Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Doro / Archer / A Sound of Thunder @ Empire 3/4/2015

I went to see the METAL QUEEN Doro ($17) at Empire! I saw Ariel, Yave y Sara, Bobbie, Miss Patricia, Rene, Nina, Mr. Nina, Chris, Jesse, Josh, Superfan Dave, Sako, Ray C, Tom, Mike AG, and most of the Dogs and Daydrinkers -Dan with Eric and Erich! Were we ready for a night of true metal?


I got there later than anticipated, and missed some of the openers, like Aries. There was a small, but dedicated crowd of about 200 or so. The Metal Queen deserves a larger audience!




Merchandise wise, Doro had a few shirts- Triumph and Agony ($30), long sleeve ($40), and Raise Your Fist girlie  a DVD (I think). There were also some random CDs (like an After Forever one?), and something form the drummer (drum stick) and guitarist I think. A Sound of Thunder had shirts, CDs, the whole kit and kaboodle. Archer had their album and a shirt in a large display. Aries had their album, which I forgot to pick up, and a shirt. Doro and ASOT seemed to be doing pretty decent business!



I got there just in time to see local darlings A Sound of Thunder. It had been a while since I'd seen them, as I had missed their last couple of shows. I last saw them with Benedictum I think, which was a WHILE ago. They've put out their new album- "The Lesser Key of Solomon", which I didn't really dig, but I guess it has grown on me a little bit. The songs def sound better live, IMO. They played a pretty standard set, which was fine, since It'd been so long since their great metal has graced my ears.
I was on bassist Jesse Keen's side, and he was a bit of a monster (in a good way) this evening! He really shined during the his solo/intro to the bluesy "House of Bones." I know guitarist Josh Schwartz was shredding a bit, but I think he was a bit more subdued than usual. The Queen of Hell herself, vocalist Nina Osegueda was very well received  this evening by the true metal Doro fans, with "so many horns!" Drummer Chris Haren was keeping everyone on time, and they finished their IMO too short 40 minute set after their namesake track. They did play my favourite song of theirs- "Time's Arrow," which is always a joy to hear live.



After the high that ASOT gave me, I was chatting with the band, checking out merch, and catching up with friends, so  I somehow missed nearly all of Archer's set, unfortunately. Archer is a 3 piece from the West Coast, and they didn't seem to have too distinct a sound I could latch on to from the couple of live youtube clips I heard. Their first song or 2 didn't sound bad, but nothing really got me excited the way, say, Darker Half, did. I can't really say much about them because I didn't hear much.


After what seemed like an eternity, about 30 minutes later than anticipated, the tour manager (i think) came out and asked us if we were ready for the METAL QUEEN! Obviously we all erupted in a huge YES, and then her band rolled out, rocking "Touch of Evil." Then they kicked into "I Rule the Ruins" which kicked things into high gear, and I think from there I was transfixed. Doro had the crowd basically eating out of her METAL hand! Her energy had us completely enthralled!



I stood in front of guitarist Luca Princiotta on the left side for most of the show, and he was tearing it up. Bassist Nick Douglas was so full of energy, shouting and pointing to the crowd in between bass licks. Johnny Dee on drums got his solo at one point, which I still couldn't appreciate. Other guitarist  Bas Maas (hey that's what Doro's website says) also much have been pretty good, but I was more focused on Luca and THE METAL QUEEN herself. Harrison Young was allegedly on Keyboards, but I don't recall seeing him.



Compared to last time, she played the majority of the same songs (with "Out of Control", "Touch of Evil," "Evil," "Without You," and "Metalheads" instead of "True as Steel," "Hero," "Breaking the Law," "Earthshaker Rock" and "Unholy Love"). She also played about the same amount of time, 1 and 1/2 hours. And the crybaby award still holds here, but it was for "Fur Immer" instead of "Hero." I think I lost it when a fan passed a framed photo from the back, Doro signed it, and passed it back during this song. It was a different kind of amazing than the Ronnie James Dio tribute. There's something about the way she connects with the crowd that is very emotional.



At one point near the end, a roadie ran over to the middle of the stage and taped a short riser for Doro to stand on. Note that the riser was maybe 5 inches max, if even that, so you couldn't really notice the difference too much. This 50 year old German woman can rock as hard as anyone- and you'd get no whiff of any weakness, just STEEL. I recall shouting some choruses when She was extending her mic to the audience, and Patricia def shouted "ALL WE ARE" at the end!





Overall, despite missing one band I thought it was an amazing show. I got to see one of my favourite local bands, and the METAL QUEEN herself play a great set! Doro's smile was so infectious and her manners so gracious that it was clearly impossible not to enjoy her (and her band's!) effort and pure joy at playing TRUE METAL for us! I still can't believe that she still brought such a fantastic show this time too! This is certainly in the running for the best metal show of the year, just based on Doro's set! I recommend seeing them live unequivocally! I had such a blast, shouting along and headbanging, I was definitely a little hoarse and sore the next day!





Next show: FIREHOUSE at Tally Ho

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Setlists
A Sound of Thunder (8:15- 8:55)
  • Udoroth
  • Queen of Hell
  • Time's Arrow
  • Power Play
  • House of Bones
  • Out of the Darkness
  • A Sound of Thunder

Archer

  • ?

Doro (10:28 - 12:00)

  • Touch of Evil
  • I Rule the Ruins
  • Burning the Witches
  • Fight For Rock
  • Running from the Devil
  • Evil
  • Metal Racer
  • Without You
  • East Meets West
  • Raise your Fist
  • Metal Tango
  • Für  Immer
  • Out of Control
  • Drum Solo
  • Metalheads
  • Revenge
  • All We Are
  • Love Me in Black