of this is based on how much intensity they put out during a show. Their violinist Olli is a madman on the stage and he adds to the visual angle while their newest accordion player, Netta Skog, is generally nothing but smiles while she plays. The set was rousing from beginning to end but really seemed to pick up the pace when they got to their hit single of “Rasputin”. I couldn’t believe that this song was actually a cover by a German Pop-Disco band called Boney M when I first heard it and if you are as shocked as I am just look for it on YouTube.com . Cover or not, I really like the way that Turisas does it and find the tune to be a whole lot of fun. Sadly, their far too brief set would conclude with the opening track from “The Varangian Way”, the riding into glorious battle song “To Holmgard And Beyond”. Many fans who were here tonight were disappointed in just how short the set would be for Turisas and some were planning on traveling to Poughkeepsie where the band was doing a headlining off-night appearance. One can only hope that longer sets and additional appearances with them as the headliner are in their future and I can safely say that I will be there when this happens.

Dragonforce: Supporting their latest break neck Super sonic Melodic Metal masterpiece “Ultra Beatdown”, the guys in Dragonforce were primed to give a crowded Fillmore NY a run for their money from the stage this evening. I had not seen the band since they performed with Killswitch Engage back in March of 2007, and since that time they had kept themselves busy by touring in a seemingly endless fashion with each and every spot gathering them more fans for their army. Tonight would be my third time seeing the band and with each appearance I find myself enjoying the manner in which they do things all the more. Founded by singer ZP Theart back in 1999, they have had a number of lineup changes, but to the fans who are getting to enjoying them in the States since around 2006, the membership roster has been rather stable with Herman Li and Sam Totman on guitar, Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboards, Dave Mackintosh on drums and Fred Leclercq on bass. “Ultra Beatdown” as an album comes off as a perfect continuation on what we enjoyed from their “Inhuman Rampage” CD and while the band would pay some attention to the release we would not find them forgetting their older stuff. As I glanced over the numbers that were being executed with levels of energy that I could only define as super human from time to time, I noticed how a nice amount of the nine tunes were also coming from the previous album and my own introduction to the band “Sonic Firestorm”.

Metal fans need to treat themselves to a Dragonforce performance at least once in their life even if their particular brand of music is not their favorite based on how well they entertain you. It’s a non stop roller coaster of melodies where we find the twin guitar virtuosos Li and Totman doing their best to out play each other and one can often see that they are taunting each other during the set before doing their own thing. It’s really fun to watch. The rhythm section is a crushing blow of thunder which comes care of the almost invisible Mackintosh who cannot easily be seen from behind all of his drums and Fred Leclercq who runs around in the front quite a bit unless he needs to be helping out with the groups harmony vocals. They would open tonight’s gig with “Heroes Of Our Time”, which is a track that would eventually earn a Grammy nomination for “Best Metal Performance”. I love “Fury Of The Storm” and with this one it showed us very early on that the longer and more epic numbers would be par for the course. The set was only going to run at nine tunes which I have already stated but readers who don’t know the band should be aware that many of the Dragonforce songs are upwards of seven minutes apiece. We would also get a keyboard solo from Vadim, and while I often like them, tonight it was too many electronic and video game noises for my tastes. I am guessing that he chose to do this based on the bands infiltration into the video gamer subculture.

The show moved quickly based on the overall intensity of the headlining bands material and there were a sufficient amount of fans moshing with reckless abandon that sent those who just wanted to watch the show for cover a couple of times and all in all this was a good time and should be the kind of show that leads Dragonforce into doing some form of full concert DVD so we could all have more of a visual keepsake as a part of our collection of the bands work. The favorites for me came via “Fury Of The Storm” and the exciting closer of “My Spirit Will Go On” which was the very first song that I heard from them. November surely was a packed month for the Metal and I had to say that ever show left me and hundreds of other Metal maniacs needing an oxygen tent.

Turisas Set List:
1. Intro
2. Battle Metal
3. A Portage to the Unknown
4. One More
5. In the Court of Jarisleif
6. Rasputin
7. To Holmgard And Beyond

Dragonforce Set List:
1. Heroes Of Our Time
2. Operation Ground And Pound
3. Fury Of The Storm
4. Warrior Inside
5. Keys Solo
6. Revolution
7. Soldiers Of The Wasteland
8. Last Journey
9. My Spirit Will Go On

Official Website: http://www.dragonforce.com
Official Website: http://www.turisas.com
Official Website: http://www.powerglove.com

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