The legend is back: Since the early 80's through the metal band Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Jon Oliva is concept - especially in the U.S. - for the friends of hard rocking sounds. Some years ago he had dissolved Savatage, to devote himself increasingly to his "pain", so his solo. Now he is touring Germany with two support bands in the wake.
On Schedule started this evening Neverland - a collaboration of the Turkish Metal group Dreamtone from Ankara with the Greek singer Iris Mavraki from Rhodes. Here are merging two different genres together. Iris Mavraki's roots spring from the classical music she once studied at the Conservatory of Music at Rhodes. The aspect - and it was live also clearly stated - of this Greek-Turkish cooperation show the value of understanding and peace, as is well known the two nations have their problems since primordial time with each other - or think, they need to have.
On their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/neverlandofficial) the classical references with orchestral contribution become clearer and therefore more exciting in contrast with the metal. Live they sound highly international and differs neither in appearance nor musically from western bands. The exciting exchange between romantic, quiet and sometimes acoustically instrumented phases with powerful metal could live to be worked out more clearly. Good singers, good musicians, good music go off, a committed performance, but there could be even more of it. More live compositional clarity, because there is so much content and significance come together.
Next was Need from Greece (www.myspace.com/needband), which proved that even in this by the European Union and by forest fires ravaged country there is a rich treasure of a strong, hard rocking mood. More aggressive than Neverland this band seems to find their favourite influences in the American metal and even grunge scene. Totally professional, hard and decided in their area; not to 100 percent unique.
Jon Oliva's Pain is unique? Well, the man himself is certain. His appearance on stage creates a new definition of Heavy in front of Metal. And his guitarist Matt Laporte has refills collegial and now need two headlights in order to be fully illuminated. But it's all about music and not about physical dimension, and since, the Savatage's successor already strongly dish.
The crowd pushed forward now, a lively mixture of old and new fans - after they have, as usual, brought the talented support bands with courtesy and Hanseatic safe distance behind them - to welcome euphoric their good-humored and cheerful Jon Oliva.
The rounded routinier gives the impression that the stage presence as his living room to feel. Pleasant, he settled on his tiny stool behind the Yamaha keyboard and lights a cigarette. Lets have a base of cosy comfortableness! And the guitars scream, and breaks out the heavy power rock in the form of "Lies" on the merry crowd. Violent songs interspersed with romantic ballads such as "Firefly" show the versatile compositional talent. Old-school rock metal at its best.
The main action is in the hands of the two guitarists flanking the flirting with the audience champion with strong solos, performed dramatically effective in camera poses. Right in the middle they play the title song from the new and fourth studio album "Festival", served pleasantly pompous with introductory sound collages. Little errors in the key game aren´t able to irritate the boss, which should be as he says mischievously chuckling. Towards the end failed sometimes - because of their proximity to the ultrasound-known voice - the throat-service. As it was jocularly written on the tracks list: "When the voice is gone." But as the audience sings along anyway, nobody really mentiones the little croakiness. And if so.
A strong night with three great groups. For more pictures of them up there in the title area as a link under "picture gallery"!