By Johnny Papan
August 21, 2019
The Commodore Ballroom
A spell was cast on the Commodore Ballroom and it resulted in a night of magical metal. Demons and Wizards, the fantasy metal supergroup formed by Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer and Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kursch, played their first ever Canadian show within their first ever North American tour, a fairytale unfolded for fans who’ve been anticipating the bands arrival for nearly 20 years.
Demons and Wizards did not disappoint, opening their set with the thrashing “Heaven Denies” and gutturally heavy “Poor Man’s Crusade,” the first songs off their self-titled debut. Fans embraced their inner folklore, unafraid to surf the crowd in full-on wizard garb and smoking some of that homegrown “green magic” from Gandalf pipes.
Demons and Wizards covered songs from Schaffer and Kursch’s respective bands including “Burning Times” and “I Died For You” by Iced Earth, as well as Blind Guardian’s “Welcome to Dying” and fan-favourite, crowd-chanter “Valhalla.”
Overall, the show was a dream come true for the fantasy metal kingdom. Demons and Wizards concluded their set with the mosher, “Blood On My Hands,” and the metallic folk anthem, “Fiddler On The Green.”
Recognition should be given to co-headliner Lizzy Borden, who also played their first Vancouver show. It was a theatrical shocker of 80s arena metal, the frontman tripping you up with magician-like tricks and going as far as to chop out his own tongue with a fake axe, spewing blood on the stage from his mouth.Blind Guardian, Commodore Ballroom, Demons and Wizards, Iced Earth