Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
It has been three and a half years, let me say that again…three and a half years in the making but Imperial Age finally made the UK tour and kicked it all off in Glasgow and boy was it worth every second we waited.
Nothing about getting here has been easy and tonight is no exception. They had been traveling for 30 hours just to get here but no matter how tired they were they put on an incredible show.
Support for the tour in the excellent Control the Storm who won the chance to perform the opening slot in a competition so it has been a hell of a wait for them to pick up their prize…just as well the lottery does not wait this length of time to pay out!
They are the perfect choice and it has been a few years since I saw them last and in that time they have definitely honed their skills as they were much tighter and definitely more of a spectacle.
The show is kicked off with the massive “Darkest Fantasy” form latest album Forevermore. This builds the tension with the keyboards and orchestral backing. The song raises higher and higher until Razavi takes the stage and blasts out your eardrums.
What a start to a show and the momentum never let up, there were some exquisite songs the likes of “Desire”, “Strike to Defend” and “Chaotic Mind”.
The band are on fire with amazing keys, brutal drumming and incredible guitars. The show was outstanding and the band seemed to be happy in their skin and on that stage.
A brilliantly placed cover of “Holding out for a Hero” was the penultimate song and even I was shocked at how many of the lyrics I was singing (Yes, I need to have a word with myself) before finishing on the outstanding “Follow Me”. What a way to go out and what a song.
If you are going to a show on this tour make sure you do not miss this band.
Now for the moment we have waited so long for and even now that we are here there are more changes with local lad Ryan Thomson coming in on guitar and bassist Belf’s visa does not come through on time but one thing it does do is give that stage an incredible amount of beautiful hair…its like a shampoo advert and finally Imperial Age have returned.
Forgetting all the negatives it was time to focus on the music as we open with “Windborn” which is the latest video. From the lyrics you would think that this(and a good few other songs from New World) was written to describe the bands journey but it was written before all the crap came down but it was very poignant.
Due to the length of time it has taken for the band to get here I ensure I take in all aspects of the show. Firstly this was the first time I have been to this venue and I was very impressed. Regarding the band the focus obviously is on the three singers and when you see and hear Alexander, Jane and Anna in unison it is beautiful to behold. They each have their roles to play but when they all sing together you will be awestruck.
We get treated to a 17 song setlist tonight and it seemed that no matter how tired the band were they had fought to be on that stage and they just did not want to leave.
I have witnessed many bands over the years praise an audience (yes Ozzy, we know you love us all) but tonight I really feel this from the band. It is heartfelt when they thank us for holding onto the tickets for so long and later in the show when Alexander informs us of how he remembers being brought up in Glasgow(His father was in the crowd tonight) and how he remembers vividly leaving and then reflecting how he left Russia and how Glasgow now feels like the only home he has. This was very touching and did not go unnoticed by the crowd. I think I can safely say you will always be welcomed with open arms and hearts in this town and country.
We were treated to a good amount of songs from New World and as very few has seen these song live it felt like an incredible experience. “Legend of the Free” spoke of homes lost, “Distant Shores” of how they travelled emotionally, physically and musically to get to this show and this tour.
The songs may have preceded the journey but it makes the show so relevant and you can see, hear and feel every setback, every choice made and as they stand on that stage the relief like the storm clouds clearing and finally seeing land once again.
I cannot recommend this band highly enough and if you can please go see them live, not only to witness a real life journey of hope but to be entertained thoroughly. Seeing this band live is something very special and not to be missed.
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