Nosturi, Helsinki Finland 19th Feb 2002

I've been praising this band to everyone ever since I saw them live twice in Germany in '98, as both of the shows were powerful, tight and amazing performances. So of course there was a lot of expectations in the air when I heard the band was coming to Finland the first time. What kind of a show would they give to their finnish fans, who have been waiting to see this band live for so long and what would their livesound be today ? As I had heard, the gig would include three different sets, each from different phases of the band's history. And no support band ! So there was a long night ahead, but what would be better than to see such an awesome band play for hours ?!


The first part started from the earlier albums, mostly from "Night Of The Storm- rider", which has always been my fave albums from IE. So I was pleased to hear such classics as "The Path I Choose", "Travel In Stygian", "Stormrider", "Angel's Holocaust" and "Pure Evil". From the first album they played "Iced Earth" and "Curse The Sky" and from "Burnt Offerings" only one song "Brainwashed". The stage was very plain and the guys were also wearing plain jeans as a reflection to where they started from, though their image hasn't really changed much in the past years.


Then came a break, about ten minutes and then continuing with Egyptian sets, the guys wearing leather and songs "Vengeance Is Mine", "Stand Alone", "The Hunter", "Watching Over Me" (one of my faves and the crowd also seemed to love it), complete "The Suffering" trilogy, "1776" instrumental and then what I was DYING to hear, "I Died For You", which unfortunately didn't work live as well as it could have and was also a bit shorter version, then another trilogy "Something Wicked" and the second part was done with.

From the third part I was expecting to see a set from the latest album "Horror Show" and my fave song from it, "The Phantom Opera Ghost". Otherwise the album hasn't, at least yet, struck me as well as other IE stuff usually has. So I wasn't too excited of the third part. But the band returned to the stage after another 10 mins with horror sets and continued playing as tightly as before.

To my disappointment they didn't play my fave song, I just knew that would happen ! I always like the wrong songs..and I could've lived with the idea of them using a background tape for Yunhui Percifield's voice. Anyway, the songs they did play were "Wolf", "Damien", "Jekyll & Hyde", Iron Maiden cover "Transylvania", "Jack", "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" in that exact order and as an encore "My Own Savior".




There were no solos in the show, which in my and many others opinion is just plus for the band these days, 'cos everyone's doing those. And personally I'm just helluva fed up with them, one of the reasons being that you get to hear less actual songs cos' the solos take so much time. The whole show wasn't as good as I was expecting, maybe because of the songs they had chosen (not what I would've chosen anyhow) and they just weren't that big burst of energy I had witnessed before with hypnotizing effect to the whole crowd. But I was pretty pleased and I can still recommend Iced Earth for everyone, they still kick ass even on their "lamer" shows ! And even after 3 hours I still would've wanted to hear more.

Report by Satu Reunanen,
Photos By Kari Helenius