Manowar: Born to Live Forever More!

As I write this, I am coming down from one of the most metal nights I have ever had in my life. Today is the 21st of April 2019, and last night I saw the heavy metal behemoth’s that are Manowar play what will almost certainly be their last ever show in England. And what a f***ing show.

The crowd of around a couple of thousand Manowarriors was insane, it was electric. The buzz was palpable and you could taste the mood in the air- a sombre sadness at what we were about to witness, but an almighty pride in the fact that we were a part of it. It was also a sound nod to British talent and the role particularly the city of Birmingham had in birthing heavy metal to the world playing their last two English shows there.

They played an anthology of fan favourites, immaculately, from “Kings of Metal” to “Brothers of Metal”, “Thor (the Powerhead)” to “Black Wind Fire and Steel”, although they didn’t play a few tracks I’d have liked to have heard, like “Battle Hymns” for example… Maybe because the last time they were over here it was the Battle Hymns world tour? I guess that kinda makes sense.

Still, they brought a charm and even an arrogance that only Manowar can, forgoing things like a support band or even a proper encore, minimising fan interaction and bringing one of those pesky “no photo/ no video” policies to their final f***ing English show ever, but you know what? It all added to it. It all made the night perfect. We were at a Manowar show- as raw, unique and heavy metal as they come.

The atmosphere was the lightning to Manowar’s thunder. They sounded amazing and they played nearly 20 songs of heavy metal pedigree brilliance! Sure, they’re arrogant b****rds, but they can be, they’re Manowar. They’re the kings of heavy metal, one of the very first to do what they did and shape metal into what we know and love today. They are pioneers, showmen, performers and rockstars, and it was a privilege to see what they do best for the last time.

Everyone in that arena was there not just for Manowar, but for metal – them retiring touring shows is a sad day for heavy metal fans the world over, and a sad loss for our culture. It was wonderful to be a part of it. Manowar had just as much fun as the fans did, and you could see what it meant to them in the performance.

A sombre night, but a brilliant night. Electric really is the word- it was one of the most electric atmospheres of any show I have ever been to, and it was a powerful farewell from metal fans to some of the founding fathers of what it is we all love to the core. What. A. F***ing. Show.

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