I knew something was afoot when I was asked by Sentinel Daily Editor Scott Adams what I was up to on October 11th. Sentinel Daily was being given access by German label SPV to a live feed of Rage’s streamed concert from Essen, being held in a church of all places. As I have been a massive fan of Peavy and the guys since I was about eighteen it was definitely right up my alley, so I jumped at the chance.
So with code in hand, I am ready to go. Early on a Sunday morning is a different time for a metal concert, but hey, being halfway around the world and getting to watch one of your favourite bands play a live concert during the changed stakes of COVID is worth it. Rage has a massive array of albums to pick a setlist from so each concert could have anything. I am keenly awaiting the arrival of the guys on stage.
A crowd of about three hundred have been given access to the gig and are seen coming to and from their seats and the bar, with a majority of the crowd sporting Rage merchandise and a multitude of masks – a definite pointer to the world we now live in. After around twenty minutes of setup, – I realise I have missed the warmup band, the guys from Rage, who are now back to a four-piece band make their way from the back of the room moving up to the stage (all wearing masks).
The guys get to the stage and remove their masks, otherwise it’s going to be a bit muffled. Kicking off with the opening track from the last release True, Rage with dual guitars, which in a live setting, just adds that fullness to the tracks. Followed by the unmistakeable intro to Chasing The Twilight Zone before burning that track up. From here until the end I am entertained by an amazing array of tracks from as early as the eighties until now, a testament to the longevity and diversity of this amazing band.
Stefan Weber (ex-Axxis) and Jean Bormann (formerly Angelic, Rage & Ruins), the new boys on guitar, looked to have fitted perfectly in with Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos and Peter “Peavy” Wagner. Their happiness on stage spilling over throughout the set as everyone just enjoying playing again.
The crowd is having a blast, despite the fact they are seated, and can be seen repeatedly throwing horns, headbanging and clapping along. Difficulty in these COVID times seems to be easily overcome as people are able to get back to the bar and get some beers, really allowing them to get into the old concert feel.
As we come towards the back end of the concert, Peavy reaches back into the vaults, all the way to Perfect Man, to pull out (much to the delight of the crowd) Don’t Fear The Winter. As it finishes the guys all take a quick break before returning to the stage with a two-song encore of Straight To Hell. As part of the song it allows the band to show off the multilingual skills of all when asking Want More in a multitude of languages.
Like all Rage concerts you know it is the last songs when the opening strains of Higher Than The Sky kicks off. This song is a staple to the concerts and is sung with great gusto, with the crowd going off as best as they can from seated positions. For some the exultation of being at a live concert and having such a great closer it is too much and they are up dancing, however this is very shortlived as these concerts can only be put on with the strict rules, so the punters are quickly asked to move back to their seats. To finish off the night the whole crowd is asked to pose for a shot with the band.
All in all, Around The World with Rage was a great success and it may be a pointer to the future of music as we come to terms with COVID being in our life for the foreseeable future.
True (Wings of Rage)
Chasing the Twilight Zone (Wings of Rage)
Shadow Out Of Time (Black in Mind)
The Price of War (Black in Mind)
Back in Time (Ghosts)
End Of Days (End of Days)
My Way (The Devil Strikes Again)
Nevermore (The Missing Link)
Black In Mind (Black In Mind)
Wings of Rage (Wings of Rage)
Cradle to The Grave (XIII)
Rest In Peace (Wings of Rage)
Don’t Fear The Winter (Perfect Man)
Straight To Hell (Welcome To The Other Side)
Higher Than The Sky (End of All Days)