Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006 Live on Three Continents (DVD) or (2 CDs)
posted on 5/2007 By:
One can make an interesting comparison between sitting in your room listening to a live album and looking at naked women on the internet – both have the potential to be pretty exciting, but there’s really no substitution for experiencing them live and in the flesh. This is primarily the reason why I only count four live albums scattered amongst the ridiculous amounts of metal records I own: Unleashed in the East, Live After Death, Live Evil, and The Eagle Has Landed. Live DVD’s obviously add a visual element to help snare attention, but to be perfectly honest, a huge reason behind my showing up to see folks like John McEntee eat a microphone on stage for an hour is the added ancillary elements of beer, brotherhood and at least one girl to ogle, so the likelihood of me watching with full attention by myself in my home is fairly slim. The bottom line is this: live records and DVD’s are a hard sell for me. If a band expects me to shell out hard-earned cash to watch and hear a live recording of their latest trip through Jockstrapistan, it better be pretty electrifying.
Which leads me to Helloween. Back in 2004, I was lucky enough to see this band play before a surprisingly intimate crowd of about 250 people in San Francisco. Despite the meager turnout, the band happily ripped through a setlist loaded with their classic material, and honestly seemed to convey the same sort of motivation I imagined they’d pageant to a sea of people anywhere in Europe, Asia, or especially South America. That show truly charged me up, and is essentially the reason why I decided to check out Helloween’s latest live DVD, Keeper of the Seven Keys – The Legacy World Tour.
Within the first five minutes of this show, you can easily understand why every metal band on the planet would gladly give their left nut to play a place like São Paulo. You simply cannot find a more rabid metal fan base than that which is found in South America. It’s gotta be absolutely electric for a band to see a crowd enthusiastically sing along with every song delivered, and that’s exactly what happens throughout this DVD. These maniacs even roar along with some of the band’s dicier tunes, such as “Mrs. God”, which probably would’ve sent most US crowds reeling to the closest bar or whizzing-trough. And they’re even louder between songs! Chants of “HAPPY, HAPPY Helloween, Whoa-OH-oh-ohhhh!!” often fill the hall and really get the band bouncing, happy, and ready to deliver a great, tight set. Bringing me to my next point…
The instrumental line-up consisting of the only two remaining original members, Markus Grosskopf (bass) and Michael Welkath (guitars) are perfectly complemented by the absolutely stunning guitar work of Sascha Gerstner (now with the band for nearly 5yrs) and brand new drummer, Daniel Löbel. The four are truly on top of their game on this DVD, and each get numerous opportunities to flash their individual talents during breakout solos throughout the 13-songs of this performance. And it doesn’t take a psychologist to see just how much fun these guys have playing together as well. One of the highlights of the show occurs during the extended drum and guitar solos. Markus ends up challenging Daniel with his own teeny, toy drum-kit and Daniel in turn challenges Sascha with a miniature guitar. Ok, it’s not exactly John Cleese as The Minister of Silly Walks, but it’s still good fun.
As far as vocals are concerned, I’ve heard some complaints about Andi Deris (who now stands as the band’s longest running front man – over 10yrs and seven albums) being able to hit the high-note-riddled Kiske era Helloween material, but I honestly think he does a pretty good job of stepping up to the plate for the tunes represented on this recording. Hell, 95% of the metal vocalists out there today wouldn’t be able to hit those notes, and I think Deris’ performance is damned solid and definitely well received by the crowd. The only thing I’d like to see him do is spend a little time at the Dickinson School of Athletic Stage Presence. While he certainly pulls his weight through his delivery and getting the crowd involved, the most activity he gets is changing his jacket a couple times between songs.
The second disc of The Legacy World Tour is basically filled with backstage antics and tour tomfoolery during the course of the band’s travels through Europe, Asia and South America. Above anything else, this disc shows not only are these guys Europe’s kings of power metal, but they’re a crew of total fucking goofballs as well. There’s hardly a minute that goes by without Markus, Michael, Daniel, Sascha or one of the road crew members doing something ridiculous to try and get someone to laugh, and it makes it quite easy to understand how this band has survived and thrived for so many years – they’ve got a sense of humor, and they truly enjoy what they’re doing. Deris is missing from much of the silly antics for whatever reason (probably because he spends most of his off-time resting his voice), but he fields a bulk of the questions during the ‘interviews’ portion of the disc. Finally, the 'Legacy Bonus' section offers an additional video of “Mrs. God” (shudder) and even more live footage featuring “Occasional Avenue” and a 19-minute live version of “Halloween”.
Helloween can certainly count themselves as one of the few bands I actually enjoy sitting down and listening to in a live recording, but I'm not sure how often I'll revisit this DVD. I can see myself throwing it on as a backdrop for a party, or perhaps to prep myself for seeing them live again at some point, but I think I’d be more likely to recommend the audio version of the show instead (which drops the drum and guitar solo and tacks on “Occasional Avenue” and “Halloween” at the end). These guys really prove themselves as the true masters of European power metal, and they sure as hell know how to deliver the goods on stage.
1. Intro (2:20)
2. The King for A Thousand Years (13:05) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : The Legacy
3. Eagle Fly Free (6:25) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part II
4. Hell Was Made In Heaven (6:17) – Rabbit Don’t Come Easy
5. Keeper of the Seven Keys (14:17) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part II
6. A Tale That Wasn’t Right (5:11) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part I
7. Drum Solo (9:00)
8. Mr. Torture (4:22) – The Dark Ride
9. If I Could Fly (4:10) – The Dark Ride
10. Guitar Solo (5:10)
11. Power (3:30) – Time of the Oath
12. Future World (10:00) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part I
13. The Invisible Man (8:00) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : The Legacy
14. Mrs. God (2:56) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : The Legacy
15. I Want Out (4:55) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part II
16. Dr. Stein (6:40) – Keeper of the Seven Keys : Part II
17. Outro (4:37)
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