Dragonforce stormed into Club Red

Dragonforce at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona on March 5th, 2020

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: 13th Floor Entertainment (https://www.13thfloorentertainment.com/ )
Venue: Club Red (https://www.clubredrocks.com )
Date:  Friday March 5th, 2020
Tour:  DragonForce US Tour – Mission 2

Dragonforce’s opening light show at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona on March 5th, 2020

This show had one of the best intros for a band that I have seen in the past 3 years.  As Dragonforce was prepared to enter the stage, they played about a 4- or 5-minute intro that included an amazing laser light show.  Then add the two opening acts, Visions of Atlantis and Unleash The Archers and it was a great night of metal.  All three bands were outstanding.  Club Red was sold-out and it had the most people (the large west side of the venue) that I have ever seen.  Even with the packed crowd, everyone seemed to be very nice and I never saw any issues even when they attempted to start a small mosh pit in the middle of the floor (it did not last long).  If you get a chance to see this show on their current USA tour, I would highly recommend it.  From the amazing singing of Brittney Slayes (Unleash The Archers), to the dual lead singing of Clémentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli (Visions of Atlantis) to finally the powerful singing of Marc Hudson (Dragonforce), it was truly spectacular.  Then add the stellar guitar work of each band and it was a great night of metal music.

The only thing that I felt was an issue was the small stage and the massive amount of stuff that Dragonforce had on it.  Between the 2 massive video game machines on either side of the stage to the humongous drum kit in the middle of the stage, there was very little room for the bands to actually perform.  The first 2 bands had to put their drummer behind one of the game machines and therefore was hidden from over half of the crowd.  If they are playing on a larger stage it would be so much better.

Since this was also their first concert of the USA tour, there were a few issues.  First, it took a long time for Visions Of Atlantis to get setup and mix correctly with the house sound system.  The other issue was when Brittney’s mic gave out and she had to use one of the other mics of the guitarist.  Other then these 2 small problems, it was a good start to this USA tour.  Hopefully they might come back to the Phoenix area and perform at a large venue with a larger stage.  If they do, I will definitely be there.


Dragonforce Logo at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona on March 5th, 2020

Known as the fastest band in the world, Grammy-nominated Extreme Power/Steel Metal band, DragonForce is based in London, England.  A lot of their music is themed from video games.  Their stage shows this by having 2 large simulation game machines on either side of the stage that play video games (mainly Sega Genesis 64) throughout the show.  They even increase the speed of the game play to match their very, very fast instrument playing.

The current line-up of the band consists of founding guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman.  They are joined by front man and lead signer Marc Hudson.  New to the band (at least for the last 2 years) is bass player Alicia Vigil.  Their long-time drummer, Gee Anzalone was hospitalized just prior to the USA tour and the band though they might have to cancel the tour, but at the last minute (actually with 7 days of practice), Aquiles Priester stepped in to take over the drumming role.  This is no small feat since they use a double bass drum, an extremely large drumkit and super-fast for the show.

Marc Hudson, lead singer for Dragonforce spraying audience at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona on March 5th, 2020

Throughout their show they also used laser lights and Marc would pick up a spray gun and spray the audience.  At different times during the show they fired off paper confetti into the crowd.  At times, I was covered with the confetti.  Also, different band member would climb stairs behind the giant game machines and then play or sing on top of them.  However due to the low ceiling, they almost hit their heads.

The majority of the songs from tonight’s show and for this tour are from their latest album, Extreme Speed Metal.  After the opening laser show, they came out blasting us with “Highway to Oblivion” and shows us what super speed metal is really like.  It was amazing to watch Herman and Sam’s fingers just fly over the frets.  Also, for the first few songs, Sam, Herman and Alicia all wore led glasses which also set the tone for the video gaming theme of the show.

For those nerds, gamers and speed metal fans out there, Dragonforce is a sensational band to see.

Band’s website:  https://dragonforce.com/
Band’s Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/dragonforce/
Record Label (USA/Canada):Metal Blade Recordshttps://www.metalblade.com/us/

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2020, All Rights Reserved

Dragonforce Setlist:                                       (Album / Covers)
Highway to Oblivion                                        (Extreme Power Metal)
Fury of the Storm                                             (Twilight Dementia)
The Last Dragonborn                                      (Extreme Power Metal)
Ashes of the Dawn                                           (Reaching into Infinity)
Heart Demolition                                             (Extreme Power Metal)
Video Game Medley (with Marc on guitar)
Black Fire                                                             (Valley of the Damned)
Razorblade Meltdown                                   (Extreme Power Metal)
Cry Thunder                                                       (The Power Within)
Remembrance Day                                          (Extreme Power Metal)
Valley of the Damned                                     (Twilight Dementia)
My Heart Will Go On                                       (Céline Dion cover)
Through the Fire and Flames                       (Twilight Dementia)

Unleash The Archers

Unleash The Archers at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona with Dragonforce on March 5th, 2020

My friend that joined me at the show really likes Unleash the Archers.  He told me to watch and listen to the lead singer and that she is extremely good.  He was not wrong, she and the band remined me a lot of Nightwish that is one of my favorite bands.

Unleash the Archers is a Canadian Power Metal band that combines traditional heavy metal with power metal and melodic death metal.  They are currently fronted by lead singer Brittney Slayes.  She is joined by drummer Scott Buchanan, guitarists Grant Truesdell and Andrew Kingsley.  Nick Miller joins the band as bass player for the tour.  Both Grant and Andrew provide backing vocals.

After the show while I have been reviewing and processing the photos, I have been listening to their albums and really enjoy their music.  If you get a chance, check them out on this USA tour.  Even when Brittney’s mic stopped working, she didn’t overreact, but just borrowed a mic from one of the guitarists.  Then when that guitarist had to sing the backing vocals, she held the mic for them.

Band’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnleashTheArchers/

Record Label: Napalm Records (https://www.napalmrecords.com/ , https://napalmrecords.bandcamp.com/artists and https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords/ )

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2020, All Rights Reserved

Unleash The Archers Setlist:                  (Album)
Awakening                                                    (Apex)
The Matriarch                                               (Apex)
Soulbound                                                     (premier, not release yet)
Northwest Passage                                       (Time Stands Still)
Ten Thousand Against One                        (Apex)
Tonight We Ride                                           (Time Stands Still)
Apex                                                                (Apex)

Visions of Atlantis

Vision Of Atlantis at Club Red, Mesa, Arizona with Dragonforce on March 5th, 2020

Usually the first band at Club Red is a local band that has similar sound to the main act.  But for this show we started with a well establish and superb metal band from Europe.  Visions Of Atlantis is actually part of the tour with Dragonforce.  For their part, this tour is known as the “Wanderers Tour 2020“.

Visions Of Atlantis is an Austrian-French-Italian Symphonic Metal band that was formed in August 2000.  Their current line-for this tour is lead singers Clémentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli.  They are joined by guitarist Christian Douscha, bass player Herbert Glos and drummer Thomas Caser.

It was really nice to see how Clémentine and Michele played off each other as they sang.  I really enjoyed their music and it reminded me a lot of Delain.  The majority of their set was songs from their newest album, Wanderers.  I hope to see them again, so please come back to the Phoenix area and play of a larger stage (or headline a show).

Band’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial/

Record Label: Napalm Records (https://www.napalmrecords.com/ , https://napalmrecords.bandcamp.com/artists and https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords/ )

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2020, All Rights Reserved

Visions Of Atlantis setlist:                   (Album)
The Deep & the Dark                               (The Deep & the Dark)
New Dawn                                                 (Delta)
Heroes of the Dawn                                 (Wanderers)
A Life of Our Own                                    (Wanderers)
A Journey to Remember                         (Wanderers)
Nothing Lasts Forever                             (Wanderers)
Return to Lemuria                                    (The Deep & the Dark)


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