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Live – Manowar, Frankfurt, Germany, 20 October 2012

| 29 October 2012 | Reply

Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
October 20, 2012
By Robert Kitay

Sometimes you just have to accept that if you want to see one of your favorite bands, you just have to bite that bullet and stop waiting for them to come to you.  Even though Manowar is an American band, they rarely play shows in the USA.  Further, the rare shows they do play are usually on the east coast: West coast shows are once in a decade events.  I’ve always wanted to see Manowar, but I just could never make it to one of those rare west coast shows.  As time passed, I saw the Manowar “Hell on Earth” series of DVDs and realized that if I’m going to travel to see this band, I need to do it the right way and see them in Europe where they are insanely popular.  When the latest tour schedule came out, after the initial expected disappointment that there were once again no west coast shows, I noticed that the show in Frankfurt was back to back with a show by Europe, another band that never tours the USA.  I decided that a weekend trip to Germany was in order.

Manowar and their fans are very unique, as I already knew.  The band is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s loudest band.  Manowar travels with all their own equipment, never using venues speakers or PA systems, and the fans are incredibly loyal.  This loyalty is something I wanted to experience first hand.

After a nearly 11 hour flight to Germany and a quick look about the city, I headed to my hotel near the venue.  Before I even got on the tram I noticed fans around the train station wearing Manowar shirts.
When I got to the hotel, there were Manowar shirts everywhere. Simply put, Manowar fans only wear Manowar shirts.  Wearing an Iron Maiden shirt to a Manowar concert just isn’t done. After checking into my room I headed down to the bar.  The bar was full of Manowar fanatics from all over Europe.  I meet fans from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Croatia, and all over Germany.  One fan I met was going to every single show on the tour except Moscow, including all three east coast USA shows.  The sense of community was overwhelming and it felt like a true brotherhood. Dozens of the fans had large Manowar tattoos.  Over half the people I talked to saw the Manowar concert in the Netherlands the night before.  Definitely not your typical rock music fans.

About an hour before show time I shared a taxi to the venue with some of my fellow Manowar brothers only to find out that they were late in opening the doors.  They finally opened the doors about 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the show and I headed to the merchandise booth.  Again, all that fan loyalty they have translated to long lines at the merchandise booth, and I didn’t get through the line until the lights went out and the intro music started, 30 minutes after the scheduled show time.  No opening band.  Even though I was late moving toward the stage, I was able to work my way right up close, although I was right in front of the speaker.  Did I mention that Manowar plays loud?  Yes, even with earplugs it was very loud, and I could feel the sound waves rip through my body.  It still wasn’t the loudest show I’ve ever been to (Blackfoot and Motorhead were both louder in my experience), but it was plenty loud with no distortion.  My fellow Manowarriors were all singing along with every word and after each song would raise their arms into the sign of the hammer (both arms straight up with one hand gripping the wrist on the other arm).  No casual fans here; only fanatics.

The band was in fine form.  Eric Adams voice sounded great and Joey DeMaio was a monster on bass.  Karl Logan’s guitar sounded great, although I thought his solo was a little uninspired.  The show featured Donnie Hamzik, Manowar’s original drummer, who is back in the band after a long absence.  Donnie was very entertaining to watch and sounded great.  Although the band moved around a bit, they didn’t move around as much as most of their contemporaries.  Joey DeMaio gave a speech about two thirds of the way into the show, speaking mostly in German.  Since I don’t speak German, I can’t really tell you what was said, but he told a story in English about his going to a movie theater a few weeks before and a father and young son walked into the theater wearing Manowar t-shirts, and the person sitting in front of him said “Look at those assholes wearing Manowar shirts” (resulting in loud boos from the crowd), and then Joey continued “but then the young son said back to them that only assholes don’t wear Manowar shirts.”

As cheesy and egocentric as Manowar come off to me sometimes, it does seem to fire up the crowd and maybe contributes to the brotherhood that all their fans are a part of.

After about half the show, I decided to reposition myself to give my body a break from the damage the speaker was doing to it.  This is when I realized that the hall was completely packed shoulder to shoulder all the way to the back of the floor.  It also appeared to me that the seating in the balcony was full as well.  Yes, they filled up a hall with a capacity of 4,800 people – Impressive.

The best parts of the show were the classic songs where the crowd sang along and answered back from the band in unison.  “Kill With Power,” “Fighting the World,” “Kings of Metal,” “Hail and Kill,” and “Warriors of the World United” were all especially impressive. The newer material, which there was a substantial amount of, stood up well, but in general didn’t get the crowd response that the classics generated. Although I loved the band, the crowd and the overall experience is what I will forever remember.  Even leaving the hotel the next morning, I saw groups of Manowar fans sitting together at every café for blocks around the hotel wearing their required Manowar shirts, reliving the experience.

Long live Manowar!


Kill With Power
Call to Arms
Hail, Kill and Die
Guitar Solo
Brothers of Metal
El Gringo
Touch the Sky
Bass Solo
The Sons of Odin
Hand of Doom
Drum Solo
Fighting the World
Kings of Metal
Hail and Kill
The Lord of Steel


Warriors of the World
Black Wind Fire and Steel
*The Crown and the Ring
(Lament of the Kings) – Taped

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Category: Live Reviews

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