The combination of an early start on a weeknight plus trains being messed up meant that I arrived at the Underworld just as the second band finished their set. The gig had been due to take place at the nearby Electric Ballroom, but poor ticket sales that have plagued a lot of band’s concerts in the last few months meant that tonight’s show was moved to the smaller Underworld. It was a good move as the crowd tonight would have meant a poor atmosphere at the Electric Ballroom, but crammed into the Underworld there was a great atmosphere as the place was pretty packed with anywhere having a view being crammed with people.
The first band for me then was Evergrey. The Swedes put in a great performance that really went down well with the crowd – the packed crowd really were enjoying their set and there was plenty of headbanging going on during their all too short set.
No matter how well the support bands went down, the cheers that greeted Iced Earth made it clear who the fans were here for. In the tiny photo pit at the front we were being whipped by the long hair of the front row of the crowd, almost whom were headbanging like crazy, and it wasn’t long before we were flattened by the first crowd surfer.
Tonight’s set included six tracks from the bands most recent album (Dystopia) – around a third of the set, and it was noticeable that the fans were loving both old and newer material equally – hardly surprising really when the songs are this good. Singer Stu Block is a great frontman and his intense performance whips the crowd up to a frenzy. Trying to get from the photo pit to the bar at the back of the venue was a struggle – the front half of the underworld was absolutely jammed full of people desperate to get near the stage and oblivious to anything going on around them other than what was happening on stage.
Whether playing a big venue, a small venue or an outdoor festival, Iced Earth are always impressive, but tonight in this packed venue they seem better than ever. Lets hope Iced Earth are back in the UK before too long.
Iced earth setlist:
My own saviour
I died for you
Motivation of man
In sacred flames (encore intro)
Watching Over Me