Dragonforce: 3-19-22 @ The Complex in Salt Lake City, UT

The Extreme Power Metal Tour featuring Dragonforce, Visions of Atlantis, and Seven Spires took over The Complex in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday March 19, 2022. The Complex is a unique place to see concerts because it has multiple rooms inside one large venue. In addition to The Extreme Power Metal Tour the venue was also hosting a RAVE. The clash of black on black metal fans and scantily dressed RAVE attendees could not have been more obvious.

The evening started with Seven Spires who baptized the crowd in their heavy Symphonic Metal sound.  You can see a separate review of their set here:  Seven Spires Set Review.

Visions of Atlantis were up next. This Austrian band have been around since 2000 and gone through some lineup changes over the years. Their latest release Pirates received a good portion of the set. Female vocals were handled by Clémentine Delauney and male vocals by Michele Guaitoli. The pair split the stage and harmonized through each song. “Master of the Hurricane” brought the fans their first live taste of the duo. “A Life of Our Own” continued the set with a blistering drum performance from founding member Thomas Caser. The guitar driven “Return to Lemuria” rocked the crowd followed by “Clocks.” One of my favorite tracks live was “A Journey to Remember.” The song embodies the essence of the band and showcases their symphonic sound. “The Deep & the Dark” was followed by “Melancholy Angel.” The song “Heroes of the Dawn” was an amazing track to hear live and sounded much heavier than the album version.  The band’s adventurous set culminated with “Legion of the Seas.” 

The stage then got a major facelift as giant video game consoles were uncovered along with the drum kit of Gee Anzalone which features a silver dragon with red eyes behind it peering into the crowd. It would be only minutes before the game known as Dragonforce would begin. Dragonforce is known for their video game themed songs and in fact had a huge hit with a song that was featured on Guitar Hero the video game. The show began with “Highway to Oblivion” from the Extreme Power Metal album. Guitarist Herman Li and Sam Totman stood on top of the video game consoles shredding their guitars.  As the game continued to progress they found themselves atop a center stage riser jamming together. 

Before the song “Heart Demolition” a giant board aired an old television commercial for Sega Genesis.  “Dracula’s Castle / Fight On!” scram onto the set and the crowd went wild and bassist Alicia Vigil found herself upon the video game console looking over the crowd. A guitar clinic was about to take place and the set paused. It began with a banjo solo from Sam Totman dressed in overalls and a straw hat. The solo also included Jack Kosto of Seven Spires and Christian Douscha of Visions of Atlantis. It was at this point I noticed the crowd size getting larger. It seems as though the RAVE crowd was slowly making their way from their event next door into the Dragonforce show. Due to the contrast of the different audiences, the ravers were easy to spot. At this point the band hit play again and “Heart of a Dragon” was up next. This was the tour debut for the song and the first time it had been played live since 2018.  Dragonforce carried on playing “Cry Thunder” and “Strangers.”  This would lead up to their smash hit “Valley of the Damned.” The band would briefly walk away and then re-appear explaining that this is where they leave and we cheer for them to come back. 

As the encore kicked off, they explained that the next song was recorded as a joke but ended up being so popular they kept it. That song is a cover of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” The crowd was full of excitement and even formed a small circle pit during the song. It was time for one last song and that would be the song that created the guitar hero frenzy, Through the Fire and Flames. The crowd seemed to know it was coming and responded with horns in the air and headbanging. 

Finally, the show came to an end and that would mark “Game Over” for Salt Lake City. As the crowd was leaving the venue hands playing air guitar could be seen all around. Dragonforce had once again been successful at driving a crowd into a feverish pitch while playing their game. You can catch Dragonforce as they continue their tour throughout North America this spring.