1988-10-19 - Metropol, Berlin

October 19th, 1988

Audience: 2.000 people.

Raw magazine, issue #611 1988:

This evening, it's the 2000-capacity Metropol that is the playing host, a staid venue that looks as if it's seen better, more embroidered times, replete with a dressing room with just enough room to swing Dave Dickson on a tight leash. The band can only get one-third of their enormous stage set onto the boards and there is a certain feeling of impending disappointment within the ranks. Me? I'm to be blown away by their performance...

Opening up with 'Initiation' and the cascading supine soar of 'Ride The Sky' the band quickly hit their stride with 'A Little Time' and 'Dr. Stein'. The crowd are seething with expectation, cheering every nuance as the band's unique sense of humour (yep, Germans with humour) sets them apart from all comparisons. The twin sheering bursts of Hansen and Weikath dovetail with a certain credible liveliness, the latter's slightly shadowy, unshaven persona interlocking impressively with the former's thundering stride. Lead vocalist Kiske now has that certain degree of control and arrogance demanded of the best, the hesitancy and faultering gaucheness of the last tour having been displaced by a formidable attitude. His voice has also developed, strongly, smoothly and purposefully. And the rhythmic, piledriving pulse of Schwichtenberg and Grosskopf never errs.

The band succeed in holding the rapt attention of the capacity crowd even during an extensive excursion playing 'Halloween' and 'Keeper Of The Seven Keys' back to back, bridged by Kai's sensitive, haunting guitar solo patterns on 'Follow The Sign', the track that ends the first LP. This segment of 30 minutes or so works because the complexities and mood swings are orchestral in their sweep, charismatic and commanding.

The set ends with 'I'm Alive', a parade of spine-tingling euphoria, before the encores - 'Livin' Ain't No Crime', 'I Want Out' and the supreme 'How Many Tears' - bring the whole show to a climatic conclusion. Four giant balloons painted like pumpkins are thrown into the audience during 'How Many Tears', bursting to fill the air with a rainbow of multi-coloured confetti, and the extravaganza is over for another night.

The band aren't entirely satisfied with the performance - the onstage sound monitors weren't working properly and the follow spots seemed to lack coordination with the choreaography. But they'd done enough - more than enough - to send 2000-plus fans streaming out of the hall in a ecstatic state.

Here is the ticket: