German power metal legends and creators Helloween set out on the Pumpkins United World Tour. This tour was a special occasion because it featured the return of co-founder and guitarist Kai Hansen who left the band in 1988 to form power metal band, Gamma Ray. The tour also features the return of the band’s best vocalist Michael Kiske who was fired from the band in 1993. With two of the band’s key members returning, fans of the band could finally see the pioneers of power metal as they were many years ago. Helloween has been fronted by Andi Deris since 1994. Instead of relieving him of his duties, Helloween kept him in the band and so now have two vocalists sharing duties for certain or singing their perspective songs from their perspective albums. The second stop of the tour was the Hollywood Palladium and even well before doors open, fans were lined up going around the venue in anticipation for the show. A tour like this is so special, that no opening act was needed and so Helloween would have the stage to themselves and would play for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The lights went out and fans cheered and chanted the band’s name as the back screen lit up showing clips as the band members made their way to the stage. Helloween started their show with Halloween, a 13-minute monster of an opening song to get the crowd going with this classic. Having Hansen back in the back felt right and natural as a band live should feel. The music sounds perfect as it does on the album even 31 years later. The second preformed was another one of the band’s biggest hits Dr. Stein and the chorus allows the fans to sing along whenever Kiske signaled them too. The third song performed was I’m Alive, the opening track to their classic 1987 album Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part 1 which is no doubt one of the greatest metal albums of all time. Kiske’s high-pitch vocals and the guitar solo to the song is what helped spark the sound to European-style power metal. Once the song was over, the band took a quick break while the stage screen showed caricatures of pumpkin humanoids messing around with instruments and rock star outfits. These short movies would appear after every couple of songs to entertain the crowd. After a couple of more songs, Helloween returned to their roots from their debut album Walls of Jericho when Hansen handled both guitars and vocals. Hansen performed a medley of songs from the album which were Starlight, Ride the Sky and Judas. The only full song he performed was Heavy Metal (Is the Law). Kiske came back out to join the band to perform the beautiful ballad A Tale That Wasn’t Right. Kiske announced that this is the second time since 1987 that he has performed the song. It was beautifully performed and the crowd could be seen singing along soaking in the beautiful music. Deris came back out to join the band for a duet of Pumpkins United, a brand new song from Helloween which features Kiske, Hansen, and Deris sharing lead vocals. The band went off stage leaving drummer Daniel Löble on his drum kit as he performed a drum solo. A little after, the back screen showed a VHS tape going into a VCR showing an old drum solo from the band’s original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg who died in 1995. It was a tribute that Helloween gave to their fallen brother. Löble came back out to perform a drum duet with Schwichtenberg which made the tribute perfect as fans cheered and called out Schwichtenberg’s name. Helloween continued the show and played many more classic like A Little Time, Sole Survivor, and How Many Tears. The show seemed to come to an end, but fans weren’t ready to go home as the chanted the band’s name. Helloween came back out to perform some of their best songs. The first encore was the fan-favorite Eagle Fly Free followed by the 13-minute epic track, Keeper of the Seven Keys. Helloween left the stage again, but once again fans stayed and chanted the band’s name. The back screen lit up once again to show the conclusion to the short movies involving the pumpkin humanoids and soon after, Helloween came back out for two more encores. The next encore was Future World, another one of their best songs and got the crowd singing along with its catchy chorus and guitar solos. The final song of the night was the band’s most famous song I Want Out and Helloween made the song extra fun by tossing out balloons with pumpkins on them and were tossed around like beach balls. Fans were moshing, crowd surfing, and singing along to the super catchy finale. The show came to a grand ending and had fans cheering and smiling as Helloween bowed to the audience and left the stage for the final time.