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FREEDOM CALL + POWER QUEST @ The Cathouse, Glasgow, 22 Feb 2018
By Wojtek Gabriel, posted 15 Aug 2018
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Freedom Call live Glasgow 2018
The genre of happy metal is not the most well-known one, maybe because there's only one band who admit they play it, ha-ha! Freedom Call have invented this term, have been using it for years and so they have become synonymous with it. The last time the German quartet visited Scotland was three years ago, and now they returned to promote their latest release "Master of Light". Taking the British metallers from Power Quest on tour as special guests they basically guaranteed that fans of Euro power metal would be getting real value for their money.
The UK melodic metal combo Power Quest, formed by the keyboard player Steve Williams have returned to the scene after a 5-year coma and they're currently promoting their well-received come-back album "Sixth Dimension". The band has gone through some serious personnel changes with the drummer Rich Smith being the only ex-member Steve has included in this new incarnation of PQ, so long-time fans may have been in doubt whether this new line-up would give justice to the old material. As it turned out, they needn't have worried as Power Quest were in top shape and proved again that they know what they're doing not only in studio, but also on stage. They kicked off their short set with a new, fast tune "Lords of Tomorrow" (the new album's opener), got an enthusiastic response from the crowd and continued with an even faster, classic tune "Temple of Fire", just to re-visit the new album and play two more fresh numbers - "Face the Raven" that began with an ultra-high scream by the new singer Ashley Edison and "Kings and Glory", one of the best tracks off the latest release. The mid-paced "For Evermore" with its cool keyboard intro and one of their most well-known tunes "Far Away" were the numbers PQ close the set with, making it six songs in total. The refreshed line-up seemed to feel very comfortable in the live setting, you wouldn't have guessed that they had only been playing together for a couple of years and especially the duo of axemen - Glyn Williams and Andy Kopczyk (also shredding in Z.P. Theart's I Am I) kicked some serious butt. The set was short, but intense, with time split equally between the new stuff and the classics and Power Quest definitely deserved an A+ for getting fans ready for the evening's main attraction.
Power Quest live Glasgow 2018
With the audience properly warmed-up, Freedom Call had no particular problem getting them going again after the short between-the-sets break, and as soon as Chris asked them if they were ready for a happy metal party and the guys on stage started to jump up and down during the set's opener "Tears of Babylon", fans happily joined them, without much encouragement from the band. Seemed like a very successful kick-off of an enjoyable show and it only got better from there. The setlist tonight was a mix of some of the best tunes they've written in the past with material from the latest release, but as much as fans loved to hear the tracks from the "almost new" (in the frontman Chris Bay's own words) album "Master of Light", such as "Hammer of the Gods" or "Metal is for Everyone", it was the hymn "Freedom Call" that turned out to be the definite highlight of the show, with one of the earlier tunes "Carry On" going down a hit too, making the enthusiastic fans chant "Freedom fuckin' Call!" repeatedly. A short cover version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was mixed into the set (with lyrics changed to "Hallelujah, happy metal, hallelujah, Freedom Call!") and the band finished the main set with a bang, playing "Metal is for Everyone", with Chris telling the crowd a short story about the making of the video-clip for that tune by using short videos submitted by fans. Like many bands do, Freedom Call picked some classic tunes for the encore, this time two of them, both from the 2002 "Eternity" album, with Chris instructing fans how to scream and joking "We have approximately 8,000 people here tonight" during "Warriors" and reminding them yet again that "metal is for everyone" after the final tune "Land of Light". The entire band was in top form and they seemed to have genuine fun during this short set. Chris had a great contact with the small crowd, while Lars (guitar) and Ilker (bass) provided harmony vocals, so important in Freedom Call's music. One piece of the puzzle was missing this time around, as the drummer Ramy had to sit out the tour (due to his baby having just been born, or about to be born) with a stand-in guy taking over his duties, but the overall performance the Germans put on was as good as you could wish for.
It's a common practice these days to put bands from various sub-genres of metal on the same bill to increase ticket sales, but it makes as much sense when bands that team up for tours actually play similar style of music. Freedom Call and Power Quest are a very strong combo, they fit together very well and the first show of their short 4-date UK trek was a success. Well, bands that release quality music, like these two, deserve to be filling out much larger venues and gathering much bigger crowds, obviously, but as long as they're fine playing for smaller bunches, the faithful ones will always show up to support them and enjoy live music, like they did tonight.
Text and photos by Wojtek Gabriel

Official Freedom Call website: www.freedom-call.net
Freedom Call on facebook: facebook.com/FreedomCallOfficial
Official Power Quest website: www.power-quest.co.uk
Power Quest on facebook: facebook.com/powerquestofficial
Tags: Freedom Call, Power Quest, power metal, concert, gig, Glasgow Audio
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved. Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
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© 2007-2018 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.