Live Review: Dragonforce swoop into Birmingham Stephen Keay November 12, 2019 Gigs, Music, News 85 Dragonforce recently visited the 02 Institute in Birmingham, to provide an entire night of video game inspired entertainment. Now usually these live reviews take on a different format in which the writers at Bloggers Gamut simply express their opinions on a gig they have attended. However,… This gig happened to be my little cousin’s first gig… EVER. So with that said, this is going to be approached differently. Afterthoughts and opinions have been presented, little cousin or LC as we shall call her, will have her own opportunity to provide her input as a first time gigger. Pretty cool right? RIGHT! Anyway… Opening act McRocklin & Hutch had obviously received the gaming memo well in advance, as their unique style of hard-hitting electro guitars with synth accompaniments provided a brilliant robotic introduction to start the night. McRocklin & Hutch were without question the perfect band to start this incredible retro gaming-inspired line-up. Performing with futuristic visuals on the large screen behind them, the duo entertained the crowd with a set that could have quite easily featured effortlessly in a movie such as Tron. Some would be forgiven for thinking the powerful riffs were causing interference with the incredibly well thought out visual accompaniment as the visuals included perfectly timed distorted imagery alongside the rhythm of their songs. As the green cybertronic lights highlighted the impressive and downright mesmerising guitar playing, the synth and drum accompaniment shook the very foundation of the Institute. At this point in the night, it already felt like we had stepped into a video game, the best video game ever! LC: “I had never heard of this band before this gig but this is how guitars should always sound!” Check them out below! Love Bites somewhat ironically went straight for the jugular, coming on stage with a controlling stage presence which immediately grabbed hold of the audience. The piercing vocals of the lead singer Asami echoed around the institute as ferocious guitar licks partnered the impressive drumming effortlessly. Despite them not have as much of an impressive backdrop as the introductory band, love bites proved they didn’t need any gimmicks or extras to keep the audience attentive. Although this was the first time Love Bites had toured the United Kingdom, the band performed with the confidence of those featured on regular U.K. circuits leaving a memorable lasting impression. Encouraging literal fist-pumping Love Bites turned things up a gear in next to no time. It was also pretty impressive to see an entire band headbanging in perfect unison. LC: “Another band I had not heard of before the gig, Love Bites were pretty good. Usually, I am not a fan of female singers but this band has changed my opinion for the better” Get the Love Bites bug listening to the video below! After the opening acts had set the tone for the rest of the evening, Dragonforce needed to bring their A-game. Opening with one of the most impressive light shows this humble writer has ever had the pleasure to witness, Dragonforce opened with an explosive bang which ignited the already volatile crowd. Arriving on stage with light-up guitars and smoke guns, Herman and the gang, were more than deserving of the repeated impromptu chants which the Birmingham audience serenaded them with. Although the 02 Institute was far from full capacity; this is by no means representative of this band’s ability or stage presence. It is slightly disgraceful that Birmingham did not provide these artists with more adoring fans. The stage itself provided visuals by the plenty, including gigantic arcade machines, which band members performed on throughout the night, and video games footage as a backdrop. As the premise for their newest release Extreme Power Metal had suggested, the video games links and references did not stop there. Video games adverts provided interesting and unique intervals between tracks with references to Sega consoles being a personal highlight. Get lost in the retro arcade feel of the new album with the video below: Choosing to enlighten the crowd with covers of popular video game themes such as Castlevania and Final Fantasy, the band kept the crowd on its toes constantly, even throwing in a Celine Dion cover for good measure! A fantastic performance ending with the all-time classic hit Through The Fire & The Flames, I am 99% convinced that Dragonforce could actually be the last of the Dragon born… LC: “My personal highlight has to be the reference to Elder Scrolls. As a fan of both Dragonforce and the gaming series, songs about Skyrim are a fantastic idea! This was the perfect first gig!” Well, there you have it! Ste and LC, over and out! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.