Manowar @ B.B. King Blues Club (6/19/2005)

Logo - Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Rhapsody & Holy Hell
Label: SPV Records
Date: 6/19/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal

The show was a late one for B.B. King’s with a start time of 9:00 for the first band. It was fun for as I waited on line I bumped into Ken Kelly (artist of some of the excellent Manowar covers). When he realized it was me he asked if I was indeed getting in but I was lucky to have my own ticket for this sold out show. Sadly the night started off bad for a couple of kids who were either too drunk or had sampled something else and were being escorted out. This was a $50 show people; let’s use the brain for a change. My Editor Ken would be missing this show due to illness, and when I thought that I was at least going to be able to use his photo pass, I was discouraged to find that none of them had been granted for the performance after all. It would have been excellent to shoot pics of this Legendary Metal band.

As I said the club was mobbed to the maximum capacity and this was even the case for opening band “Holy Hell”. I felt that they put on a really good show. They even performed a rendition of “Phantom Of The Opera”, which while Nightwish has already done it was quite good. They even made sure to toss out a lot of stuff to the audience. The lead singer is a female who all the guys were going crazy for, and the guitarist also seemed to be enjoying himself. Leading in to Rhapsody was an epic intro tape with choirs and narration. They certainly know how to start a set. Musically Rhapsody is very tight and powerful, and as I understand this was their first time in New York so they were clearly going to make sure we remembered it. This band embodies true power metal and as they flew through number after number the focuse seemed aimed at their latest SPV release “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands Pt 2”. Their sound was tight and use of lighting fantastic. I was really upset about the no picture taking now. I did notice that there was a cameraman walking about who seemed to be filming the entire show. I am guessing that this is to be featured in some form on DVD in the near future.

Now it was time for Manowar. How can one define this group other than amazing and very, very loud. To understand the amount of equipment that this group brought you must know that instead of one or two buses, there were five outside of the venue. The performance of Manowar was what I expected, as singer Eric Adams is a terrific front man. Through every song he was prompting the audience to join in and sing. His enthusiasm was incredible to say the least. There were also some killer solos, but I felt that they were done a little too early in the performance. Given the late start (11:45pm) I think the audience would have preferred songs over solos in the beginning. I must say how amazed I was at the bass solo, Joey DeMaio is a thunderous player and I have never seen anyone play the bass in metal like this man does. The band opened up with “Manowar” but this would be but a small sampling of the older material that would be played tonight. They did a lot of the newer songs, which some people loved but others preferred to not hear. Either way the capacity crowd did not budge all that much. Thinking of the set I admit some surprise at the lack of some of the expected Manowar standards. The band has been absent from US Touring for about 10 years as I understand and given this they could/should have focused more on a Greatest Hits set for the sole New York show. What kind of Manowar show leaves out songs like “Battle Hymns” and “Metal Daze”? Apparently this one, but again I am being biased to my older favorites here.

There was not a lot of moshing or crowd surfing going on, and while Manowar music does not dictate that type of behavior , it generally never stops the diehard fan from doing it anyway. It was still a very fun night to head bang and to make me sorry that I did not bring a little protection for my ears. It was so loud at times that I covered them for a second of relief. Manowar has long said “Death To False Metal” and it was clear on this night that they still hold true to this statement. Ride on Defender, ride on.

Set List:
1. Manowar
2. Brothers of Metal Pt. 1
3. Call to Arms
4. Guitar Solo
5. Kings of Metal
6. Sign of the Hammer
7. Bass Solo / Sting of the Bumblebee
8. Heart of Steel
9. Outlaw
10. House of Death
11. Warriors of the World United
12. Hail and Kill
13. The Power
14. Black Wind, Fire and Steel

Official Website: www.Manowar.com

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