In my life, it has only happened very rarely that I have followed a band on tour for a longer period of time. In the past, this was mostly the case with Iron Maiden (despite always having the same setlist…) – otherwise I also try to catch as many dates of Atlantean Kodex as possible.
The last two bands mentioned are a good keyword, because Visigoth made it into this league in the past two weeks during their Outlive them All tour. No question: I loved the guys from Salt Lake City already before – but the last five gigs have finally launched them into the Olympus.
The fact that Visigoth were able to exceed my high expectations is remarkable, because so far every gig I’ve been able to experience in the last few years has been absolutely magnificent – here I’m thinking especially of the intense headlining gig at Hell over Hammaburg in March 2020. My last concert before the Corona measures… and very special for that reason alone.
This year it started with an excellent performance at Keep it True Festival, when the quintet was the true headliner on the first day of the event. It felt immensely good to finally see the band live again after more than three years. However, despite all the euphoria, it was clear to me: Visigoth belong in a club – only there can they spread their very unique magic. Nothing is better than being shouted at by Jake in the front row.
For this reason, I was looking forward eagerly to the two concerts at the Drafthouse in Hamburg. I knew that these two evenings would be my highlight of this tour: one of my all-time favourite bands in my favourite German city, with which I associate so many wonderful memories. A perfect match, one would write on a dating platform.
It was especially nice to meet some dear people before the two gigs: On Friday at Holy Tacos, on Saturday at The Bird, on both evenings of course on site at the Drafthouse – feel all of you hugged at this point. Because of you, Hamburg is always like a trip to my second hometown. Unfortunately, there is never enough time to meet up with everyone in a proper setting. In any case, I have decided to come back to the Elbe much more often in the future.
But let’s get to Visigoth again: Both nights at the Drafthouse showed impressively that the guys are now by far the best – and most likeable – live band of their generation. Jake is the perfect metal frontman, living every second on stage as if it were his last. Leeland and Jamison are a dream guitar duo that doesn’t have to hide from the giants in our scene – and here I mean legends like KK/Glenn or Dave/Adrian. Mikey T. and Matt show all other bands how a rhythm section has to sound on stage. Especially Matt impressed me, because I have never seen him so extroverted. You could tell at every moment, just like with all the others, how much fun he was having during the performances. The chemistry between the guys is right – here we are dealing with five close friends who are living their metal dream. I sincerely feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t get moist eyes here….
The first evening in the very well-filled Drafthouse undoubtedly already deserves the label legendary: The old school setlist fulfilled many of my wishes – three songs from the outstanding Final Spell EP, which I love so much, transported me to the metal valhalla. Nevertheless, the real highlight was a track that wasn’t originally on the setlist: “Traitor’s Gate“ broke all the dams – and at the latest here I was sure that I was witnessing a memorable evening in every respect. An evening in which an already excellent band surpassed itself and prepared to become an underground legend. I imagine that the young Iron Maiden once left their fans similarly open-mouthed in the early 1980s. On a side note, I was very happy to be able to sing the lyrics on both nights in Hamburg and a few days later in Essen during “The Revenant King“, when Jake held the mic under my nose on his wild expeditions into the audience. You don’t want to embarrass yourself and the Epic Metal Blog!
The second evening in the Hanseatic city was also flawless – I was especially happy about the often hugely underestimated “Salt City“, that I had never heard live before, if I’m not mistaken. Although there was extremely strong competition at the Bambi with, among others, Fvneral Fvkk and Servants to the Tide, the venue was once again very crowded – Visigoth‘s drawing power has therefore grown enormously, especially as the following gigs in Bad Oeynhausen and Essen were also remarkably packed. Fortunately, there are still plenty of people with good taste who get up to support young bands in the underground.
I don’t really need to mention that the latter two tour stops in North Rhine-Westphalia were also brilliant. In Essen, the band was perhaps at their very best, but my emotional highlight remains the Hamburg weekend, as the conditions here were simply brilliant. However, I wouldn’t want to miss a single second of my little concert tour with Visigoth. If all band members stay fit, the future belongs to the guys. There is no better live band – with such strong song material – at the moment. So all I can say in conclusion is: Thank you Jake, Leeland, Jamison, Matt and Mikey T. for giving me these fantastic evenings. I hope to see you again next year at Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, maybe with a few new songs. The thought of going crazy with a hall full of freaky Greeks gives me goosebumps right now. Until then – and beyond – the following applies: Metal is love. Visigoth is love. We are the Iron Brotherhood.