GIG REVIEW: German Thrash Legends TANKARD Live At Hangar 110, São Paulo
Last Sunday, February 21st, marked the return of thrash metal giants Tankard to Brazilian shores. On a warm but rainy night, the atmosphere outside Hangar 110 was a typical one when it comes to thrash/underground gigs here in São Paulo: a few circles of people talking about all things metal, one or two food trucks serving the traditional hot dog with mashed potatoes and a lot of sound systems playing the best of thrash metal, especially, of course, songs by the Germans.
With no opening act and playing their only gig in Brazil this year, the Kings of Beer entered the stage around 8pm with the sound of Andreas Gutjahr’s guitars and the first riffs of “Zombie Attack”, one of the most famous songs by Tankard, from their 1986 album by the same name. The first few seconds of the show were enough to fire up the crowd, who never stopped moshing and singing along. With fists up high and mosh pits everywhere, the band kept destroying with follow-ups “The Morning After” and “Fooled by Your Guts”, with special attention to main man Andreas “Gerre” Geremia running up and down, playing with the crowd and grabbing all the girls who went up on stage, all while maintaining a great vibe and showcasing his legendary charisma and good mood. “Not One Day Dead (But One Day Mad), “The Beauty and the Beast”, “Stay Thirsty!”, “Rapid Fire (A Tyrant’s Elegy)” and “Rules for Fools” raised the energy even more, despite one or two small flaws with the venue’s sound system throughout the songs, and kept the act in high quality.
Unfortunately, by the middle of “Maniac Forces”, there was a small accident by a fan who ended up knocking out another when diving from the stage. Noticing that, Gerre stopped the show immediately to check if the injured metalhead was OK, showing once again that these guys really care about their fans. After this unfortunate episode and with the crowd chanting “Tankard, Tankard, Tankard!” non-stop, the show resumed with the fast “Die With a Beer In Your Hand”. With its fast riffs and aggressive chorus, the song ignited the crowd once again and proved why these guys are highly respected: spectacular speed, heaviness and proficiency by the band members, especially by Olaf Zissel in the drums, who dictated the pace and thrashed everything. “Minds on the Moon”, R.I.B (Rest in Beer)”, “MetaltoMetal” and the awesome “Space Beer” gave way to “Rectifier”, one of the most anticipated songs, sang in unison by every thrasher in the house. If that wasn’t enough, another classic was performed in “Chemical Invasion”, with Andy once again showing his prowess. The encore came in the form of “Alien”, “A Girl Called Cerveza” and “(Empty) Tankard”. This last one closed in a magnificent fashion a concert that was loud, fast, cheered up and downright crazy.
Every time Tankard comes to Brazil, they deliver a near-perfect performance, and this time it was no different. Despite the small nuisance with the injured fan – which was in no way the band’s fault – the German Kings of Beer destroyed everything and proved why they are one of the most beloved and charismatic bands in the thrash metal scene. I came expecting a crazy, high-spirited gig full of sweat, moshes and beer, and that’s exactly what was delivered.