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DRAGONFORCE/Alestorm, ABC, Glasgow
28 September 2012

Dragonforce, photo by David Wilson

Friday nights in Glasgow tend to be lively affairs at the best of times, not always for the right reasons, but lively none the less. The ABC tonight though proved to be an absolute riot from start to finish.

There were another couple of bands on tonight's bill, but a very early start meant that the pirate metal of Alestorm was our first foray onto the 'rocky' seas. Alestorm, ironically, hail from the land locked Scottish city of Perth and had a huge support in the hall who were keen on a bit of drunken debauchery and the band didn't disappoint.

Dragonforce, photo by David Wilson

Opening with 'The Sunk'n Norwegian' the place erupted into a mix of circle pits and swashbuckling, which from my vantage point was as amusing to watch as the band were to listen to.

An Alestorm show is a participation sport and as 'Wenches and Mead' ran into 'Shipwrecked' the tidal wave of heaving bodies showed no signs of abating. By the time we had partied with ' Nancy The Tavern Wench', been 'Keelhauled' and participated in ' Captain Morgan's Revenge' Alestorm had well and truly ravaged the ABC. If these guys drop anchor in your town I recommend you sign up for the pirate code immediately.

Dragonforce, photo by David Wilson

The question then was how could Dragonforce top that? By putting in the best performance I have ever witnessed from the band, and then some. Put simply, Dragonforce were on fire tonight and could do no wrong. From the intro tape of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' and the dramatic back lighting that heralded the band's arrival on stage this was a highly impressive show. 

The current tour, as well as promoting the band's new album 'Power Within', is also the first glimpse of new frontman Marc Hudson following the departure of ZP Theart.

Whilst ZP was a good vocalist, I never really warmed to him live as I felt he never really engaged with the crowd. Marc, however, is a different character altogether and had the crowd in the palm of his hand from opening track 'Holding On'.

Dragonforce, photo by David Wilson

The music, as always, was fast, furious and absolutely spot on. The twin guitar work of Herman Li and Sam Totman is spellbinding to watch and they always look as if they are having a blast on stage. The other guys are no slouches either with the powerhouse rhythm section of Dave Macintosh and Frederic Leclercq and the unhinged keyboards of Vadim Pruzhanov driving each song on.

Dragonforce, photo by David Wilson

The set was culled from all the band's albums and continued with 'Heroes Of Our Time'. The guys bounced around the stage like kangaroos on speed, making the most of the multi-level stage and the front stage platforms, the crowd were just as energetic. The other feature tonight was an amazing lightshow which was used to great effect.  

'Heart Of A Dragon' and Guitar Hero favourite 'Through The Fire And Flames' were stunning in delivery with mass crowd participation. The set was then rounded off with 'Cry Freedom' from the latest album and 'Valley Of The Damned' from their first.

This was a stunning gig in all respects. Dragonforce proved tonight that they are once again at the top of their game with Marc Hudson injecting a new energy into the band. To quote tonight's intro song ' I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball', couldn't have put it better myself!

Review and photos by David Wilson

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