Iron Savior was making what appeared to be their first ever visit to NYC and doing a show at the venerated B.B. King Blues Club and Grill. We made sure to be on point for this exciting band and if you scroll past the logo below you will be brought to our article.
Artist: Iron Savior
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Arctic Flame & Cypher Seer
Label: Noise Records
The German Power Metal invasion that had started off the week only a couple of days before with Helloween and Gamma Ray continued its assault as Iron Savior took over the stage of the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on Wednesday. According to my research, the band while having visited the States before for a festival event had never really embarked on a full-scale national tour and that was something amazing to realize especially with the band releasing albums for the past ten plus years. Since tonight would mark the band’s very first New York City appearance I knew that the best place to be for any Metal fan who knew their stuff would be right here inside the venue. The summer heat was still on us so it would be great to be inside a cool venue that was dishing out some really hot Metal. The openers for the gig would be a couple of local acts that many of the area Metal fans are rather fond of with Cypher Seer starting it off and Arctic Flame leading up the charge for Iron Savior’s guys to do their thing. The three band bill looked to start on the early side so since I had hours to go, I wandered about the Virgin Megastore and the communal Metal meeting ground of Smith’s bar before I made my way back to catch the first band. Should you be one of the many who missed out on this night, here is how it went down.
Cypher Seer & Arctic Flame: I had heard of the band Cypher Seer before this show but never indulged myself in any of their music and was planning to do a little more of that tonight. It turns out that the guitarist from Arctic Flame also does duties in this band but of course my 7:30pm arrival found me learning that they had already played and for that matter so had Arctic Flame. I was really unsure of what had happened here, but an eleventh hour decision was made and it seemed that the management had moved everything up by an hour and now I was only minutes away from the Iron Savior set. In the past I had seen the necessary change to an earlier time but that was usually to accommodate an unsigned opener and not two bands who had a couple of independent releases out, but of course one has to go with the flow in Rock and Roll. I was sorry to have missed the bands because I’ve enjoyed Arctic Flame of late and find them to be a band that is really trying hard to mark some territory on the Metal map. Either way, the lights were down and Iron Savior was ready to hit the stage and it was now just hitting 8:00pm.
Iron Savior: Knowing that the band had never been here before made me confident that this place would be very crowded tonight because if there is one group of people that is very loyal to their bands it is the Power Metal crowd. OK, the Death Metallers and the Black Metallers are good for their bands as well, but I digress. As the band hit the stage with a great amount of energy with their opener “The Arrival” it was very clear that this show was not going to be one with a big crowd getting to enjoy it. I figured, well, we are still in the first couple of tunes as the band delivered one of my own favorites with “Battering Ram” but as I glanced around there were at best guess not even 100 people in attendance. Now many Metal heads have hit this venue for the shows and you know how it’s laid out, so imagine this place with under 100 people in it. It was not a very promising show of support for a band that had traveled so far and yet while I was slightly annoyed on their behalf, the logical part of me reminded myself of the fact that only three days ago we had the blockbuster double bill of Helloween and Gamma Ray at this same place. Those tickets were a little pricy as well and we are starting to see that fans need to pick and choose their events a little more carefully. Having said my piece about the limited crowd I continued to watch Iron Savior deliver a set that made you think that they were performing in front of tens of thousands of people and on their faces was just the intensity and drive of their tunes. Smiles were visible across the board from lead singer and guitarist Piet Sielck who would regularly engage the crowd and laugh off that only about seven dozen people were in front of him. Bassist Yenz Leonhardt also seemed to be enjoying himself and was very acrobatic with his bass while Piesel delivered tasty guitar riffs that were all tied together by the powerful drumming of Thomas Nack. All of the guys seem to offer up some backing vocals which make the chorus parts “big” in the live sense.
The great observation I had taken from this set was that those who did make time to come in and check the band out were all hard core fans and they were pressed right up against the stage that for tonight had no photo pit barrier in the way of the fans and the group. The band didn’t sport any sort of outrageous garb and was instead primarily in street clothes. Ok, so Yenz was a little Rockstar-ish in his outfit but that’s ok since this is the place to do it. The guys seemed to be handling this show as a live rehearsal for their appearance at this year’s Prog-Power Festival. Since it was something I was not covering or even attending I wasn’t sure exactly when they were doing their thing down there. The “dress rehearsal” vibe of this show made it all the more special for everyone in attendance and to be honest with you, the bands material is not so readily available here so I was a little lost during some of their tunes. Of course the band has such a common ground with the likes of Gamma Ray, Helloween and other driving Power Metal bands that I found any personal gaps very easy to get into.
There didn’t seem to be a bad song in the set list and someone had told me that this was a very solid greatest hits performance from the band so I had to just nod in understanding as they dished out another few numbers before preparing to call it a night. When it came down to the encore Piet asked the audience if they should walk offstage and wait a few minutes to come back to the cheering or should they just stay here and get the last song out for them. The crowd seemed to want them to stay and the guys closed with a surprisingly interesting Power Metal take on Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. After a few moments backstage where the guys kicked back a couple of well-deserved cold beers they came out and talked to as many of the fans as they could and signed their CD’s and posed for photos with them. I saw a lot of people with this stuff on the line to get in and I know that they all left happy. In the end I guessed that perhaps this show would have worked out better at the Highline Ballroom since its easier to have it look packed based on the setup there but in reality I am sure every band wants the chance to play on such an amazing strip as Times Square.
My hope is that this show didn’t make Iron Savior mark New York off their list of places to return to because even with the crowd not being that fantastic, it seemed like the guys enjoyed themselves and the interaction with those who were really hard core. I know that my friends and I enjoyed ourselves very much so let’s keep those fingers crossed. I was fortunate enough to meet with them as well and found them to be awesome dudes who were interesting to speak to as well. Perhaps a co-headlining gig with another band that doesn’t get over here as often would be the best way to go for the next go round. In my Metal book this show was one that I had to say that if you missed out on it, you really and truly missed out on something cool.
1. The Arrival
2. Battering Ram
4. Omega Man
6. Coding Home
7. Condition Red
11. Cybernetic Queen
12. Break The Curse
17. Breaking The Law
This was the first time ever that Iron Savior would be performing in NYC and as a headliner. With this being the case I just had to showcase their name up in the lights on the venue marquee.
After the show the guys were enjoying a beer or three and we caught up with them to snare this shot under the clubs banner. They were awesome dudes.