Sign X shred the stage of the Ballroom Live Review

Sign X shred the stage of the Ballroom

Live Review By Rainer Kerber

Location: Marias Ballroom, Hamburg-Harburg
Date: January 19th, 2019

Once upon a time, a hard rock band from Hamburg. Which set out to conquer the hearts of rock fans. So they toured with mega-stars like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep or Saga. We are talking about Châlice. The big breakthrough, however, denied to the musicians. It was a few years quiet around the band, until they returned in 2015 with “Overyears Sensation” impressively. That’s it, unfortunately. Shortly afterwards singer Gino Naschke and keyboarder Axel Hoffmann left the band. But the remaining trio did not give up and sought new bandmates. That was the birth of Sign X. And Sign X invited to Marias Ballroom for an evening of old and new songs. The pictures of the evening can be seen on Flickr.

Since the originally planned support band had to cancel, a good friend of Sign X, the Scottish singer / songwriter Mike Smith, jumped in. He has released two EPs and one album so far. And from these CDs he played acoustic versions of some songs that evening. But the highlight for me was a cover from AC / DC from the Bon Scott era, “It’s A Long Way To The Top”.

Set list Mike Smith:

  • Same Man
  • Sister Rain (Run To You)
  • We Sang Hallelujah
  • Glass Ceilings
  • Sometimes God
  • It’s A Long Way To The Top
  • Don’t Lay Down
  • Stealing Freedom
  • Constant Thunder

A conversion on stage was not required, so the break was short. Sign X started with their first own song, which was obviously named after the band itself. This was followed by a best of Châlice songs, selected from all creative periods. The songs were presented much harder and rockier. Singer Sebastian Zierof (Die Toten Ärzte, Hinterm Horizont – The Musical) has a big part in it with his powerful voice. Of course, I was really looking forward to the new songs from Sign X. So, in the middle of the show there was a part of three own tracks. I must confess, they have not really ignited me. Especially “Elements” is extremely bulky and seemed a bit overloaded on me. Also “Storm” and “Rain” sounded very progressive although they start a bit quieter at first. In the latter case, the vocalist and keyboardist Michel Jotzer first pick up the acoustic guitar. I’ll have to listen to it several times. The regular set ended with three Châlice hits. “You Better Get Used To It” brought the “old days” back to life and on “Shake The Earth” I was very much reminded of the early Uriah Heep. As an encore, there were two cover songs. In “Juke Box Hero” (Foreigner) still awake was quoted Led Zeppelin (“Whole Lotta Love”).

Set list Sign X:

  • Sign Of The X
  • Overyears Sensation
  • Rock’n’Roll Machine
  • Glorious Again
  • Turn Into
  • Chasing The Wind
  • You Know My Name
  • Elements
  • Storm
  • Rain
  • You Better Get Used To It
  • Shake The Earth
  • Hollywood Daze


  • Juke Box Hero
  • Long Live Rock n Roll

The show by Sign X made me feel mixed. Most of the newly arranged Châlice songs appealed to me quite well. Partly they liked me better than the original. The new material is still getting used to. Here I miss a little the catchiness of earlier years.

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber