HANSEN & FRIENDS – Thank You Wacken! [Japanese Edition +1] (2017)

HANSEN & FRIENDS - Thank You Wacken! [Japanese Edition +1] (2017) full

German rock/metal legend Kai HANSEN releases the live album “Thank You Wacken!” later this month in Europe but the Japanese Edition just appeared some days ago. This Asian version is of special interest as it features as exclusive bonus track a new version of “Stranger In Time”, the only studio song on the CD.

From Helloween to Gamma Ray and Unisonic, Kai Hansen has been a big part of the German (and international) music scene for over thirty years (hence the XXX title of his recent studio album).
Last year at Wacken Festival he played a one-off special show with some guest musicians. Hansen’s no stranger to Wacken having first played there with his band Gamma Ray in 1994, back when the festival was a tiny one, and he’s been back several times seeing it grow to the giant festival it is today.

It’s slightly odd as this live album, released 9 months after the Kai Hansen and friends studio album, XXX, was actually recorded several months before the release of XXX. As you’d expect, this live show includes into the tacklist songs from Hansen’s last studio record studio album.
There are differences though – 2 of the songs on the album didn’t make it into the live show, and the live show includes some songs not on the studio album – four versions of classic Helloween songs; the great “Future World”, “Ride the Sky”, “I Want Out” and ”Save Us”.

For the Wacken show Kai Hansen’s band was Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) on bass, Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray) on drums, Corvin Bahn (Crystal Breed) on keyboards, Eike Freese (Dark Age) on guitar, plus two backing singers – Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) and Clementine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis).
For the Helloween covers, and as a special treat for the fans, Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) entered the stage to perform alongside Hansen.

A benefit of the special show being at Wacken is that the audio is always great – a lot of bands have released live video or albums from their Wacken sets. As always with Wacken shows, the sound on “Thank You Wacken!” is spot on.
It’s a great performance by Hansen & Friends with a good, strong setlist. The new songs sit comfortably alongside the Helloween classics, and the band perform very well together.

HANSEN & FRIENDS - Thank You Wacken! [Japanese Edition +1] (2017) back

This Japanese Edition includes as bonus track a new studio version of “Stranger In Time” (originally appeared in XXX) but here featuring Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) on vocals.
“Thank You Wacken!” will be available in Europe on Vinyl, CD+DVD or CD+BluRay. I really like the fact you get a CD and DVD or BluRay – you can enjoy the video, but it’s not always convenient to set aside an hour or so to watch a concert, so the CD lets you enjoy the music at other times too.
A great release for fans of Helloween, Gamma Ray, Unisonic or Kai Hansen.

01. Born Free
02. Ride The Sky (Hellowen Cover)
03. Contract Song
04. Victim Of Fate (Hellowen Cover)
05. Enemies of Fun
06. Fire And Ice
07. Burning Bridges
08. Follow The Sun
09. I Want Out (Hellowen Cover)
10. Future World (Hellowen Cover)
11. All Or Nothing
12. Save Us (Hellowen Cover)
13. Stranger In Time [feat. Frank Beck]

Kai Hansen – vocals, guitar
Eike Freese – guitar
Alex Dietz – bass
Michael Ehre – drums
Corvin Bahn – keyboards
Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) – lead vocals
Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) – backing vocals, lead on 13
Clementine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis) – backing vocals


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