1987-03-17 - Zentrum Zell, Esslingen

March 17th, 1987

Information Helloween at Zentrum Zell, Esslingen 1987

Michael Kiske had the first signs of a flu during this show, but it seemed not so dramatic.

Overkill was the supporting band.

Magazine reviews about the show

Kerrang! magazine issue #6 1987:

Soundchecks are boring, believe me they are really boring. The continual sound of the snare drum being hit over and over, louder and louder, is worse than Chinese water torture. The only breath of fresh air during the soundcheck was when Weikath and Hansen started playing a piss-take version of Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' which was promptly followed by a rendition of Van Halen's 'Ain't Talin' 'Bout Love'. I retired to the dressing-room to find lead singer Michael Kiske sitting quietly in the corner, but he was still willing to talk, even though his English isn't up to skratch yet.

So Mike, how are you finding life in Helloween? "Oh, it's great. Is a great step forward for me, although I must admit I'm still having a little difficulty in adjusting my voice to their older material. Songs like 'Guardians' I still can't get to grips with, but 'How Many Tears' I'm really beginning to enjoy singing now. People have told me I sound a lot like Geoff Tate, but I don't try to imitate him. I've always sung like this!"

Lights, camera, action - the show must go on! After Overkill show, the main attraction of the evening. Ladies and gentlement all the way from the Reperbahn, Hamburg, will you please welcome... Helloween! Their now familiar logo was alight and continually changing colours as the dry ice spilled onto the stage.

Easing the way out of the PA was "Initiation" from the Keeper LP and that gave way to the theme from 'Halloween' which just got louder and louder. Then, hey presto - lights! camera! action! We're off with 'I'm Alive', truly awesome, Michael Kiske's voice sounding even better live. Bruce Dickinson and Geoff Tate ain't got nothing on this kid, he can hit those high notes and hold them, it was ear splitting, believe me! The oh-so-political 'Judas' followed and I must say it was strange not to see Kai Hansen sing this 'un. That said, the toon has improved thanks to a more biting geetar attack. Next up was the Michael Kiske- penned 'A Little Time'. Hansen opened the gem with one of the katchiest riffs you're ever likely to hear, and not surprisingly the pumpkins in the audience klapped along wildly. And during 'Cry For Freedom' and 'Victim Of Fate' the cigarette lighters came out in appreciation. 'Victim Of Fate' really is a hard song to play live and the guitar breaks and changes between Weikath and Hansen were a joy to behold.

On the other hand 'Guardians', didn't quite work. Michael Kiske was right when he said his voice didn't quite fit the song; this is one that Kai should still sing, that or give 'Gorgar' another crack at the whip! Then was back to the Keeper LP for the poppy 'Future World', which was met with rapturous applause, watch out for a soon-come video! Now the clown of Helloween is bassist Markus Grosskopf. This man really enjoys looning about onstage, coming into his own on 'Twilight Of The Gods' with his manik, jerky, awkward-yet-charmin' movements. Plus his frantik bass runs are summink else!

"We're gonna play you something from Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part Two" said Michael Kiske with a hint of surprise in his voice. And what followed was mind-blowing and surpassed anything that appeared on Part One. Weikath and Hansen go totally off the rails on this 'un with some weird, wonderful and wacky playing. Luckily, fings slowed down a bit for 'A Tale That Wasn't Right' and the faultless set closed on a high-note with the masterful 'Halloween', all 13 minutes 18 seconds of it!

Then we are at encore time. Three barnstormers followed which took the running time of the show to well over two hours; first there was 'Ride The Sky', which sounded much more menacing now that Kai Hansen hasn't got the chore of singing as well as playing. This gave way to the tear-jerker "How Many Tears", which came complete with the now-familiar "Happy, happy, Helloween" chant from the pumpkin faithful. The evening closed on an amusing note with 'Starlight' when singer Michael Kiske tried to do a Bon Scott by picking up Michael Weikath, only the stund went horribly wrong and Weikath went flying! Still it looked hysterical from where I was watching. Sadly, the lad Kroning had run out of film!

Kerrang! magazine issue #6 1987:

With a beer in hand I collar Kai Hansen to get his impression of the night's events. "I was really happy with the show; it was just a pity that we couldn't play 'Heavy Metal (is The Law)'. And as you may have noticed, we didn't play 'Metal Invaders' - that's because the song doesn't quite gel with the rest of the set. And Michael Kiske made a bit of a fool of himself when he tried to pick up Michael Weikath didn't he? I don't think he'll be pulling that stund again!"

After the gig it was all back on the bus to watch the Helloween video of the gig, which had been dreadfully shot. All the camera did was zoom in, hold, pan left to right and zoom out again. But I wasn't complaining, cause I was nursing a bootle of Sekt and when that had ran out I went back to the hotel bar.


Promotional Poster