Hail!

The Rock, Copenhagen - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After a good warm-up in the company of Svölk, and after the intake of a number of chilly, golden beverages, The Rock was in the right state of mind for the full-on, no holds barred metal fest that is Hail!.

For those of you who have not heard about this band (I was one before this night) it is a metal supergroup containing the famous names David Ellefson on bass and Jimmy DeGrasso on drums (both ex-Megadeth), Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens on vocals (ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth) and finally Andreas Kisser on guitar (Sepultura). For this part of the tour DeGrasso was replaced since he was committed to a tour with Alice Cooper; but I don’t think anyone was sad to see the replacement however, as he was none other than Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, ex-Soulfly and several others).
The concept is that Hail! only play cover songs; mostly from their own respective histories, but also a few made by other artists which they themselves are fans of.

One of these even took the stage with Hail! this night. Hank Williams, famous guitar god from Mercyful Fate, jammed with the band for the three songs Grinder, Walk and finally Symphony Of Destruction.
The latter was introduced by Ellefson, as he said that he himself had been playing several of Sherman’s songs for many, many years, and it was great to finally get Sherman to play one of his (Ellefson’s) creations for a change.
For my own sake, I’d say Hail! did just as good a job on their own as with the extra aid, but it was still fun to see the joy they all got out of playing together, just for the fun of it.
Another thing which also came as a very positive note was Owens singing. I must admit, although the man can sing, I never really caught the Ripper bug neither from his time in Judas Priest nor with Iced Earth; tonight however, well, I must say that I have never heard him sound better! Even the harder Sepultura and Pantera songs, which I normally would count as above his weight-class, he nailed to near perfection.

But it wasn’t just him; it was the entire atmosphere in the place. It is seldom I see a band who seems to be so relaxed and have so much… just good old fun with what they’re doing!
The Rock may have been far from filled, a shame really, but Hail!’s joy was clearly affecting all those who had chosen to come here instead of going to Anathema across town (a wise choice in my humble opinion). The latter may have played a good show, but what their audience missed out on for not joining us instead cannot be described by mere words. This was godlike, to say the least, and I truly hope I will have the chance to see Hail! again someday…

Setlist:

Ace Of Spades (Motörhead cover)
Territory (Sepultura cover)
Stand Up And Shout (Dio cover)
Balls To The Wall (Accept cover)
Neon Knights (Black Sabbath cover)
Wrathchild (Iron Maiden cover)
Grinder (Judas Priest)
Walk (Pantera cover)
Symphony Of Destruction (Megadeth cover)
Run To The Hills (Iron Maiden cover)
Burn In Hell (Judas Priest cover)
Symptom Of The Universe (Black Sabbath cover)
South Of Heaven (Slayer cover)
Peace Sells (Megadeth cover)
Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover)
Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover)

Hail!

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