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Iced Earth & Warbringer Concert Review
Well, I hope everyone had a totally awesome Spring Break filled with lots of METAL. I know I sure did!
Dan and I got a chance to check out a really badass show with Iced Earth and Warbringer at Mojoes in Joliet Illinois on March 17th. It was the first show either of us had been to in awhile, and let me tell you it put the hair back on our chests! We actually caught the very last date of the North American tour, which had originally started out with Iced Earth, Symphony X and Warbringer, but Symphony X ducted off the tour March 11th. All three bands have put out totally awesome new records in 2011. Iced Earth’s Dystopia is a hard-hitting progressive and power driven adventure through the human experience. Warbringer’s Worlds Torn Asunder is a unique thrash driven monster with hints of prog and breakdowns that will have you moshing in your dorm room. Finally, Symphony X’s long awaited Iconoclast is everything you expect and more from the legends of progs. We were also fortunate enough to be able interview John Kevill, the frontman for Warbringer.
Warbringer hit the stage with a rather interesting intro, that was quite comedic and most of the audience didn’t know what to think, including ourselves. We heard random audio clips from Airplane and several other films as well as a banana on the drumset. The band came onstage and the drummer threw the banana into the audience. Then John grabbed the mic and looked at the audience ready to carry them into battle and kicked off their set with Living Weapon. This band never ceases to amaze me with their live performance, their high energy and intensity shines all the way through their set and does not slow down. Warbringer for me really symbolizes what a live band should be; hard, fast, and in your face. Dan and I were moshing to pretty much every song they played. In the middle of their set Iced Earth’s drummer, Brent Smedly, came on stage wearing nothing but superman briefs with huge fake flaccid penis, and started windmilling it around. He then slapped the Warbringer guys with it. Then from out of nowhere Iced Earth threw toilet paper on stage as everyone was laughing. After the song, Warbringer explained that Iced Earth and them had become good friends, and they had been playing jokes with each other and that they would get them back later in the show.
Iced Earth came on stage with the intro from Dystopia, and opened with a high pitched metal scream and a powerful stage presence. This tour was the first to debut Stu Block (former Into Eternity frontman) as their new vocalist. Stu replaced Matt Barlow in August of 2011, and Dystopia marked his Iced Earth debut. He put on one hell of a show and was very animated and vocal with the crowd. Even picking out people in the crowd who were not rocking out, by pointing at them and motioning them to shout. He kept the energy going, and fit in very well with the band. It felt as though they were all brothers and he had been with them for a long time. Even John Schaffer ( Lead Guitarist and last remaining founding member) stated during the show “This is by far the best guy you could ever have fronting this band”. The band went on to play a very heavy set, and I also have to say their guitar riffs sound so much heavier and demonic. There is much more depth to the music. As Warbringer had promised they would have their revenge, during Dante’s Inferno Warbringer came out on stage with black hoods over their faces and holding white crucifixes in their hands. They then began to “sword fight” each other with the crucifixes, and crept around stage like demonic beasts and held the crucifixes upside down. They finished out their set very strong, and played an encore stating that “You guys are really lucky, we have only played an encore a few times during the tour, but you guys deserve it!”. As they finished the encore Warbringer rushed the stage with a sheet that had “Warbringer” written on one side, and “F&@# Yo Couch” written on the other. Which both bands had been shouting during their sets. Warbringer then covered Iced Earth in their banner and they all hugged each other and the two bands bowed to the audience together. As if they were one band; brothers in metal.
If this is what happens on the last show of every tour, I now refuse to see anything but the very last show, because I have never seen two bands have such camaraderie together on stage. John Schaffer had this to say about Warbringer “You guys definitely need to be checking out Warbringer, these guys are going to have a big future in this business”.
Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with John Kevill of Warbringer, which will be available for streaming by the end of the week.