Edguy - September 12, 2009 - Peabody's Down Under, Cleveland, OH
By: David E. Gehlke
Perhaps this scribe isn't the only one with a sense of trepidation over Edguy's future. Considering how big Avantasia has gotten in the last 18 months, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see Edguy frontman Tobias Sammett bolt from the German power metallers, but here they are, out and about in support of Tinnitus Sanctus. Traditionally an opener for larger acts (i.e. Kamelot, Hammerfall), Sammett and co. were able to fill the spacious Peabody's, wretched Cleveland economy and all.
First up was Luna Mortis, making their first North American tour go-round in support of their Century Media debut, The Absence. Fronted by the personable and charming Mary Zimmer, the Wisconsin-based quintet breezed through a set chalkful of guitar pyro and Euro-friendly numbers. Hats off to lead guitarist Brian Koenig, whose admirable shred-skills were on full display, most notably during “Ash,” “The Departure,” and “Forever More.”
Epicurean (Luna Mortis’ state-bordering neighbors) were up next, sans their two regular guitarists, prompting Koenig and fellow Luna Mortis guitarist Cory Scheider to fill in. The band’s wishy-washy, keyboard dominated sound doesn’t translate as well in the live setting (there was no live keyboardist, mind you), although singer John Laramy (methinks he was wearing a woman’s shirt) kept energy levels up during the always-enjoyable “Lithograph.”
As for Edguy, they played it pretty close to the vest, meaning only their “hits” were aired, save for a few odd ditties, most notably “Babylon,” a song that pre-dates their European metal surge. Sammett, as expected, was in full motion, bobbing and weaving, calling on crowd participation, etc. You know, the usual tricks from a power metal band. Set highlights included “Lavatory Love Machine” (which was preceded by more crowd participation), “Save Me” (which was also preceded with a story about guitarist Dirk Weber’s encounter with a transvestite) and “Tears of A Mandrake.”
The band surprisingly aired only a few jams from Tinnitus Sanctus, the most notable being “Ministry of Saints” and “Pride of Creation.” Standbys “Vain Glory Opera,” “Superheroes” and “King of Fools” rounded out an enjoyable, albeit predictable set. However, one can’t fault the Germans for choosing a set as this, considering it is one of their initial North American headlining runs. If this night did prove anything, it’s that power metal can withstand any type of surge and that Sammett should embark on a career as a comedian – the man’s in-between song banter is gold. Pure, comedic gold.