Rhapsody and Kamelot got me into metal in the first place, for which I'm eternally grateful. As for Blind Guardian, I've had this video on constant repeat for the last four days: [link]
The best part for me is that even though all three rely really heavily on production and overdubbing in the studio, they sound even better live. I actually prefer Blind Guardian with the more stripped-down sound they have in that concert video.
Watching this concert just leaves me in awe that they can sound so great without all the orchestration, plus Hansi doesn't miss r screw up a note in the whole two hours. I looked at Guardian's tour archive and hung my head in shame. I also know why they don't play too many shows in the States... After playing that mammoth concert festival in the video (which the band put on all for themselves) with like 30-40,000 screaming fans at their feet, they came to my state and settled for a little 1000-seat theater. Cool for the audience, but they really deserve huge crowds no matter where they go.
As for the other two, they both skipped my state and are now playing Europe or something... America needs more power metal.