Dragonforce – First Avenue – Minneapolis MN – March 25th 2022

93x, Surly Brewing and First Avenue Presents: Dragonforce, Firewind, Visions of Atlantis, and Seven Spires

Review and photo by Jake Hageman

If you love power metal, this was definitely the show you did not want to miss! Being a huge power metal nerd myself, I was super excited to see Dragonforce live for the first time. My love for this nerdy genre started off when I started listening to bands like Alestorm, Gloryhammer, Powerwolf, Sabaton, etc. I’m a sucker for any band that has some kind of gimmick, so let’s talk a little about these bands from last night.

Starting the night off was Seven Spires. I have a friend who loves this group, so I’ve heard a lot about them. All I can say is, “wow”! Led by vocalist Adrienne Cowan and her powerful voice, the crowd seemed to love everything about this band. One thing I really liked is how much she screams. When I normally see female fronted power metal bands, they usually just seem to sing clean and clear. Adrienne’s vocals had those clean moments, but she also had moments that sounded more like black metal screams. Every time she would do that, it reminded me something from Cradle of Filth. Although their set was short, they delivered a powerful performance. The group mainly played songs from their album “Gods of Debauchery”.

The second band of the night was Visions of Atlantis. First off, right when I walked into First Ave, I went right over to the merch booth to check everything out. While I was there, I noticed all the Vision of Atlantis merch right away. Everything was pirate themed. Like I said earlier, I used to listen to Alestorm all the time, and pirate metal instantly became my favorite power metal genre. Because I love pirate bands so much, I was very curious to see what Visions of Atlantis had in store for us. When they first came out on stage with that classic symphonic power metal sound, I was hooked. They had 2 vocalists (Clementine Delauney (female singer) and Michele Guaitoli (male singer)). I loved how much they traded singing parts throughout their songs, and how much they would interact with each other. Everything sounded very tight with the band, and I loved the outfits everyone wore. All in all, this was a great set.

The third act of the night was Firewind. When this tour was first announced, Battle Beast was supposed to play, but they dropped and Firewind was added. Again, I have friends who love this band, but it was my first time seeing them. Herbie Langhans’s vocals and Gus G’s crazy guitar playing  were both spectacular. At one point in the show, Gus G’s guitar starting smoking from the inside illuminated with an orange light. It was one hell of a performance.

Dragonforce took the stage soon after with confetti and C02 blasters showering over the crowd. On stage, they had 2 big arcade machines that acted as video monitors along with a huge dragon behind the drummer. Another thing I liked about the visuals was the huge LCD screen they had behind them. During their set, they had old Sega commercials and other Nintendo video games on the arcade monitors and the big screen behind them. Even though I only knew their popular hit “Through The Fire And Flames” (mainly from Guitar Hero 3), I still had a great time watching their set. A weird moment I liked is when they played the Farming Simulator theme song with a banjo while dressed up like a farmer. I was overall pretty happy with this entire show. Every band on the list fit together very well musically, and it was one of the more enjoyable shows I’ve been to.

Dragonforce Setlist:

  1. Point of Origin
  2. Highway to Oblivion
  3. Fury of the Storm
  4. The Last Dragonborn
  5. Ashes of the Dawn
  6. Heart Demolition
  7. Dracula’s Castle/Fight On
  8. Banjo Solo/Guitar Solo
  9. Black Fire
  10. Cry Thunder
  11. Remembrance Day
  12. Valley of the Damned
  13. My Heart Will Go On
  14. Through the Fire and Flames