Editor’s Note: My husband Brian writes his second post for The Stratton Setlist about the Sept. 20 Blind Guardian and Grave Digger show at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Mich.
King Arthur, the Once and Future King, briefly returned to the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac, Mich. on Sept. 20.
He didn’t come from England, but instead arrived from Germany accompanied by bards singing of his deeds. In this case, the bards were power metal bands Blind Guardian and Grave Digger.
Together, Blind Guardian and Grave Digger told their mystical King Arthur stories through power metal, a subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by melodies, speed and rousing choruses and lyrics inspired by fantasy, mythology and history.
It’s like taking the music of Iron Maiden or Dio from the early ‘80s and combining it with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Power metal flourished from these musical roots in the mid-1980s and has thrived in Germany and other European countries ever since.
Back in Pontiac, the night opened with Grave Digger, led by the charismatic Chris Boltendahl on vocals. Boltendahl took us through a setlist of songs that celebrated heavy metal culture, the rebellions of the Scots against the English, witches and hangmen.