Review & photos by Brian McLean
Bill it and they will come.
And so they did. From as far away as Kansas City and Texas towns such as Midland, College Station, Houston, Amarillo and a few others. They were all there to see one of three Texas dates for German metal legends Helloween who were touring in support of their Nuclear Blast release ‘Rabbit Don't Come Easy’.
The stop marked Helloween's first appearance in Dallas since their last visit over 15 years ago with Anthrax and Exodus on the original Headbangers Ball Tour. The show was part of a ten-city stop for the second leg of the 20th Anniversary Tour.
Dreary rainy weather didn't deter those who arrived three hours prior to the doors opening. Some wanted autographs on imported vinyl and digi-pack CDs, others wanted front row but all wanted one thing, Helloween.
Big Iron who recently signed with the Canadian label Neo-Blast Records began the evening festivities. As expected, Big Iron turned in a solid set pulling songs from the latest release ‘Falling Down’ which was re-released from the ‘American Pleasure Drive’ as well their debut ‘Tierra Del Diablo.’
The reformed Omen, which was slated as a support for Helloween on the three Texas dates in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, followed. As with Big Iron, Omen calls Dallas home.
The energy from Omen band members was apparent as they gave forth a strong effort but the magic of years past was not present. Some things are meant to be a good memory and the reformed Omen is tarnishing that memory.
At last, years of waiting for Helloween fans came to an end as the German five-some took the stage opening the show with “Starlight” and “Murderer” from the ‘Judas’ album.
Backed by a large black back drop with Helloween in white lettering, the band continued to reach back into early Helloween history with “Keeper the of Seven Keys”, “Future World”, “Eagle Fly Free” and “Dr. Stein”, all from the ‘Keeper of Seven Keys’ albums part I and II.
But Helloween didn't rely on the distant past music wise, they also treated the crowd to “Power” and “Forever and One” from ‘Time of the Oath’, several tracks from ‘The Dark Ride’ and ‘Rabbit Don't Come Easy’ as well as the show closer “How Many Tears” from ‘Walls of Jericho’.
With seventeen releases including Greatest Hits and Live packages spanning a twenty year career, satisfying all songs fans wish for proves to be impossible. So many fans wanted to hear various selections but only a certain selected amount were played.
The band was tight. Andi Deri's vocals were strong and right on pitch. Guitarist Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner played solid and their dual leads were mighty impressive as anticipated.
The rhythm section consisting of the latest member addition and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann with his bobbing Mohawk head and the very happy and nonstop smiling Markus Grosskopf gave the Helloween sound a solid foundation.
Fans were treated after the show with autograph signings from band members as they exited the venue one by one. The disappointment, some were quicker than others.
But the disappointment may have only lasted a few hours after fans were finally settling in under the stars on highways homeward bound or beds under the city lights of Dallas.
Wherever fans were headed, one thing is certain, all don't want to see another 15 years pass before Helloween returns to America.