Carved In The Road European Tour
Edenbridge – Special Guest
Aspect – Support Act
27/3 – 2008
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Once again it was time to head over to the Capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, and the very nice venue The Rock. This night was dedicated to the German metal legends Rage thet starts their European tour this day and I had high expectations for the band that I have learned to love more and more during these past years. Things have happened in the Rage camp over the last few years. Since the release of the last studio album SPEAK OF THE DEAD drummer Mike Terrana has left and the new drummer is André Hilgers (Empire, Silent Force, Axxis etc). Rage’s new studio album is called CARVED IN STONED and was released at the beginning of 2008. I haven’t heard the new album yet but my main interest was to see how the band managed to perform without the big little drummer and show man Terrana. I arrived as usual a few hours before scheduled and the closer it came to the door opening the more active the roadies got. I overheard both line and sound check and from what I’ve heard it was gonna be a fine evening.
Three acts were gonna play this evening, first out was a band called Aspect, then came Edenbridge and last out and headline act was of course Rage. When the door opened it was only two poor bastards standing in line and well inside we had to wait in the bar outside the actual venue called Tex before The Rock really opened. The Rock opened their doors at 20.00 and it was frightening few people that had come to the show so far. Unfortunately the opening act Aspect had to perform for a close to empty venue. They did what they could but I didn’t stay to listen to them. Instead I walked around and drank a few beers in await of the headline act. The change of gear went pretty fast and after 30 minutes of Aspect it was time for 40 minutes of Edenbridge. More people had arrived but I did another round of walking and beer drinking so I didn’t pay any closer attention to Edenbridge either. However from the sound I could tell that Edenbridge was appreciated by the 200-250 people there.
The Rock has widened the stage a bit as well as upgraded the sound system which has now improved a lot. The venue doesn’t use fences so you have the chance to get very close to the bands which is both negative and positive. It’s positive for the fans of course but it’s negative for the photographers that come out from the shows with lots of waving hands on their pics.
In the middle stood a gigantic drum kit and behind triumphed a huge backdrop with the new albums cover art-work on it. That and a bunch of Marshall amps was everything it was on stage. When the pause music ended Rage walked on stage, the band now consists of:
Peter “Peavy” Wagner – lead vocals, bass
Victor Smolski – guitar
André Hilgers – drums
The small crowd went crazy when the trio entered the stage and kicked off the night with “Carved In Stone” from the new album. I haven’t heard the album but from my point of view I thought it sounded like typical German heavy metal a la Rage. The show continued with “Drop Dead”, Peavy thanked the crowd for being there and told us that this night was totally dedicated to playing both older and newer classics as well as songs they hadn’t done for a while and that brought about the evening's largest applause. The sound was sadly lacking. Peavey’s bass play and lead vocals could hardly be heard. The only things that were clear were the drums and guitar and it looked like Peavy also had serious problems with his monitors.
Peavy and Smolski stood beside the drums and no one stood in the middle as the mid stage area was used to walk around on and to head bang . “Soundchaser” came next and was followed by “Lord Of The Flies” where a woman, Jen Majura, came on stage and helped Peavey with the lead vocals. Besides Smolski was a smaller mixer table where he took care of the fake keyboards and strings but just like Peavy had he problems with the sound. The sound problems dragged down the entire experience and I hope that it was only a one time problem.
New drummer Hilgers did a great job and he felt solid and tight. He wasn’t a show man like Terrana but he did what was expected of him. “Dies Irae” was followed by “One More Time” and Peavy told us that he thought it was fun to be back in Denmark again and that it was two years since they last played at The Rock. Even though the band isn’t spending much time in Scandinavia it seemed like the audience loved them anyway. The next song was “No Regrets” where the people went crazy and head banged their way through the song. The song went straight into a longer guitar solo by Smolski where he showed what an amazing guitarist he truly is. He did a long solo in which the crowd cheered and screamed. When the rest of the band came back on stage they did “Unity”. Peavy wanted everyone to sing a long in the next track that was “Down” and by now the had sound gotten slightly better but not good enough. The next song was also a fan favorite called “Set the World on Fire” . The next song was the really catchy “Higher Than The Sky” during which everyone went crazy, both band and fans. The last song for the night was “Don’t Fear The Winter” which was suitable now that it’s almost spring. After that Peavy thanked the fans and the people there and the trio went off stage. But the audience wanted more of course the band came back on stage and fired off “Open Grave and “Straight To Hell”. Those were the last two songs and I went further back in the venue to hear if the sound was better there and it was. When Rage went off stage 90 minutes had passed and when I got the set list in my hand I noticed that many songs had been cut including a drum solo. The cuttings must have depended on the long time it took to do the sound check. The support act was 40 minutes late because of that. But The Rock kicks off a night club after every live show so sometimes the bands have to adjust their playing time after that.
Rage delivered a very un-even show with a little more to wish for. The sound wasn’t working and I had wanted Hilgers to be a little more outspoken behind the drums. Peavey’s and Smolki’s positions on stage felt weird and 90 minutes felt a little short. But it looked like the fans were happy with the show even though I know that Rage has a lot more to give. Rage gave us a lesson in how German heavy metal should sound like and I really hope they can get a hold of the smaller problems they had to drag with during this show. It was an OK show but I had wished for more. Rage is a great band and a more solid live act than they were this night.
Thanks to Nils Kroyer at The Rock for help with the press/photo pass
Thanks to the friendly staff at The Rock, always a pleasure visiting The Rock
More info about the band
Carved In Stone
Lord Of The Flies
One More Time
Lost In Void
Set This World On Fire
Higher then the sky
Don’t Fear The Winter
Straight To Hell
More pictuers from the show on Rage here