Doro - Chinese Tour, Beijing

Event: Doro: Chinese Tour
Written by: Ernis
Published: 18.11.2008

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Doro - Chinese Tour, Beijing by Ernis (22)
So it was that the Goethe Institute made China this beautiful gift by bringing the best German musicians to gladden the hearts and souls of the Chinese public. Even better, the entrance was completely free. Starlive, one of the most popular venues of Beijing, was about to be paid a visit by metal queen Doro, the single most influential female vocalist of the 80's who rose to fame with her group Warlock.

The warm-up was taken care of by two acts, Christoph Haberer and Corvus Corax. Christoph Haberer, the opener of the evening, is a merry grey-haired German experimental percussionist whose genre is quite challenging to define since it contains elements of jazz, electronic music and also has ethnic influences. Haberer's one-man band performance was a fine introduction to the night. It was mild, slowly catching people's attention from beer and fussing around, drawing them near the stage. His drum-kit was rich, from usual drums to all different kinds of percussion elements, xylophones, electronic devices and other instruments. He used pre-recorded material, voices of nature and similar backing music and added his own improvised layers of drumming which he did in an interesting way. As he said himself, his main goal was not to use drums and percussion as a rhythm element but as melody itself. Walking around the stage, creating sounds from all the different instruments on stage and then settling down behind the core kit Christoph Haberer created an original atmosphere.



The next supporting band was far from being a one-man project. The crew of Corvus Corax was arriving to conquer the stage. Beforehand the stage workers had carried in the decorative drums and gongs. First came the wave of percussionists who brought along the menacing thunder of the medieval dances. Not much long after them stormed in the army of bagpipers. The performance of the early music ensemble was fascinating. The men were standing in line clad in their medieval coats, taking out the last from their bagpipes and dancing, swirling, in nearly perfect synchronisation in front of the audience.

Every once in a while some members shifted from playing one instrument to performing on another - bagpipes, medieval versions of flutes, all kinds of wild percussions, lute and more. The vocals were dark and majestic as performing the early European music in one of the slower song while most of the gig remained instrumental. Those who are into classical, medieval and renaissance music would have recognised several popular dance tunes, hits of the medieval era. Generally it seemed that the Chinese people welcomed warmly the musicians of European earlier days, for sure relatively exotic for Asian audience. To please the crowd, Corvus Corax also played one special Chinese song. All in all the show was powerful, making some of the audience start wild dances.



After Corvus Corax left the stage, most felt like removing some clothes since the medieval group had seriously raised the temperature inside the venue. Luckily there weren't awfully many people and there was only mild strife towards the front rows. After getting a quite comfortable spot near the stage it was necessary to wait for the goddess to arrive. The soundcheck seemed to be lasting annoyingly long.

Finally the band had taken the places and started playing. After a bombastic intro she flew in, this fast and energetic woman. With moments the people were overwhelmed with energy and euphoria. Doro Pesch was on stage, dashing madly around like an energy ball and shaking the walls with her powerful voice. It's delightful to see such grand performers such as Doro Pesch whose vocal abilities are most brilliant during live performances. It's true that on albums she does sound good but this is few compared to the power she emits while singing on stage. To be honest, I had heard of Doro before, always knew she was an important and influential figure of the 80's metal history but I never imagined her to be so spellbindingly awesome on stage. That should say a lot especially since I don't listen to her style that often.



Doro's setlist was very good. All the songs were catchy and fast and Doro barely left the audience a moment to take a breath. She included songs from her early days with Warlock and also performed her newer material. So we heard the pearls "Burning The Witches" and "I Rule The Ruins" and also "You're My Family". "Above The Ashes" and "Für Immer" were included as the calmer songs of the night. During "Für Immer", Doro sang duet with a local Chinese vocalist whose name I unfortunately cannot remember out of hand. The Chinese singer joined the metal queen at the chorus "Deep inside my heart." The highlight of the show proved to be "All We Are" which brought everyone to the point of shouting along as loud as possible. I have never been on such a concert before where people are going along with the performers in such a large scale (yes, Slayer's show did have a similar effect) but since Doro performed in a club, the effect is much bigger than at open air shows. "All We Are" was meant to remain the farewell song of the gig but the crowd didn't let it happen this way. Somehow all the setlist seemed so short that I had the feeling she only sang for fifteen minutes or so. Howling as loud as we could, she returned to us and the gig continued for two more songs after which she waved and wished to leave but we managed to make her come back again. Another positive point of the gig was when all the crowd were singing "Happy Birthday" to the lead guitarist Joe Taylor as he put off the candles on the birthday cake.



Doro is one of the best live vocalists I've seen. She is also extremely difficult to catch on a photograph since she is constantly running around the stage, moshing, shouting at the audience,
making them sing along with her. She indeed is the mother of metal and the audiences are her family. She has a strong power over the crowd, all the 25 years of experience have made this lady an outstanding vocalist and even if anyone doesn't listen to her works regularly, one will definitely have an unforgettable experience at her live shows. Her concert in Beijing was most successful, leaving both her and the audience extremely happy. "See you soon", she promised us and I'm sure that everyone who has got the chance to attend a gig of Doro Pesch and her band will be willing to feel her power in the future as well.


 
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This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




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Doc Godin - 18.11.2008 at 13:00  
Awesome, I wouldn't expect any less. I said it before and I'll say it again, if seeing her live is anything half as good as the '93 live album, then it has to be great.
Promonex - 19.11.2008 at 01:13  
I must say, the Goethe Institute has made fine choices in bringing artists to China which were to represent Germany. They could have just as well sent bands like Wir sind Helden, Sportfreunde Stiller, Tocotronic or any of the others from the (quite prominent) German indie rock scene, but instead they went for Corvus Corax (obvious choice if it's about medieval music) and Doro, Germany's queen of heavy metal. Perhaps we'll see some Chinese in her audience at next year's Wacken?

Nice read, btw. How did you end up in Beijing anyway?
Ernis - 19.11.2008 at 07:43  
Written by Promonex on 19.11.2008 at 01:13

I must say, the Goethe Institute has made fine choices in bringing artists to China which were to represent Germany. They could have just as well sent bands like Wir sind Helden, Sportfreunde Stiller, Tocotronic or any of the others from the (quite prominent) German indie rock scene, but instead they went for Corvus Corax (obvious choice if it's about medieval music) and Doro, Germany's queen of heavy metal. Perhaps we'll see some Chinese in her audience at next year's Wacken?

Nice read, btw. How did you end up in Beijing anyway?

Thanks....
I'm indeed glad of the lineup...I also think the German bands you pointed out are relatively unknown here....Doro, on the other hand, is a classic performer whose concerts are a must-see for all those who like the genre....and for those who don't, she'll make a perfect introduction...
PS, I live in Beijing because I attend university here.....
Promonex - 19.11.2008 at 09:54  
Written by Ernis on 19.11.2008 at 07:43

Written by Promonex on 19.11.2008 at 01:13

I must say, the Goethe Institute has made fine choices in bringing artists to China which were to represent Germany. They could have just as well sent bands like Wir sind Helden, Sportfreunde Stiller, Tocotronic or any of the others from the (quite prominent) German indie rock scene, but instead they went for Corvus Corax (obvious choice if it's about medieval music) and Doro, Germany's queen of heavy metal.

I'm indeed glad of the lineup...I also think the German bands you pointed out are relatively unknown here....Doro, on the other hand, is a classic performer whose concerts are a must-see for all those who like the genre....and for those who don't, she'll make a perfect introduction...

Unknown perhaps, but it was a free concert with the intention to give the Chinese an impression of German music. The most distinct German styles - which are all performed in their native language as well - stem from the German punk scene (which wouldn't perform in China anyway, anti-globalization and stuff) and indie rock scene. And schlager, but no one wants to see that. Yet they chose a heavy metal act as representative for German music. That's what I was so surprised about. There was a similar event series in Guangzhou by the way, also with Doro, Corvus Corax, Christoph Haberer and many more... and schlager...
enumaelis - 24.12.2008 at 17:41  
Looks great, I just saw before Corvus Corax in a very small scenary and it was amazing. They really know how to transmit their music and make a link with audience!

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