British power metal band Dragonforce released their eighth studio album Extreme Power Metal on September 27, 2019. They are best known for their incredibly fast guitar solos which often sound like soundtracks for a video game. They rose to fame when they released their most famous song Through the Fire and Flames on the popular video game, Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. Dragonforce has recently had a couple of lineup changes starting with longtime keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov who left Dragonforce in 2018. In August, longtime bassist Frédéric Leclercq left Dragonforce to join German thrash metal band, Kreator. YouTube start Stevie T was to join Dragonforce as their bassist, but had to back out due to personal problems. As a last minute addition, Dragonforce brought Once Human bassist Damien Rainaud, who also produced and mixed Extreme Power Metal. Dragonforce announced a short tour and would conclude at the MegaCruise. The final stop on the tour was the Majestic Ventura Theater in downtown Ventura, California. Opening acts Darwen’s Theory, Starkill, and Dance With the Dead warmed up the slightly packed venue.
One of the first things you’ll notice is how on the stage, there are two giant arcade machines playing clips of classic arcade games like Metal Slug, Street Fighter, and Altered Beast.
The lights went out and the venue chanted Dragonforce‘s name. Lasers lit up the stage with smoke and gave the lasers an even more beautiful sight. The band members came out one by one with vocalist Marc Hudson being the last one to come out singing the intro to the opening song Highway to Oblivion which is also the first track on the new album and the crowd was met with a shot of confetti from the cannons up front. Dragonforce was on fire from the start as guitarists/founding members Herman Li and Sam Totman viciously shred through solos in perfect harmony along with Hudson’s high-pitch vocals. The next song was the classic Fury of the Storm and this time, the audience was met with fog from fog cannons. Dragonforce had several toys to play with on stage and the first one brought out was Hudson using a gun that shot out fog in a red light made to look like a laser. For the next song, Dragonforce made note on how they loved video games and this next song was based on The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and was also a song from the new album. The song was called The Last Dragonborn and fans of the video game could surely relate. Dragonforce is known for having some lengthy songs so it wasn’t unusual for some of their songs to be over seven minutes long. One of the funnest moments of the show was when Hudson let the audience know that there was an audience member who was having his bachelor party at the show. Hudson brought him onstage and let him know that it was in fact a terrible decision to have his bachelor party at a Dragonforce show. Regardless, Hudson was determined to give him a good time. The bachelor was sat on a stool while an extremely beautiful stripper girl came out to give the bachelor a little dance. She then blindfolded the bachelor and left the stage. Hudson signaled over a large stage worker man who came over to the bachelor and started dancing on him, removed his shirt, and even massaged the bachelor. He then left and the woman came back to remove the blindfold, unbeknownst to the bachelor of what had just happened to him. Back to the performance, Dragonforce played another new song, Heart Demolition. Dragonforce took a quick break while Hudson grabbed a guitar and played a medley of classic video game music followed by drummer Gee Anzalone showing his skills with a drum solo. Dragonforce came back out and continued the show with Black Fire, Razorblade Meltdown, Cry Thunder, and Remembrance Day. To end the show, Dragonforce played the fan-favorite Valley of the Damned from their debut album of the same name, then left the stage. After a small break, Hudson came back out to thank the audience for coming out and spending the last stop of the tour with them. The rest of Dragonforce came back out for some encores. The first encore is the ending track to the new album and is a very interesting cover song. Hudson asked the audience if they had ever seen the movie, Titanic. The audience cheered and Dragonforce asked for a Celine Dion pit for the cover of My Heart Will Go On. A different take on it, but Dragonforce‘s twist on it made it work perfectly. To end the night, Dragonforce played their most famous song Through the Fire and Flames and the audience loved moshing to the song. The show came to an end and Dragonforce was joined on stage by all the opening bands as they celebrated for a tour finale. Dragonforce will always be welcomed in Ventura County.