“Metal Opera”… this is the best way I can sum up the Helloween, Se7en Reasons Why, and Them show. If you missed the only Helloween performance in California on their 7-date North American run, here is a quick recap of what went down at the Avalon in Hollywood on Monday night March 7th.
Los Angeles natives Se7en Reasons Why kicked the night off. For readers outside Southern California, you may ask, who is Se7en Reasons Why? In the stage presence category on a scale of 1 to 10, they are a 12. You never will see the same show twice. Lead vocalist Mick Scott makes it his mission to climb, jump, kick, dance and sing his way into your night of music.
So what is their sound? Well that is a bit harder to nail down, but many put it in the punk or the rock zone. Me, I put it in the must-hear section of my playlist. There are elements of rock and punk, no bass guitar, Jason Stalk playing his 12 string Taylor acoustic guitar, the jazz rock drumming of Anjilla Piazza, and the goose pimple inducing electric violin of Hiro Goto… and that is Se7en Reasons Why.
The fans at the Avalon gave the band a loud and happy response and were left wanting more.
With Helloween on their short North American run was Them, which can only be described as Lizzy Borden meets King Diamond. This band, who we had never heard of before (maybe because their band inception date was October 2015), had a set that was a true Metal Macabre Opera. The music was hard and heavy, Klaus Konig’s vocals can shatter glass, and the visuals were beyond any I have seen at a show outside of Lizzy Borden.
The set was like watching a metal Shakespeare tragedy. I left a huge fan of this band.
Some bands use visuals to hide the fact that the music sucks, but that was not the case for Them. They get top marks for both their sound and visuals.
Back in the 80’s, some people referred to Helloween as the German Iron Maiden. I’ve seen Iron Maiden several times, but Monday night at the Avalon was my first Helloween live experience and in my opinion, they put on a show that was on the same level as Iron Maiden. Andi Deris’ vocals were so huge and had such a wide range -I imagine they are just as epic now as they were in the 80‘s.
I love the way the band played the hits and favorites that got them their legions of fans, but starting with song 3, the title track off their new album “My God Given Right”, they played tracks off their other recent albums that non-die hard fans probably didn’t know.
Not only do you get a show when you see Helloween, you get an experience.
The band talked about what is going on now (included in that was a story from playing the Monsters of Rock Cruise in the Bahamas to playing Canada a few days later – and being sick). The singer actually apologized for not being at full strength and is all I can say if this was Helloween at half power, I cannot imagine a show where they are feeling better. This was one of the best sets I’ve seen with one of the top vocalists of all time.
We see tons of bands that made it big in the 80’s, but I have to say Helloween is the best of those bands I’ve heard the last five years who still have their original singers. The whole band was great. They moved around the stage and had more life and energy than I was expecting or normally see from other bands from their era.
To sum up the show is to say it was Metal Opera! It was great to see so many people out on a Monday night, and that is what will keep great bands coming to venues near to you.
Head out and support a show wherever you call home.
Written by Melissa Anderson from ROCKwell UNscene Magazine.