Thursday, 26 May 2011

RUSH - LG Arena Birmingham

Full set list

  • The Spirit of Radio
  • Time Stand Still
  • Presto
  • Stick it out
  • Workin them Angels
  • Leave that thing Alone
  • Faithless
  • BU2B (From Clockwork Angels)
  • Freewill
  • Marathon
  • Subdivisions
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Red Barchetta
  • YYZ
  • Limelight
  • The Camera Eye
  • Witch Hunt
  • Vital Signs
  • Caravan (From Clockwork Angels)
  • Love 4 Sale (Drum Solo)
  • Closer to the Heart
  • 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
  • Far Cry
  • La Villa Strangiato (With Polka intro)
  • Working Man (With reggae intro and Cygnus X-1: Book 1 outro)
My personal highlights were Marathon (an old favourite from 1985's Power Windows album). Far Cry from the latest Snakes and Arrows album and my all time favourite Working Man from the debut album RUSH way back in 1974 and has stood the test of time sounding equally brilliant today.

With fellow RUSH fanatic Brian Moreland

The New World Man symbol

Geddy on the big screen

As you would expect no RUSH concert would be complete without a massive light show and video screen display. The intro was a hilarious video of the band in various guises experimenting with 'The Time Machine'. They obviously have a great sense of humour and don't take themselves too seriously.

The Time Machine Tour began on June 29, 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is expected to end July 2011. It has taken in 85 gigs across the world. As well as featuring the album Moving Pictures also included as well is material from the band's upcoming studio album Clockwork Angels.

Alex Lifeson - One of the worlds greatest and most underated guitarists it has to be said. Probably gets overshaded to some extent by his other two bandmates but make no mistake he is up there with the best of em. He must have used at least half a dozen or more different guitars tonight.

Neil Peart - commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. He is also regarded as one of the finest in-concert drum soloists without which no RUSH concert would be complete. He is also the main lyricist with a totally eclectic cstyle.

Geddy Lee - Amazing ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is most evident during live shows when he must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a show. As I said amazing stuff!

RUSH are quite simply the greatest and most influential band in the world in my opinion of course. Ranked third in consecutive gold or platinum albums after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and followed by millions of devoted fans worldwide. They are literally the most revered band by the most respected of other rock musicians and have carved out an amazing forty year carrer .. so far. Being a cult band they are something of an acquired taste or a 'marmite' band if you prefer, either loving or hating.For me it is just awesome the amazing sound that three guys can create time and time again.
This was to be my fourth RUSH gig.'The Time Machine Tour' was to feature the album 'Moving Pictures' in its entirity for the first time ever. Including for the first time ever live 'The Camera Eye'.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Epica - Mayan at The Paradiso Amsterdam

Epica Full Set List

  • Samadhi

  • Resign to Surrender

  • Cry for the Moon

  • Unleashed

  • Martyr of the Free World

  • Fools of Damnation

  • Tides of Time

  • Kingdom of Heaven

  • Sancta Terra

  • Quietus

Sancta Terra/Consign to Oblivion/The Phantom Agony (with Floor Jansen).

Simone & Floor Jansen

Isaac Delahaye & Yves Huts

Simone Simmons

It was an amazing contrast from the Epica I saw a few weeks ago at the tiny Rescue Rooms venue in Nottingham in front of 300 people. This was Epica in full flight in front of a passionate sell out home crowd of 1500. With amazing light show, pyros and fireworks in a wonderful venue - Amazing.

Mayan Full Set List

* Symphony of Aggression
* Mainstay of Society
* Quarterpast
* Course of Life
* The Savage Massacre
* Ezzenza Di Te
* Bite the Bullet
* Drown the Demon
* Celibate Aphrodite
* War on Terror
* Tithe
* Sinners Last Retreat

A really spectacular set but in all honesty it was not entirely my cup of tea. For me it was a bit too much 'growling' and not so much melodic metal, but that is just my view. Clearly there were many who were massive fans.

Henning Basse

Mark Jansen

This was my first ever gig at the famous Paradiso, and what a wonderful venue it turned out to be. a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century and that was used until 1965. High ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large illuminated church windows above the stage make for a wonderful light show. Not to mention the amazing pyros that burst into life. It was my second gig running where I have been on the balcony, maybe it's an age thing ?

In 2010 Mark Jansen announced that he has formed another band called MaYaN together with Jack Driessen (ex-After Forever) and Frank Schiphorst.Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Pestilence, Obscura),joined as permanent member on bass guitar. Isaac Delahaye (Epica, ex-God Dethroned) and Arien van Weesenbeek (Epica)Additional vocals from Henning Basse (Sons of Seasons) complete the line up! The gig was the official launch party of the debut album 'Quarterpast'.
The music style could definitely be described as 'Death Metal' with plenty of growls from Mark. There were also gust appearances from Floor Jansen,Simone Simmons,an Italian Opera singer and a Belly dancer!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mostly Autumn - Leicester Y Theatre

Full set list from a truly memorable gig!

Part 1
  • Distant Train
  • Answer The Question
  • For All We Shared
  • Violet Skies
  • Caught in A Fold
  • Close My Eyes
  • Spirit II
  • Ice
  • Questioning Eyes
Part 2
  • Fading Colours
  • Borrowdale
  • Something Better
  • Dark Before The Dawn
  • Last Climb
  • Gp Well Diamond Heart
  • Passengers
  • Hold The Sun
  • First Thought
  • Evergreen
  • And When The War Is Over
  • Forever Young
  • Heroes Never Die

Meeting Brian afterwards , an absolute gentleman.

Anne-Marie Helder

Great to see Anne-Marie Helder again who I last saw fronting Panic Room last year. She is unbelievably talented, playing Flutes; Keyboards; Piano; Acoustic Guitars; Recorders; Backing Vocals; Percussion (2007–Present)...Drummer Gavin Griffiths also plays with Panic Room.

Liam Davison Rhythm/Acoustic/12 String Guitars; Slide Guitars; Backing Vocals (1996–2007, 2008–Present)Superb ! Just released his debut solo album.

Olivia Sparnenn joined the band in 2005 originally to provide additional backing vocals. At the beginning of 2010 Heather Findlay announced her intention to leave the band to focus on solo work and her family. Olivia the former Breathing Space lead vocalist was the obvious replacement.

Founder member Bryan Josh recognised as one of the best writers in progressive rock today and multi instrumentalist.

Mostly Autumn "The best band you have never heard" is how they are often described.
Another new venue for me and a cracking one it was to. We sat up on the balcony with a perfect view. Formed back in 1996 in York, British rock outfit Mostly Autumn have toured relentlessly and gained fame for there live shows.
They have built a loyal and cult following since their first album twelve years ago and in that time such luminaries as the late Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, Deep Purple's Jon Lord and the BBC's own Bob Harris are amongst the many fans.

Their music is diverse and while they draw on influences from the golden age of seventies’ rock notably Pink Floyd, they have developed their own unique sound and style that draws on the past and the future.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Delain & Serenity - Leamington Spa

Set List

  • Manson#

  • Stay Forever

  • Invidia

  • Get the devil out of me#

  • Sever

  • April Rain

  • Go Away

  • Milk and Honey#

  • Shattered

  • Silhouette of a dancer

  • Virtue and Vice

  • Pristine
# New songs with working titles

Sleepwalkers Dream/Control the storm/The gathering

With Newboy' Timo who has fitted in perfectly.

'Heres one I prepared earlier' not presenting legal papers as someone thought.

Delain just go from strength to strength and were the best I have ever seen them. Speaking to someone who was at the Manchester gig they said that the sound here at Leamington was much better.
I was really interested to see how new guitarist Timo Somers got on. Any concerns I might have had soon disapeared as he was totally at home and clearly having the time of his life.
Three new songs were given their debut! Although currently under working titles and subject to change. I thought that had a slightly heavier feel to much of the tracks on the previous two albums. It will be interesting to see how they turn out once they on the album. Hopefully release date will towards the end of year depending on the Record Company.

Me with Serenity after the gig

Lisa Middelhauve (Ex Xandria) made a guest appearance to sing a duet with Georg 'Fairytales' from the Fallen Sanctuary album.

Had no idea what to expect from Serenity although I had only heard good reports.
From the Tyrol region of Austria Serenity were formed in 2004 and have released three albums to date. The latest being this years Death & Legacy which naturally featured heavily in a really powerful set.
Lead vocals are provided by Georg Neuhauser, who I think is very reminiscent of Klaus Meine (Scorpions).
Thought they were excellent, powerful proressive symphonic metal at its best!

Georg Neuhauser

Lost in Thought are a 5 piece Progressive metal band from Wales with a wide variety of musical influences. Not least Dream Theater in my opinion. They combine elements of progressive rock/metal, melodic metal-core and symphonic metal to create their unique and epic sound. Lost In Thought's music consists of both heavy and distinct riffs, large orchestrations, melodic guitar and keyboards. Powerful,epic vocal melodies are provided by Nate Loosemore.
Most of their tracks were from their debut album 'Opus Arise' which I purchased as I was so impressed!

Great to be seeing Delain again especially at Leamington Spa which is a lovely venue.
Good to catch up with Michael from Huddersfield again who I hadn't seen since the Nightwish meet'n'greet at Brixton.
Equally looking forward to seeing Serenity from Austria who I have nothing but good reports about. I won't go into great detail again regarding Delain as there are two previous reviews on my blog in previous months.
However before either Delain or Serenity took the stage we were treated to 'Lost in Thought'.