Dragonforce exploded at The Nile Theater

Dragonforce at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: 13th Floor Entertainment (https://www.13thfloorentertainment.com/ )
Venue: The Nile Theater (https://www.theniletheater.com/ )
Date:  Tuesday April 19th, 2022
Tour:  North America 2022

Finally, after a month of crappy illnesses starting after the Al Jardine show, I am finally better and safe to go see concerts again.  During this time, I missed a few amazing shows include Alan Parsons.  But if I was to start reviewing concerts again, this was a show to do.  For most of you, you probably have no idea who any of these bands are.  If you ever get to see Dragonforce you will become a fan.  I was pleased to see that a good size crowd came out for the show.  Dragonforce has a loyal following and they seem come out for every show.  Visions of Atlantis is a fairly new band and they are starting to get a nice following.

I have added each band’s setlist at the end of the overall review.


Dragonforce at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

Dragonforce is a British Power/Speed metal band from London, England that was formed in 1999.  DragonForce’s current lineup comprises founding members and guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman.  They are joined by lead vocalist Marc Hudson, drummer Gee Anzalone and bassist Alicia Vigil.  Not only are they talented musicians, but they put on a show like you might see at a large venue with a big-name act.  This was the first time I have seen a pit barrier at the Nile Theater and personally I was very happy because I makes shooting easier for us.  However, prior to their set, I had numerous stage techs come up to me and explain that there would-be different cannons and effects going off during the performance and to be careful.  Having been at their performance back in 2020 just prior to the pandemic, I remember the cannons but at that time I was in the crowd.  Well to say the least I was warned, but they still took me by surprise when during the first song all of a sudden 6 cannons went off showering the audience with paper confetti.  Soon after that 4 CO2 cannons went off.  In a way it was great when these went off because it cooled off the crowd and the pit.  The prior acts had complaining about how hot the stage was.  This definitely cooled it off.

Dragonforce at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

As you can see from the photo, they have a unique stage setup.  On each side of the stage there are 2 gigantic video game machines.  These machines play different Sega style video games during the performance.  Also, Herman, Sam, Marc and Alicia climb to the top of them and play.  Just off to one side and back by the drummer is a mechanical Dragon that emits smoke and at different times during the show talks to the crowd.

Dragonforce at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

As the show starts, Herman, Sam and Alicia all come out with led lit sunglasses.  Sam and Herman jump up on the center raised stage platform and start to perform dual guitar licks.  Alicia is in the background laying down a powerful baseline.  Gee Anzalone is hidden back in his drum kit providing the heart pound rhythm.  I was a little surprised that Gee’s drumkit was smaller for this tour then the one he had in 2020.  Finally, the astounding voice of Marc pierces through the guitars and provide lyrics that we all come to love.  I always enjoy seeing and photographing a Dragonforce show.  The music is great and the with all of the stage stuff, it is a visual experience in itself.  Herman and Sam are constantly running around the stage.  And the crowd seems to really get into the music.  At one point there was a small mosh pit with about 20 people.

If you like high energy music, great stage shows and musicians that seem to really enjoy performing, then I would highly recommend seeing Dragon force.  Unfortunately, this was the end of their 38 show North American Tour.  However, they will be performing at a number of festivals this summer and European venues this November and December.

You can check out Dragonforce on either their website or Facebook page.  Upcoming tour dates are also available.

Website:  https://dragonforce.com/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/dragonforce/

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved


Firewind at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

This was the first time I got to see Firewind.  They are a Power metal band from Thessaloniki, Greece that formed in 1998.  Firewind is a quartet consisting of lead singer Herbie Langhans, guitarist Gus G., bass player Petros Christodoulidis and drummer Johan Nunez.  They have created 9 studio albums and tonight’s show they performed a mix of songs from 6 of the albums.  Their latest album is their self-titled album, Firewind released in 2020.

They are not a flashy band but just play heavy heart pounding metal music.  They started the show with “Welcome to the Empire” from Firewind.  Its starts out slow with a guitar melody and then erupts like a volcano into this fast heart pounding metal anthem.  I was actually very impressed by Firewind’s performance.  Again, this was my first time seeing them and they were very good.  I really enjoyed their music.

For those fans in Europe, Firewind is touring there in May and you can check them out when they come to a city near you.  You can check out Firewind on either their website or Facebook page.  Upcoming tour dates are also available.

Website:  https://firewind.gr/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/firewindofficial

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Visions of Atlantis

Visions of Atlantis at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

It was March 5th, 2020 and it was the last concert I attended prior to the Covid pandemic shutdown.  I was attending this metal concert with my good friend Hugh (another metal head).  He was there to see Unleash The Archers and I was there to see Dragonforce.  Hugh told me that I would really like Unleash The Archers because they had this really amazing female vocalist.  Well, the show started and this band entered and this statuesque female singer starts singing “Shut the light, call the night, bring my safety back” and I think, Hugh is correct she is amazing.  Then all of a sudden, this male singer comes out and starts to sing and harmonize with her. I then realized that this was a different band.  Looking at the band line-up, I see that it is Visions of Atlantis.  I was blown away by their performance.  This was only the second metal band I have seen which had to dynamic lead singers.  I remember the days of The Mommas and Papas and CSN and how multiple vocalists harmonized together.  This band reminded me of those bands in how well these two amazing singers worked together.

Visions of Atlantis is a Symphonic metal quintet made up of members from different parts of Europe.  They were initially formed in 2000 and have had many different line-ups.  The current band consists of lead singers Clémentine Delauney and Michele Guaitoli, guitarist Christian Douscha, bass player Herbert Glos, and drummer Thomas Caser.  With Clémentine’s addition in 2013 and the release of The Deep & The Dark in 2018, the band started to really take off.  During the pandemic, they were busy creating a new album Pirates that was released on May 13th, 2022.  For this North American tour, they performed songs from this new album and their 2019 album, Wanderers.

Visions of Atlantis at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

The last time I saw Visions of Atlantis, they were performing at Club Red that had a very small stage and was crowded due to Draonforce’s massive stage setup.  At this show at the Nile Theater, the stage was wider and all of the bands were able to spread out more.  This allowed Clémentine and Michele to really play off each other as they sang.  It also allowed Christian and Herbert to interact with Clémentine and Michele.

Visions of Atlantis base their music on a nautical and pirate theme.  To back this theme up, they dress in pirate outfits like you would see on the “Black Sails” TV series.  At one point in the show, Clémentine grabs Michele’s hat and throws it into the audience.  A very nice man grabbed it and later returned it to Michele.

Christian, Herbert and Thomas provide the magnificent music that the singers get to harmonize to.  This trio at times are overshadowed by the singers, but they are fantastic musicians that hold the music together.

I was a little concerned when I heard that Clémentine had hit her head while getting on stage at a Texas show a few days earlier.  But she seemed to be ok and you could not tell she was in any pain or discomfort.  I met her and the rest of the band after the show (they came out to the merch table) and she seemed fine.  Actually, all of the band members were extremely friendly and would take photos with people.  For an up-and-coming band, this audience interaction will mean a lot and help to build a strong following.  If you want to get a sense of their music and performance then I would highly recommend listening to their concert, A Symphonic Journey To Remember.  This was the show I saw in 2020.

They completed their North American tour and are currently touring in Europe.  You can check out Visions of Atlantis on either their website or Facebook page.  Upcoming tour dates are also available.

Website:  https://www.visionsofatlantis.at/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial/

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Seven Spires

Seven Spires at The Nile Theater, Mesa, AZ on 19th April 2022

When I first heard of Berklee College of Music, I thought of Berkeley California by mistake.  I later learned it was a musical college (similar to Juilliard) based in Boston, Massachusetts.  I first learned of Berklee due to members of Dream Theater and Trans-Siberian Orchestra coming from the school.  Since then, I have heard of other musicians that have attended and graduated from Berklee.  I have a very good friend that has one of his daughters currently attending Berklee.  So, I was surprised to hear that another metal band has emerged from Berklee.

Seven Spires is an American metal quartet from Boston, MA.  The quartet formed in 2013 while at Berklee College of Music.  Seven Spires consists of lead singer Adrienne Cowan, guitarist Jack Kosto, bass player Peter de Reyna and drummer Chris Dovas.  You can tell that they are classically trained.  Each of the musicians are faultless in their performance.  Also, Adrienne’s vocal range and tonal quality is outstanding.

They released their latest and third album Gods Of Debauchery on September 10, 2021.  The majority of the songs at tonight’s show were from that album.  Their sound is more of a metalcore style.  They are extremely talented and I see great things for this band in the future.  The biggest problem is that there a number of good metal bands out there and they will have to continue to tour with bigger and better known metal bands until they can get their own following.

You can check out Seven Spires on either their website or Facebook page.  Upcoming tour dates are also available.

Website:  https://sevenspiresband.com/
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/sevenspiresband

Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved

Dragonforce Setlist:                                     (Album/Cover)
Point of Origin    (Intro)                                (Yanni song)
Highway to Oblivion                                     (Extreme Power Metal)
Fury of the Storm                                          (Sonic Firestorm)
The Last Dragonborn                                    (Extreme Power Metal)
(Introduced by the Dragon on stage.)
Operation Ground and Pound                      (Inhuman Rampage)
(Tour debut. First time since 2019.)
Video Commercial
(Sega commercials on the screens.)
Heart Demolition                                          (Extreme Power Metal)
Dracula’s Castle / Fight On!
(Marc on Guitar. Songs from Castlevania Symphony of The Night and Final Fantasy VII respectively.)
Banjo Solo / Guitar Solo
(With Guest(s). Based on Randy Lynn Rag by Flatt & Scruggs.)
Heart of a Dragon                                         (Valley of the Damned)
Strangers                                                       (Extreme Power Metal)
Cry Thunder                                                  (The Power Within)
Remembrance Day                                       (Extreme Power Metal)
Valley of the Damned                                   (Valley of the Damned)
My Heart Will Go On                                    (Céline Dion cover)
(with Roddy Chong)
Through the Fire and Flames                        (Inhuman Rampage)

Firewind Setlist:                                            (Album)
Welcome to the Empire                                (Firewind)
Head Up High                                               (The Premonition)
Destination Forever                                      (Between Heaven and Hell)
World on Fire                                                (Days of Defiance)
The Fire and the Fury                                    (Burning Earth)
Ode to Leonidas                                           (Immortals)
Break Away                                                   (Firewind)
Rising Fire                                                     (Firewind)
Maniac                                                          (Bossa Nova Hotel / Michael Sembello cover)

Visions of Atlantis Setlist:                            (Album)
Master The Hurricane                                   (Pirates)
A Life of Our Own                                         (Wanderers)
Heroes of the Dawn                                      (Wanderers)
A Journey to Remember                               (Wanderers)
Melancholy Angel                                         (Pirates)
Legion of the Seas                                        (Pirates)

Seven Spires Setlist:                                     (Album)
Wanderer’s Prayer                                         (Gods of Debauchery)
Gods of Debauchery                                     (Gods of Debauchery)
Oceans of Time                                             (Gods of Debauchery)
Lightbringer                                                  (Gods of Debauchery)
Succumb                                                       (Emerald Seas)
Drowner of Worlds                                       (Emerald Seas)
Dare to Live                                                  (Gods of Debauchery)


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