Demons & Wizards are a power metal supergroup formed by vocalist Hansi Kürsch of German power metal legends Blind Guardian and guitarist Jon Schaffer of heavy metal legends, Iced Earth. In their 20 year career as a band, they have only released two album being Demons & Wizards (2000) and Crimson King (2005). A third album is currently in the works for a 2020 release. American metal fans were shocked to find out that after 20 years and only touring Europe, Demons & Wizards announced a USA tour. This tour was super special because Demons & Wizards made it clear that this would be their first and only North American tour. The band mates included members of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. Demons & Wizards wouldn’t be coming alone. Joining them on tour would be heavy metal shock rockers Lizzy Borden and folk metal band, Týr. Los Angeles was blessed to be the first stop on the tour at the Wiltern. A perfect way to spend Saturday.
The venue was well packed just as Týr was starting. Týr is a folk metal band from the Faroe Islands, a group of small islands between Norway and Iceland. On March 8, they released their eighth studio album titled Hel, their first studio album in almost six years. Týr came out and started their show with Blood of Heroes from their previous album, Valkyrja. Plenty of Týr fans were seen in the audience singing along along sporting their merch. Týr continued with the ever so catchy song Mare of My Night from that same album. Being that Týr were from the Faroe Islands where they speak Faroese, it would only make sense for them to write music in their native language. One of those songs was Tróndur í Gøtu and is a about a Viking from the Faroe Islands who lived from 945-1035 A.D.. Týr is super fun to see live as the band members sung and danced to their music and were nothing but smiles the whole time. More songs from their set included Fire and Flame, Gates of Hel and By the Sword in My Hand. With only a short set, Týr made sure to give it their all. To end their set, they played their most famous song, the super catchy tune Hold the Heathen Hammer High. The mosh pits were wild, headbanging was seen and horns were raised. Týr finished their set and left the stage. A great start to a great night.
Lizzy Borden is a shock rock/heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. They named themselves after Lizzie Borden, a woman accused of the axe murders of her stepmother and father in 1892. In 2018, they release their seventh studio album My Midnight Things, their first album since 2007. They are known for their use of props and masks to give their live shows that shock rock image similar to those of Alice Cooper. Lizzy Borden came out and started with My Midnight Things from the new album. Singer Lizzy Borden came out with a silver skull mask and cape to give himself that menacing look. Another one of the greatest hits performed was Red Rum and naturally is about the Stephen King book, The Shining. One of the highlights of the show was when Borden came out wearing another skull mask, but this time in what looked like a doctor’s outfit. He came out with blood on his hands and painted people’s faces with it as if marking them for all eternity. Lizzy Borden is still going strong after more than 30 years and will surely be around for much longer.
It was time for Demons & Wizards to hit the stage at long last and fans were more than ecstatic as not only was this most likely the first time anyone in the venue has seen them, but would also be the one and only time they do so. The lights went out and the fans went crazy as the band members of Demons & Wizards came out and started their performance with the first track from their self-titled debut album, Rites of Passage. The music itself was powerful and a perfect blend of power and heavy metal which is what they are known for. The fans were super excited to finally see this legendary band. The next song was the next track from the same album, Heaven Denies. Schaffer was perfect on the guitar as usual and Kürsch on the vocals was perfection as well. For the third song, Demons & Wizards played one of their best and catchiest songs, Crimson King from their second album. Fans were singing along, raising their horns and moshing away. When metal bands like this play, we are all one big happy metal family. Some of the other songs performed were Love’s Tragedy Asunder, Terror Train and Poor Man’s Crusade. Kürsch made note on how he and Schaffer were in their own bands in case the audience didn’t know. On this occasion, Demons & Wizards decided to play some songs from their respective bands. The first cover song was Burning Times (Iced Earth) followed by Welcome to Dying (Blind Guardian). The show continued with an acoustic version of Wicked Witch then back to the metal with The Gunslinger. Up next were more covers which were the beautiful ballad I Died For You (Iced Earth) and the big hit, Valhalla (Blind Guardian). Demons & Wizards seemed to end the show when they played My Last Sunrise, which seemed fitting for the show’s end. Demons & Wizards left the stage, yet fans were very vocal and clearly wanted more by cheering and chanting the band’s name. After a couple of minutes, the band came back out for some encores. The first being Blood on My Hands. Kürsch once again thanked the audience for coming out and most importantly, for being so patient for the band to finally tour the states. For the show’s grand finale, Demons & Wizards played one of their best song, Fiddler on the Green. A rather relaxing song for a finale, but perfect for the occasion. Demons & Wizards once again thanked the audience, bowed and left the stage for the final time. Even though they said this would be their one and only North American tour, it’s clear that they should come back again for longtime fans as well as fans that were unable to make it.
Demons & Wizards