Iced Earth, Symphony X & Warbringer @ Flames Central - Calgary, Canada


Event: Symphony X + Iced Earth: North American Tour 2012
Written by: Doc Godin
Published: 05.03.2012

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Iced Earth @ Flames Central - Calgary, Alberta, Canada by Doc Godin (28)





If nothing else, Warbringer are remarkable for one reason; their live performances. This is a band that seems to stop through Calgary on a weekly basis. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but to be more literal, if there is a metal tour stopping through town, there is a 1 in 3 chance Warbringer is somewhere on the bill. Considering this fact, you would think people would be tired of them by now. Nope! Here's a band that always plays with minimal stage props, yet always manages to bring the house down. They owe this all to their always high-energy performances. This night was no exception. When you buy a ticket to a show with Warbringer on it, you know you're going to get your moneys worth.






Here was one that divided the crowd. People came for Iced Earth, and although Symphony X are, in fact, bigger globally, they haven't yet built up the local familiarity that Warbringer have. The division came exactly where you'd expect it; genre styles. A lot of folks, including the older crowd here to hear original Iced Earth stuff, were more set on straight-forward heavy metal. Warbringer brought an equally visceral edge to the stage. A lot of people seemed either completely lost or completely bored (this reviewer included) by the ultra-proggy, 8-guitar-solos-per-song stylings of Symphony X. The fans of this music were not brought down by the presence of a few sour prog-haters, though, as it seemed to go over extremely well as a whole.






Now it was time for Iced Earth. As previously mentioned, judging by the age of the average attendee, people were jacked to see old school, Barlow-era Iced Earth. Despite the absence of that member, there didn't seem to be a disappointed face in the crowd. Sure, the new guy [Stu Block] seemed most comfortable with his own material from the new album Dystopia, but that doesn't mean he let the crowd down with any fuck ups on the classics. If this performance is a testament to what Iced Earth has in store for years to come, then it's definitely going to be a bright future for this band. Both newer, younger fans, and long-time die-hards went home happy this night.



Photos courtesy of Will Cowie



 



Written on 05.03.2012 by Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 145 users
05.03.2012 - 10:32
Milena
Learning To "X"
Although I prefer longer reports, this was a pretty good one, Doc the pictures are also pretty kickass, that dude did a good job.
----
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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05.03.2012 - 13:16
Nergal Is God
Account deleted
I was thinking about going down to Columbus to see this tour, being it ain't hitting Cleveland. After this, I just might! Love all three bands. I caught Warbringer last November in a snow storm. There was only like 35 people that showed up, so that made it pretty sweet. They definitely have a very powerful stage show.
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05.03.2012 - 14:39
Valentin B
Iconoclast
I think people watched Symphony X expecting something else.. their last album (which they play live almost in entirety) is much more aggressive than even Paradise Lost and crosses the border into thrash metal at times, moshable and stunningly headbanging-worthy.
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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06.03.2012 - 07:30
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Basically how the show was in Philly too. Although, I found Symphony X to be less enjoyable than previous times, because they played almost their entire Iconoclast album. :/ But it wasn't a progressive show, so I guess it was more fitting to play the heavier, ballsy stuff.
----
"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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06.03.2012 - 18:21
Rulatore
How many time per band ?
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07.03.2012 - 00:18
Bad English
Masterchief
Tell me a Iced set list, what songs they played, because Im gong to gig in Luleå , did they played Birth Of The Wicked
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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07.03.2012 - 00:19
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Valentin B on 05.03.2012 at 14:39

I think people watched Symphony X expecting something else.. their last album (which they play live almost in entirety) is much more aggressive than even Paradise Lost and crosses the border into thrash metal at times, moshable and stunningly headbanging-worthy.


Now you have reaosn come up to Luleå :p in august to see Iced Earth
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
07.03.2012 - 12:13
Valentin B
Iconoclast
Written by Bad English on 07.03.2012 at 00:19

Written by Valentin B on 05.03.2012 at 14:39

I think people watched Symphony X expecting something else.. their last album (which they play live almost in entirety) is much more aggressive than even Paradise Lost and crosses the border into thrash metal at times, moshable and stunningly headbanging-worthy.


Now you have reaosn come up to Luleå :p in august to see Iced Earth

I saw them in november and they were stunning, plus the plane price from here to Lulea (even to Stockholm) is insane (at least 400 euros return)... maybe some other year :p
----
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.
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07.03.2012 - 21:06
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
I enjoyed Symphony X's performance in Philly as a fan of Iconoclast, and I do remember some people just standing with their arms folded staring at us while we were doing air guitar and headbanging

It's a shame I had to leave halfway through Iced Earth's set, lots of energy there.
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08.03.2012 - 02:51
Zyklonzack
Had kind of the opposite experience in Kansas City. There were quite a few Iced Earth only fans, but the show really took off when Symphony X hit the stage. However, because Symphony X was the closer, those who didn't want to hear them already left. Overall, it was actually the most energy I've seen in a crowd during a Symphony X concert. Also, to Russel Allen for inviting the two 14 year old girls next to me to see him after the show.
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10.03.2012 - 01:26
MetalFreak
Written by Bad English on 07.03.2012 at 00:18

Tell me a Iced set list, what songs they played, because Im gong to gig in Luleå , did they played Birth Of The Wicked

When I saw them in Houston, Tx on Feb 29 this is what they played: Dystopia, Angels Holocaust, Slave to the Dark, V, Stand Alone, When the Night Falls, Dark City, Damien, Anthem, Declaration Day, Days of Rage, Watching Over Me, Dante's Inferno, Iced Earth

The list was a fairly good mix of new songs and old classics, and yes they played all 17 minutes of Dante's Inferno. I was curious to hear how the old stuff would sound with Stu, he didn't disappoint. I have to say that Damien was the best song of the night, Jon doing the spoken part in the middle was pure fucking metal.
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12.03.2012 - 21:38
Hammer34
Saw this tour last Friday night in Worcester, MA.

I think impressions are definitely colored by whomever closes the show which in my case was Iced Earth. That said . . .

Sym X is a band I've always felt I "should" like, I have picked up their last few CDs, but promising bits I hear never seem to turn into anything that makes a lasting impression on me. So I was curious to find out if seeing them live would make a difference. It didn't.

Right off the bat, it seemed like they were trying really hard to be HEAVY to stand up to the styles of their tour mates and it kind of backfired on them. The bass (from bass, drums and keys) was so overwhelming it drowned out virtually everything except Romeo's "squealiest" shreds and Allen's biggest wails. With their proggy style and multiple changes, I feel like dynamics are key to appreciating what Sym X does and dynamics were completely lost in that wall of bass. Way too many songs seemed to start with the exact same opening, finger-tappy shred section from Romeo, and the choruses to "Children Of A Faceless God" and "Electric Messiah" are among the only melodies I can recall rising above the din. Allen's stage presence also seemed to smack of a bit of self consciousness about coming off as "heavy" as the other two bands, with him throwing the horns every two seconds and yapping a lot about the "metal-ness" of metal. Personally I think Allen is a great singer, though, while I love his more crooning style, I find his aggressive singing to be kind of off-putting. My reactions aside, the serious Sym X fans in the crowd seemed like they were digging the performance.

In contrast Iced Earth ruled. Their sound was all but pristine and the loud and soft sections of their tunes came through clearly. Regardless of whether people think he's not the most innovative of players, Schaffer's rhythm guitar playing and his tone are simply otherworldly.

I was the biggest Stu Block skeptic, having never liked his vocals and thinking he came off as a bit of a punk-ass on stage the handful of times I saw him with Into Eternity but, as he did on the album, he proved me wrong Friday night. Great presence and he sounded great, handling the classics just as well as the Dystopia material. There was a bit of a sound problem where his mid and low range vocals seemed to cut out in certain spots, but otherwise an awesome performance. Overall great show by IE. Set list was identical to what Metal Freak notes above.
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