Watching bands I have never seen live before is always and interesting experience, especially when they have been around for as long as Magnum and Saga have. Not having followed either band’s career, I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. Both bands put on a good, energetic show that left the fans happy.
Magnum was the first band to play and they sounded just like I remembered them from the 90ies: rocking riffs, catchy melodies and powerful singing, all with just a little touch of drama and some larger than life music. All in all exactly what melodic rock should sound like. The songs I didn’t know instantly felt familiar to me and as the night went on they even played some of the old classics that I remembered so well.
More photos in the gallery, link in the top section! The FZW was not sold out that night, but a nice crowd had gathered and enjoyed what they were hearing. Mind you these was not an audience of people in their mid 20ies wildly dancing about or fighting for a spot in the front row. Many fans had grown older with the bands, so people in their 30s or younger were a rarity here. I felt right at home among this crowd who cheered for their favorite songs and showed appreciation by listening intently. It felt very much like a family picnic where everyone could relax with a beer and hear music they loved.
After over 40 years of making music, Magnum know how to entertain and they clearly enjoyed doing it. Lead singer Bob Catley was moving all over the place, getting in touch with the audience and posing for the photographers, while guitarist Tony Clarkin and bassist Al Barrow showed us some nice riffs. Drummer Gary James and keyboarder Mark Stanway laid the foundation for every song to rest upon. Watching all of them work was almost as much fun as listening to the music. Lights and sounds were great too, and when their show ended after about 80 minutes with an encore of “Sacred Hour”, I would have liked to hear some more.
More photos in the gallery, link in the top section! Neo Prog band Saga, the second headliner, brought us intricate melodies with songs ranging from over 30 years old to brand new, including one from their upcoming album that will be released in June. They sounded fresh and energetic throughout and had the audience on their side from the first song. I have never paid much attention to this band, but I liked what I heard. For them too, sound and lights were great so there was nothing to spoil the enjoyment.
The band knew what the audience wanted to hear and they delivered. Towards the end of the show, lead singer Michael Sadler asked for requests and pretended to write them down on his hand. If I recall correctly, two of them were played. I found it interesting to watch him alternating between standing behind the keyboards in the back and being in front of the stage. Just like Sadler, bassist and keyboarder Jim Crichton switched instruments frequently. Together with Ian Crichton on guitar, Jim Gilmour on keyboards and Mike Thorne on drums they created amazing music. They entertained us for about 90 minutes and left everyone happy. All in all it was a good night.
More photos in the gallery, link in the top section!