“Did you all get your taxes done?!” yelled the girl on the railing. It’s tough economically right now and it’s hitting traveling musicians and fans alike. Despite this, DragonForce managed to sell out the first stop on their Spring tour to a room full of devoted fans.

It was announced back in February that DragonForce would embark on a Spring tour of the US aimed at hitting up areas they missed on their last tour. They also announced that members of their fan club, Soldiers of the Wasteland, would be able to purchase advanced tickets at a discounted price. This was a great way for the band to give back to fans, especially with the economy being so slow.

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The action in the venue, however, was anything but slow. High energy music was met with screaming fans and the countless number of hands in the air. The fans took in everything DragonForce was feeding them, and the band was doing the same. This high-energy dynamic is something I’ve grown to love about the close-quarters of the House of Blues in Anaheim.

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ZP Theart’s vocals were spot on this night. He played to the crowd with a lot of emotion in both his voice and actions. Of course he never skipped an opportunity to play around with members of the band or to spray the heat-soaked fans with water.

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Unlike most metal acts I’ve seen, DragonForce performed on a very well-lit stage. These guys put on a show and they want to make sure you don’t miss a single second! While everyone performed well beyond anything I was expecting to see, my hat (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) goes off to guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. These two are a show and a half all by themselves. Lightning fast guitar licks played in both a traditional sense and with tons of flair definitely made watching these two a really enjoyable experience. What’s really fun is how they play off of each other with smack talk and hand gestures during dueling guitar sections of songs. Be sure to catch Li’s incredible tricking library which ranges from tossing his guitar into the air and kicking it with his leg to produce notes to strumming with his tongue.

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In the middle of the set, Bassist Frédéric Leclercq took to a guitar to battle with Vadim Puzhanov on keytar. These two chased each other all over the stage exchanging riffs as if they were bullets. The crowd went wild as the battle ensued until finally ending with a Super Mario doll being held triumphantly into the air. We all love Nintendo.

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The fan base present was incredibly diverse. This was definitely a testament to DragonForce’s multi-generation appeal in music and live show. I saw everyone from a very young boy in the pit to the grandfather up in the balcony rocking out and having a great time.

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The truth is that we all go to shows to have a good time. We want to be entertained and it is unfortunate that sometimes we don’t get what we expected. We shell out hard-earned money and sometimes get stuck with a performer or band that just stands on stage expecting their presence to be entertainment enough. But not DragonForce. These guys go against the rockstar cliché in that they don’t get caught up in taking themselves too seriously. This is evident in their live show. Everyone is running around, goofing with each other, jumping from one platform to the next wearing a huge smile (or other crazy facial expression) trying to give their fans a good show and just have fun themselves. They even set up an electric fan to blow their hair around while performing! DragonForce will make sure you get your ticket’s worth.

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So just to sum things up: GO WATCH DRAGONFORCE LIVE! This ranks up there of one of the most epic performances I’ve ever seen. I haven’t been this completely blown away by the dynamic between band and fans since Dethklok last summer (it must be a metal thing). CLICK HERE for the band’s myspace page.

Thanks to Chris and the people at Roadrunner Records for allowing me to shoot this show. I had an amazing time!