Tankard kick off their Australian tour in style
German thrash metal giants Tankard are a household name when it comes to old-school thrash metal. In their 32 years of band history they toured the world over and over. On that account it is quite astonishing that they never had the chance to tour Australia. Finally their Australian fans had the opportunity to witness the energy, madness and fun that comes with a Tankard show. On the back of their recent success with their new album “R.I.B (Rest In Beer)”, which hit number 41 in the German charts, they played their first Australian show in Brisbane’s Crowbar.
Tankard hit the stage with the classic “Zombie Attack” from their debut album of the same title. Straight away Gerre was in full command of small but dedicated and crazy crowd. From there on the fans were in for an absolute treat. Tankard unleashed their Teutonic style of old-school thrash metal onto the pit. And the headbangers in the front row took it on with style.
Tankard covered all periods of their long career and played song from many different albums of their impressive back catalogue. Among the many highlights were old classics like “Chemical Invasion” and new songs like the title track from their current album “R.I.B. (Rest In Beer)” and “Fooled By Your Guts”. Part of any Tankard show is the close interaction between crowd and band that goes beyond the usual talking to the crowd that Gerre commands so dominantly. The close connection to their fans shows in moments when Gerre invites a girl on stage for the song “A Girl Called Cerveza” or his stage dive at the end of the show. He gladly accepts some drinks from the crowd throughout the shows in return. It is in these moments that Tankard shine in their best light. Even after 32 years and with 16 album released the band is absolutely down to earth and connected with their fans. It is good to see a band like Tankard working the floor after the show shaking hands and thanking their fans. This is how metal should be.
All the fun and energy is based on sound musicianship. Over their long history Tankard have been accused now and then not to be the most skilled or original band. Anyone that has ever seen a Tankard show can tell that this is absolute BS. Frank Thorwarth (bass) and Olaf Zissel (drums) form a formidable rhythm section that worked like a clockwork that night. Guitarist Andreas Gutjahr – the mastermind behind most of Tankard’s songs – is a world-class act. Overall it is obvious that the band is together in this line-up for quite some time now. They just work together perfectly on stage.
The conclusion is: the show was a hell of a party. With bands like Tankard in the circuit thrash metal will never die as Gerre pointed out so aptly. Kudos to Tankard for pulling off such an energetic show after a 30-hour journey to get to Brisbane.
By Marc Walker