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HammerFall: Live Review
By Tyler Crooks

March 27th 2010, House Of Blues, Hollywood CA: What's better than being out on a beautiful spring night? Being at a power-metal show on a beautiful spring night! March 27, 2010 marked Hammerfall's long overdue return to the United States after 5 long years.

This great event took place at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. in beautiful Hollywood, California. The opening act, Texas Death Star can be described using one word, and one word only. AMERICAN. Fresh out of Texas, they didn't look like rock stars, just your average Americans with a passion for music. Their sound was great, very clear, very crisp. They sounded like a grungier version of Godsmack. Definately a good opener for the night. All of the musicians were incredibly talented, and it showed in their incredibly tight sound. I didn't get their set list, but they only played a handful of short songs.

The next band up was called DC4. Headed by the legendary Jeff Duncan of Armored Saint. Unfortunately, due to a prior engagement at this show, I had to miss a good portion of their set, but what I heard blew my mind. This music was pure rock 'n roll. Their sound was pure, not muddied up with a million effects and other annoyances. An epic guitar battle between Jeff Duncan and Rowan Robertson took place on the stage. They both played wonderfully. Beautiful solos, neo-classical, modern, just simply amazing. Everything about this band screamed rock. Their look, their sound, their presence. Amazing.

    Here's their complete set list:
  1. Explode
  2. Cabin Fever
  3. Electric Ministry
  4. Wanted
  5. XXX
  6. Candy Caine

After DC4 came the almighty POWERGLOVE! If you've never heard of Powerglove, they take your favorite childhood theme songs into heavy metal. They really played a pheonomenal show. The musical aspect of Powerglove is purely amazing, but couple that with their theatrics(I.e., Koopa shell armor, inflatable swords) they put on a wonderful live show, that's both hilarious and epic. Powerglove are full of energy, even when they've been on an extensive tour, when they hit the stage, it's like a burst of life hitting you right in the face.

    Here's their complete set list:
  1. Tetris (Themes B and C)
  2. X-Men
  3. Metal Kombat For The Mortal Man
  4. Storm Eagle
  5. Red Wings Over Baron
  6. Power, Wisdom, Courage
  7. Transformers
  8. Mario Minor
  9. Power Rangers

Then, the almighty HAMMERFALL appeared onstage. If you've never seen Hammerfall before, go see them when you get the chance. Their shows are not shows you want to miss. Their brand of power metal mixes dungeons and dragons with intense guitar riffs, thrashing drums, and incredibly theatric vocals. I didn't know what to expect when they came onstage, not having heard every song they've ever written, but I was highly impressed. Their vocalist is top notch. Absolutely superb. The guitarists are also incredibly talented, playing their overly complicated riffs with ease. Their bassist is incredibly melodic, and their drummer is one of the best I've ever heard. Each song was like an epic tale from a book of Mideval folklore. Dragons and castles, battles and bloodshed, all just insanely epic. The crowd was incredibly passionate about this band. Fights broke out over guitar picks, the moshing was intense, and everyone knew every word that was sung. It was a truly awe-inspiring spectacle. Hammerfall are a very entertaining band, and are all very skilled musicians who I hope tour for a long time. Everyone should get the chance to see this mighty force in action. Their set list for the night was:

    Here's their complete set list:
  1. Punish and Enslave
  2. Crimson Thunder
  3. Renegade
  4. Hallowed Be My Name
  5. Last Man Standing
  6. BloodBound
  7. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
  8. Heeding the Call
  9. Rebel Inside
  10. The Metal Age
  11. Between Two Worlds
  12. Any Means Necessary
  13. Stronger Than All
  14. (instrumental)
  15. Riders of the Storm
  16. Secrets
  17. Let the Hammer Fall
  18. Hearts on Fire

All in all, this was an amazing show filled with good people and good tunes. Should the chance for you to see Hammerfall arise, do yourself a favor and go! You'll be glad you did.

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