Edguy - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2012

Age of The Joker Tour
February 4
Capacity 800

It was perhaps the coldest day of the year in London. With snow falling from the sky and weather services predicting the city would be in for a big freeze, there was a certain amount of speculation that the city would be ground to a halt in the same way it was last time. For some, heading into the city for a gig they might not be able to return from was too much to ask. Apparently this isn't something that bothers your average Edguy fan though. The Islington Academy – which must be feeling like a familiar haunt for Edguy given the amount of times the band play there – was packed to near capacity, a clear indication that Edguy's brand of hard rock meets classic power metal is still very much in demand in the UK.

Of course an Edguy show is a tried and tested formula that doesn't need much adjustment in order to consistently entertain. With new album Age of The Joker out, the setlist did include some new tracks in hopes of promoting the new record. These songs are fine, albeit not entirely up to the high quality of the band's older material. They add an extra flavour to the set that really has seen very little changes outside of the immediate tours following each album. Otherwise it is the old standards – obvious crowd-pleasers like Babylon and Tears of A Mandrake, atypical hits such as Superheroes and King of Fools, the cheesy ballad in Save Me, etc.

Edguy's routines are also still firmly in place and are not in any danger of changing either. Paying homage, with tongue slightly in cheek, with their cover of Iron Maiden's The Trooper is still mildly amusing but it surely isn't the first time they've done it, and the sing-along antics and on-stage behaviour during Lavatory Love Machine is meticulously choreographed, with very little variation between each Edguy show. Tobias Sammet's jokes are also, to a degree, very much the same jokes he has been making for years now. There's really nothing new in an Edguy show at all.

What sells it though is the remarkable charisma that the band as a whole have. Tobi is an exceptional frontman and entertainer – you do not watch an Edguy show without a smile on your face, regardless of how many times you've seen this band play the same performance. The material is very much the same songs the band always play and this is starting to feel like an issue (The Academy's usual criminally early curfews meant no Mysteria or Land of The Miracle, unlike on the rest of this tour). However this doesn't stop Edguy giving value for money – every song is an upbeat, happy blast of self-confessed cheesy metal, very self-aware but still very sincere. Edguy always play with immense smiles on their face and a genuine love for what they do, something that is incredibly infectious and results in a terrific, entertaining show for a freezing Saturday night.

With an atypically thunderous reception – something that is guaranteed from any Edguy show – it is a safe bet the band will return before long, especially as London has started to feel like a safe stronghold for the German jokers. It would certainly make for an even more enticing show if Edguy were to open up the back catalogue a little more and bring out some of the older material fans have been clamouring for. Combined with the band's consistent humour and charisma, that really would make for an exceptional show.

“ exceptional frontman and entertainer ”

Setlist: Nobody's Hero / The Arcane Guild / Tears of A Mandrake / Rock of Cashel / Lavatory Love Machine / Robin Hood / Ministry of Saints / Save Me / Babylon / The Trooper / Superheroes // Vain Glory Opera / King of Fools

Written by James Donovan
More: 2012, Gigs, Power Metal, ,

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