During the "Hellbook" production to celebrate HELLOWEEN's 30th anniversary, the contributors came to realize that the chemistry in the band had always been unique — and that what belongs together needs to be together again. However, the birth of "Pumpkins United" wasn't just an original line-up reunion, but the real deal. The ultimate cast consisting of all seven metal heroes: former vocalist Michael Kiske and guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen alongside current singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bassist Markus Grosskopf and drummer Dani Löble. What followed was a cry of joy from North Germany's river Elbe to Rio's Sugar Loaf Mountain and the "Pumpkins United" world tour, with 69 shows in front of more than one million people in 32 countries acoss three continents in fall 2017. The band's headline slots at Wacken Open Air, Rock Fest and Masters Of Rock, as well as their shows with IRON MAIDEN at the Sweden Rock Festival and Firenze Rocks, the revival was received enthusiastically, stages were set on fire, and tears were shed. After dates in the U.S. and additional shows in Latin America, this tour for the ages ended in December 2018 with a highly emotional finale in Hamburg, where it all began in 1984.
"This amazing journey was one of those 'magic moments' words can't describe — it simply was what we all love most: meet great people, go back in time with our memories, and celebrate the ultimate HELLOWEEN party together," said Deris.
From October 4, that's finally possible: With the release of "United Alive" and "United Alive In Madrid", we can transport ourselves to that tour at any time, and dive into every detail with hellish tracking shots, breathless close-ups, and intimate interviews. The artwork was created by Martin Hausler once again and offers plenty of unreleased live images.
Said Kiske: "It wasn't easy to condense this unbelievable tour adequately and capture how it felt for us. That's why we had the idea to film the biggest festival gig, the most massive arena show, and the hottest club date."
The DVD/Blu-ray nails the tour with recordings from Wacken in front of 75,000 metalheads and 14,000 fans in the Madrid arena — and as a bonus, the show in the Espaço das Américas, gathering 8,000 in São Paulo. Altogether it offers over three hours of live material in stereo and premium 5.1 Surround Sound, plus backstage material, tons of surprises, and a very personal band interview about the past, present, and future. The live CD/vinyl presents a whopping two hours and 20 minutes of pure audio material from the concert in Madrid plus four bonus tracks from the shows in Prague, São Paulo, Wacken, and Santiago de Chile.
The "Pumpkins United" tour marks the first time Kiske has played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, has been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set features several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sings a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)".