It seemed unreal when I became aware last year that Helloween and Hammerfall would finally tour the States. Here are two of the mightiest metal bands of all time, dominating the stage in one night. I was crashing through eight months of work leading up to May 20, 2023, and the result was one of the finest touring packages I have ever seen.
After coming in with the clutch at work, I clocked out and blazed it via the quickest train-to-train route. By mostly the grace of Apollo and what seemed like a trek to Mordor, I arrived at West 56th Street and walked into Terminal 5. What awaited inside was an otherworldly atmosphere of templars and pumpkins united as Hammefall was bringing the Swedish metal onslaught.
For many, this was their first time seeing Hammerfall, including myself. They lived up to all of our expectations. With Hammer of Dawn, and Renegade, amongst others making up the set list, Hammerfall was an atomic wind not to be messed with. The energy they brought to the stage for nearly an hour was remarkable. Another highlight of their set was a four-song medley consisting of Riders of the Storm, Hero’s Return, On the Edge of Honour, and Crimson Thunder to honor twenty years of their roaring fourth album, Crimson Thunder, an idea that Helloween would manifest later in the evening. Their set ended with Hearts on Fire, also from Crimson Thunder.
Hammerfall galloped along at breakneck speed, supporting Helloween, carrying the torch for a style of metal that was not cool in the nineties. Hammers high until we die, my friends!
Now it was time for the main event! Helloween!!! The German metal titans equaled Hammerfall in buoyancy and intensity that night. Celebrating four decades of Euro-metal, Helloween delivered an over hour and a half hour set and kept New York fully locked in. Whether individually or as a trio, to witness the three vocalists from their history: Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, and Andi Deris, showcase their excellent vocal talents was stunning and reminded everyone just how legendary Helloween truly is.
Some set highlights included seeing Kai’s solo moment blending up Metal Invaders, Victim of Fate, Gorgar, Ride the Sky, Heavy Metal (Is the Law), plus an epic ballad featuring Andi and Michael, Forever, and One (Neverland). Between the iconic encores of Keeper of the Seven Keys and I Want Out, Helloween was inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame by Alissa White-Gluz and Pat Gesualdo. From Burning Witches to Enforcer to Holy Grail, an entire generation of bands would not exist as paved by Helloween.
Only a handful of Euro-metal bands can perform with as much heat and passion as Helloween. Thank you, Metal Hall of Fame! Gracias, Pat Gesualdo! Danke, Helloween!
As the night concluded with a final bow, New York’s finest waited in line for merch or hung around outside. As for yours truly, I strolled down to 42nd Street for a post-gig meal at Five Guys with one thought that remained the day after at work.
“That was fucking amazing.”
Tags: Hammerfall, Helloween
Categorised in: Reviews