Live at The Troubadour

West Hollywood, California

May 10th, 2012

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

Dragonforce are a Power Metal band out of England. They are famous for dual lead guitarists that perform crazy feats on the strings. Their songs are epic in structure and subject matter, usually clocking in at twice as long as your average metal tune, they focus on fantasy worlds and heroic struggles of cinematic proportions.

This tour was in support of their latest album, "The Power Within". Since they toured last they had parted ways with their longtime front man Z P Theart and this tour was the first time we would get to see their new singer, Marc Hudson performing.

They were playing the Troubadour in West Hollywood which is a historic and very intimate venue. Their large band with Herman Li and Sam Totman on guitars, Frederic Lacercq on bass, Vadim Pruzhanov on keyboards, and Dave Makintosh on drums filled the stage.

They started the set with "Die by the Sword". The crowd was rowdy but there really was no room for moshing. People contended themselves with bounding up and down and fists in the air.

They went into one of their big hits next with "Operation Ground and Pound". The name alone describes the intensity of the guitar onslaught and perucssionary bombardment.

The keyboards play a large part in Dragonforce sound and the keyboardist is as energetic on stage as the guys on the guitar which is rare. He switches between standing behind full size synthesizers and being out in front with a portable keyboard hung like a guitar around the neck.

They played one of their new songs, "Cry Thunder" which showed that the vocalist could perform great feats with his own songs as well as do fan-appeasing renditions of all their old material that we love.

Up next was one of their anthems, "Heros of Our Time" which showcases the positive, uplifting quality that their material has. They followed that up by playing "Seasons" followed by "Soldiers of the Wasteland".

Herman and Sam like to have guitar battles where they outdo each other with crazy solos and insane licks. This is taken to the point of Herman actually playing the guitar with his tongue.

The set continued with "Fallen World" and "Holding On" before they wrapped up the main set with an intense set of back to back mega-anthems, "Fury of the Storm" and the amazing "Through the Fire and the Flames".

The band left the stage, climbing up the narrow staircase. After a serious bit of chanting from the audience they returned to play "Valley of the Damned" from their earliest release for the encore for the night.

It was a great show and it was good to see the new vocalist can handle his own. As another fan that night put it, it is OK that Z P left because he now has a new project of his own we can get into and Dragonforce found a suitable replacement so that we can enjoy two bands instead of one.

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