ORPHANED LAND  have a magic that transcends the poor sound mix. The Israelis’ remodelling of metal through Middle Eastern rhythms easily wins over the crowd, who bounce and sway to Kobi Farhi’s command during Norra El Norra (Enter The Ark) and Ornaments Of Gold. It’s just a pity that they don’t get a longer set.
The mania that greets BLIND GUARDIAN  even takes the band by surprise. The crowd roar “Guardian! Guardian! Guardian!” with such fervour, frontman Hansi Kürsch seems embarrassed to cut it short so they can get on with the music, and for over two hours the reaction never dips.
It takes little encouragement for the crowd to sing every word of anthems like Nightfall and Prophecies, with the chanting of ‘Somebody’s out there’ during Last Candle close to being apocalyptic.
Hansi mixes his rabble-rousing with sly humour, at one point announcing “This is the first date of our UK tour. And the last,” and as they settle into a mid-set acoustic interlude with Miracle Machine, he tells us, “Frederik is gonna play his first kit”, as the drummer settles in behind a tiny setup.
The two encores still leave people with an appetite for more, underlying that in power metal terms, Blind Guardian are now among the elite./o:p