Gig Reviews

Firewind at Club Quattro

As Greek guitar wizard Gus G returned to Japan after seven years, he showed us he is still at the top of his game.

Firewind at Club Quattro, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan on 15th May 2024

In the world of guitar wizards, sometimes the guitar wankery, although often impressive, overshadows the music. That is never the case with Gus G. Best known for his time in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Gus has also played with Nightrage, Dream Evil, Arch Enemy and Mystic Prophecy. Throughout his career, he has always had his own terrific band, Firewind. Over the years, Firewind has seen a bunch of members come and go. They now have a great line-up consisting of Gus on guitar, Herbie Langhans (Avantasia, The Lightbringer of Sweden, Sonic Haven, Radiant, Sinbreed, Seventh Avenue) on vocals, Petros Christodoulidis on bass and Johan Nunez (Nightrage, Kamelot, Dragonland, Lords of Black) on drums. The unit is tight and they seem to enjoy themselves on stage.

Firewind has always delivered powerful, catchy and guitar-driven metal. The music is written by and for Gus, but the melodies are always at the centre. The guitar never overshadows the song. In Tokyo, they opened with “Salvation Day” and “Stand United” from the band’s most recent album, proving that the new material is as good as the earlier classics. The set featured older favourites such as “World on Fire”, “I Am the Anger”, “The Fire and the Fury” (the peak of the evening’s guitarmageddon), “Mercenary Man” and “Allegiance”. It was a terrific nod to the band’s past. But, more importantly, the set was filled with newer material from the band’s more recent albums and the audience loved it. We got to dance to “Maniac”, a cover version of the soundtrack from the “Flashdance” movie, and Firewind also gave us an emotional power ballad in the form of “Longing to Know You”.

Those with sharp eyes, or expensive glasses, saw that Gus sported a Randy Rhoads shirt. Randy, of course, was Ozzy’s original guitarist. The terrific show was rounded off with a three-song encore which was a musical equivalent of a knock-out blow with a knuckleduster – “Ode to Leonidas”, “Head Up High” and “Falling to Pieces”. As I walked out of the venue after the show, I thought to myself, “I love heavy-fucking-metal!” That is proof that this band has delivered what I came for. A great performance of great songs by a great band led by a phenomenal guitarist.

Photo credit: Yuki Kuroyanagi