"I ought, therefore I can."
VARIOUS CONCERTS EXPERIENCES EXPERIENCES
by Richard Karsmakers
All of the summer there have been a zillion festivals all over
Europe and the rest of the world. I wish I could say I've been to
Glastonbury, Reading, Day at the Green, Donington and all sorts
of other stuff for you, but in real life I am afraid I had to
make do with a few Dutch ones. Not that they are less
interesting, for they made pass before my eyes a few really
interesting bands...and one truly unique one!
So here they be...
Burgum, The Netherlands, June 24th 1995. Featuring Ancestral
Sin, Madball, My Dying Bride, Pro Pain, Benediction, Sick of it
All, Machine Head and Venom.
Again, like last year, I went to Wâldrock with a couple of
friends. Previous year these had been people working with
"Avalanche" magazine, but with my recent split with the rest of
the editorial staff this time I went with some even better
friends, a few of the "VIRUS" (approximate acronym, in Dutch, of
"Society of Intensely Rocking Utrecht Students") hard core
members. Although there were a few small showers when we drove
there, the entire rest of the day proved almost ideal for outside
festival conditions - an OK temperature with sunny spells, and
We arrived at around 13:40, when the first band of the day had
already started. Traditionally, the first act is always local, or
at least semi-local, and I think that was once more the case.
They weren't too bad and they pleased me quite a bit when I heard
the sounds of a Slayer cover - all-time favourite thrash anthem
Next up were Madball. Well, I really can't say much of this
because I am not familiar with what the band does and, actually,
I don't like the skate rock (whatever) bouncing-up-and-down genre
Slightly disgruntled because they turned out to have to play a
lot earlier than they had expected (a playing order change had
happened due to Amorphis having been replaced by Benediction) My
Dying Bride only did a 30 minute set when they were up next.
Originally they had intended to play the same set as on Dynamo,
but instead they played an ever shorter one. They kicked off with
a song off "Turn Loose the Swans" (was it "Your River"?), then
continued with "A Sea to Suffer In", "Your Shameful Heaven", "The
Cry of Mankind", "The Songless Bird" and, last but not least,
"The Forever People". The same remarks I made when I wrote about
the Dynamo Open Air gig could be made here, again, but even more
so: I missed a few classics and "From Darkest Skies". One of the
friends who'd come with me had seen them a week before on a club
tour and he said they'd played it there. My bad luck.
Forget all about Pro Pain. More bounce-up-and-down stuff that I
can quite perfectly fail to relate to.
All of this unlike Benediction, of which band I had never before
heard a note, miraculously. They had a new album coming out on
the Monday after Wâldrock and I guess were keen to do some
promotion when Amorphis turned out not to turn up. They played a
really great set of which the only negative thing was that, as
usual on festival formats, it lasted too short. Their singer,
Dave Ingram, has a great deal of stage presence, a bit of a cross
between Cronos of Venom and Barney of Napalm Death (ex-
Benediction) with a face like Monty Python's Eric Idle thrown in.
His voice is very much like Barney, too. I can't tell you all the
songs they played because I have yet to check out their stuff
(though I will!), but I do recall them having played
"Subconscious Terror", "Transcend the Rubicon" and "The
Grotesque". After two songs their performance was marred by both
guitarists having technical difficulties, but this was solved and
the gig went on as if nothing had happened. Three people were
made happy with free promo CDs that were thrown into the crowd.
And, yes, Sick of it All once more caused me to seek refuge
somewhere where I could just talk with people. At start they
sounded, well, enthusiastic, but after that it became very, very
repetitive. No further info possible because I really don't know
diddley squat about this third bounce-up-and-down band of the
I did like Machine Head, penultimate band on the bill, despite
the rather overkilled hype on their debut album, "Burn My Eyes".
No people were allowed to make pictures due to their drummer,
Chris Kontos, having been replacing by one Walter Ryan. Strange.
I guess they played most of the songs plus at least one cover (of
the Cro Mags). But only two songs are really excellent, these
being "Davidian" and, even more so, "Old". The rest somehow
sounded a bit repetitive and became boring quickly. Also, and
this is probably a character flaw in me, Machine Head is getting
popular so quickly these days that I tend to lose interest. And
they wanted the audience to bounce up and down, too. Bad move.
One doesn't bounce - one bangs.
Promptly at 22:00, the sun almost complete set after it had come
out from behind the clouds again somewhere during Machine Head,
the sound of thunder rolled across the festival grounds. And
after about two minutes of nature's torrent the familiar voice
from the Venom intro tape cried..."Ladies and gentlemen, from the
very depths of hell...VENOM!"
And that started the absolute climax of the day with about 100
minutes of black metal vomited across the crowd that seemed very
much to enjoy every minute of it. I saw there were even little
kids, literally 10-year olds, walking around in Venom T-shirts
(with slogans along the lines of "we drink the vomit of the
priest, we make love to the dying whore," that kind of stuff) and
crying along "black fucking metal, black fucking metal". I truly
wonder if they knew what all of it was really about; after all
they weren't born until several years after Venom had started to
Anyway, two black curtains were quickly drawn open and amidst
the first load of pyrotechnics Venom started playing "The Seven
Gates of Hell", one of my most favourite songs ever recorded by
these Gods Rock'n'Roll. Forward they came, Mantas without his
hair dyed now and its line slightly retreated, looking a bit
poser-ish in Judas Priest-style leather. And there was Cronos, my
hero and example (?!), striding towards the edge of the stage,
surveying the crowd haughtily, absorbing the applause and
proving, on the contrary to claims made by Abaddon in interviews,
that the only True Venom is a Venom with Cronos in it.
Photographers raced to and fro, me among them, trying to capture
as many shots as possible of this Venom Reunion Concert. Cronos
and Mantas both posed like maniacs, so I succeeded in making some
rather cool pictures.
Just before we had to leave the press pit, my eyes followed a
guitar pick thrown by Cronos into the crowd but blown back by the
wind to fall on the stage, just out of reach for me. A security
guy kindly but especially firmly advised me to leave with the
rest of the photographers, so there it remained lying, unable for
me to get it...
I joined the crowd and positioned myself among a few of the old
Venom-heads who relished as much as I did this display of classic
black/doom/death/whatever music. Although I have to say I never
saw Venom live in their heyday, I do have all their albums and I
know just about every move they made on their "7th Date of Hell"
video. So for me it was every bit as incredible to hear a
collection of songs taken off "Welcome to Hell" and "Black Metal"
as well as their singles. Before, amid an impressive sea of fire,
Mantas and Cronos smashed their guitars to bits against each
other's, many of the assorted half-elderlies such as I had
already screamed our voices hoarse and banged our necks sore to
classics like "Black Metal", "Die Hard", "Buried Alive", "Don't
Burn the Witch", "Leave me in Hell", "Countess Bathory", "Welcome
to Hell", "In Nominae Satanas", "Nightmare" (the only post-"Black
Metal" song they played), "Teacher's Pet"-"Poison"-"Teacher's
Pet", Cronos's bass solo followed by "One Thousand Days in
Sodom", "Warhead" and "Bloodlust". At 23:10 they left the stage
and came back for one more song, "Witching Hour".
I quickly - and inconspicuously - entered the press pit again in
half darkness. A lot of the Wâldrock staff was searching the
ditch for smashed guitar bits and stuff like that, but they
didn't have the knowledge of the location of That One Pick.
Mingling deviously with them I went in front of the part of the
stage where I knew it lay. I jumped. I saw it. A roadie came up
to me. He had spotted my grappling hand and, perchance, wanted to
intervene. I quickly grabbed It. And then, despite the potential
thwartings hurled at me by fate, I had It, the Hallowed Cronos
Happy like a child, I joined the crowd again in search for the
people with whom I had come so that we could set back on the way
home again, loudly grunting along such Venom lyrics as we could
The Venom gig, just to make some more remarks about it, had come
across very well and very much like the olden days, from the
occasional "hell yeah" right up to the "we will return". The same
facial expression were there, especially with Cronos, though
musically I think it was better than what we get to hear on the
"Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" live CD. The only less thing about the
concert was the rather too extended bass solo. It was repetitive
and not quite of the calibre heard on his older bass solos. And
it looked far too much as if, really, Cronos was masturbating his
instrument. There were plenty of pyrotechnics, though, which more
than made up for it.
A great day that left me thoroughly elated, like any proper
concert should! And I have to say I was quite chuffed when I
heard all other reunion concerts (Via Rock, Red Rocks, etc.)
eventually got cancelled.
Weert, The Netherlands, July 8th 1995. Featuring Soapstone, The
Brandos, Terrel, Del Amitri, Chris Duarte and Band, Jimmy Barnes,
Dream Theater and Black Crowes.
A beautiful day it was, July 8th 1995, perhaps even too
beautiful. I went with Karin this time, because the bill featured
a few rather none too loud bands that she already liked (such as
Del Amitri, Jimmy Barnes and the Black Crowes). For me, of
course, well, I just went to see Dream Theater. I went with a
slight hope that they might play "A Change of Seasons", epic song
extraordinaire. We also went with a good supply of sun block. It
I didn't see much of Soapstone, nor of the first half of the
Brandos. We did see the latter half, but apart from the fact that
the guitarist seemed to find it really nice to show off his
pectorals and that they played rather a short set it wasn't very
memorable. I later heard the short set had been due to them
having arrived rather too late.
Added to the BosPop bill at the last minute was Terrel, a guy
from the US of A who'd brought his band and bored us all to death
with songs that were way too prolonged and didn't have much
clout. Er...make that no clout. I have to say that my opinion
here might be coloured because, well, the overall BosPop bill was
not exactly metal. But even when I tried to think objectively,
Terrel was longish and boring and, oddly, quite full of himself.
Karin was up front to see Del Amitri, up next, but I don't think
she was positively impressed by what she got to see. Neither was
I, but I had guessed I wouldn't be before I'd heard a note. They
may have caused a few girlie hearts to miss a beat, but certainly
not mine. They seemed to enjoy what they were doing, and that's
nice for them. I didn't like it too much anyway.
Next, however, was a true sensation: Chris Duarte and Band. I
had never heard of this guy but the fact that the press release
mentioned him being "like Stevie Ray Vaughan" (who was like Jimi
Hendrix) made me mildly interested. And he really kicked some
serious ass. He didn't play too many songs, but among them were
"Just Kissed my Baby" and "Big-legged Woman" off his album "Texas
Sugar Strat Magik". The final, say, 15 minutes were dedicated to
two Jimi Hendrix songs: "Hey Joe", which sounded really fresh and
among the best versions I've ever heard, and "Hear My Train a-
Coming". The latter song was nicely prolonged and displayed some
awesome guitar showcasing. Quite a discovery. Although I
personally reckoned his guitar playing was superior to his
singing (then again, so was Jimi's...), he made a very good
impression on me and, I guess, a whole lot of other people. The
Band bit was good, too.
I will definitely have to check this dude out.
Next in line was Jimmy Barnes, world-famous in Australia where
he has a dedicated following of fanatic Barnestormers. Largely
unknown in these parts, he's already done a handful of albums
including a live effort. I didn't like the whole thing at start,
but eventually there was a bit of a spark that struck me. Typical
guitar style, quite rough, screamy vocals. Plenty of enthusiasm
and a raw voice that is excellently suited for the genre. Because
I wasn't much into the man's stuff, I only recognised "River Deep
Mountain High" (a Tina Turner cover) and his current single off
his latest album ("Psyclone"), "Change of Heart". As the gig
continued I got sucked into the atmosphere more and more.
Although I don't reckon I'll ever be a true 'barnestormer', I
quite enjoyed myself.
Next up, finally, were Dream Theater. I need not go into
excessive lengths to tell you how much I appreciate this band,
nor do I think I need to explain my frustration at discovering
that all my pictures taken at the Vredenburg gig (see previous
issue of ST NEWS) had all gone rather too artistically wrong. So
I was beyond mere mortal elation when standing in front of the
guys when they once more took to the stage and kicked off their
set with "Under a Glass Moon". Or is that "sun-glass moon"?
Somehow, them wearing sunglasses throughout the first couple of
songs made them seem more distant. On a whole, the gig also gave
me an impression that they weren't having a particularly fun time
themselves. Not that it made any less their musical
craftsmanship, oh no!
Although Dream Theater can best be appreciated in the intimate
atmosphere of a (largish) club, they did kick some serious
bottom. "Lifting Shadows off a Dream" and "Voices" passes our
ears before they, indeed, leapt into their Mother of all Epics,
"A Change of Seasons". I was there. Karin was there. They played
the song that I had played rather often in the walkman on my way
to visit my love when she was still in Bristol. I felt my knees
getting weak as I found a spot where I could comfortably flip out
with Karin near me, and shed a tear or two. Although the
arrangement was a bit different from the version they
occasionally performed on the "Images and Words" tour, it was
definitely a milestone in my personal history of concert
experiences. Even when I think back to the way I stood there,
gazing at these guys, letting their music caress my ears and my
soul, I feel my throat constricting. Them playing "A Change of
Seasons" had been for me a real Dream Come True.
No matter how good the rest of the (perhaps a bit too short) set
was, with "Another Day" and "Pull me Under", it never quite got
me as emotional as "A Change of Seasons" had done. And when the
encore, "6:00", was played, I had it pour over me while in a
trance-like state. They had played The Song. I was content.
The headline act, Black Crowes, was OK but didn't do much for
me. Nor for Karin, she discovered, because they didn't play the
songs she had hoped to hear. The light show was really nice -
they were the first band to actually have some darkness after
this sun-ravished day - but you need more than just a light show
to have a good time. We spent most of the gig lying on the grass,
frolicking and having fun.
At the end of the day we went back home with a feeling of
contentness suffusing our bodies. Well, I was suffused with it,
anyway. For Karin to have been similarly dipped in joyitude
(neologisms rule!) she would have to have seen Joe Jackson,
Midnight Oil and Crowded House too. But the both of us had had a
good time, which is really all that matters. BosPop certainly is
a festival that should have a great future ahead of it. With this
year's one having sold out completely, I suppose they'll have the
funds and confidence to make next year's issue an even more
Like we say in the Netherlands: "Petje af!"
Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, October 17th 1995. Support
I have never been as to a concert while as ill as I was on
October 17th 1995. But, despite my throat acheingly causing
frequent cough attacks and my alternately clogged-up and running
twin facial orifices, I surely wasn't going to let this go by me.
I had not in my life seen Rainbow perform, and if I could I would
certainly want to catch up on my serious lack of having seen them
perform in their 1976 heyday (with Dio-Cairey-Bain-Powell
accompanying Blackmore). Knowing Blackmore's grumpiness and
adding to that my severe cold, I had a hunch the evening would
not be an unequivocal success.
It started off at 20:15 with Milky. Nobody seemed ever to have
heard of this band, and neither had I. They seemed like a bunch
of new hippies with a taste of the Black Crowes and a bit of
grunge thrown in for good (good?!) accord. One of their songs was
called "Milkyway"; at least it showed they had a sense of humour.
One of the songs - I'm buggered if I know what it's called -
sounded fairly OK. But I don't think a soul wept when they took
their gear off-stage after half an hour of uneventfulness.
At 21:15 the lights went off once more when the Rainbow intro
tape started. It started off with some seriously bombastic
classic stuff that I wouldn't mind checked out if someone tells
me who composed it, followed dutifully by "Land of Hope and
Glory". The audience sang along instinctively, until the "Wizard
of Oz" excerpt started...
..."Toto, I guess we're not in Kansas anymore...we must be over
...launching the band into "Spotlight Kid", one of the best
post-Dio songs Rainbow ever did. True to the song's title, all
the bloody stage's lights started flashing in a visual cacophony
of strobes. I had never been this close to Blackmore, and I
couldn't help feeling, well, blessed in a way. Here I was,
photographing, witnessing up close the guy that started my guitar
interests back in 1980 or thereabouts. For years he had been my
number one guitarist, until around 1987 when I discovered Yngwie
The new Rainbow was a pleasant surprise. Although bassist Greg
Smith seemed pretty boring and politely (or necessarily?)
refrained from doing spectacular fretwork, keyboardist Paul
Morrir was quite capable. During a rather too long solo he showed
he could play etudes/arpeggios/whatchamacallem artfully. Looks a
bit like a girl, though. Singer Dougie White was quite a
discovery. Acting a lot like Bruce Dickinson, he knew how to
sweep up the crowd and did a good job on the vocals of both the
new and the older material put on display. The drummer was a
woodchopping kind of dude. His solo was utterly superfluous (even
more so than the "hey I know my tricks" keyboard solo). It was
Chuck Bürghi, actually, who played in Rainbow before; the
"Stranger in us All" studio drummer left Rainbow in August
Anyway, back to the set.
Vocally supported by a blonde girl in wings - apparently
Blackmore's new girlfriend Candice Night - the band launched into
"Too Late for Tears" off the new album. Quickly it became
apparent that Blackmore was having one of his more inspired
evenings. Although he (modestly?) spent most time at the back of
the stage, directing the proceedings as it were, he sometimes
came to the front and once even lay flat on the stage to reach
out and shake a few hands. He even, yes, ladies and gentlemen,
smiled several times. Yes, this was going to be an unexpectedly
nice evening after all!
It is truly quite amazing how an experience like that can make
you less ill for a while.
After "Too Late..." they launched into "Long Live Rock'n'Roll",
into which were woven bits of "Black Night" and some operaic
stuff. I saw Ritchie demonstrating to Greg how to play the riff
with one hand, nodding when Greg copied it dutifully. I don't
think there is much possible debate about who runs this show.
Accompanied by an interesting light show, a running-and-leaping
Dougie White and Blackmore being almost classically excellent, we
got to hear just about all the classics and plenty of material
from "Stranger in Us All": "Hunting Humans (Insatiable)", "Still
I'm Sad" (the new version), "Difficult to Cure", "Man on the
Silver Mountain", something-old-something-new-something-borrowed-
something-"Blues", "Black Masquerade", "Wolf to the Moon",
"Ariel" (excellent song), "Temple of the King" (which was quite a
surprise, off the very first album and never before played as far
as I know), "Rainbow Eyes" (an even bigger surprise, more about
which later), Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" and "Since You
Been Gone" (which got the crowd rockin', predictably), closing
off with the ever increasing tempo of the classically inspired
"Hall of the Mountain King". They might have played "Cold Hearted
Especially "Rainbow Eyes" was a huge surprise, mightily chuffing
me despite the fact that they only played the first few minutes
(warning: There's human interest coming up).
Don't you also have a couple of songs that really remind you of
a particular part of your life? Well, I've got a few, too.
There's "Black Night", which flings me back mentally to a weekend
in which I'd snogged my first love (Patricia, 1981). There's the
whole "Awake" CD and "A Change of Seasons" that makes me feel
once more the loneliness that was in me during Karin's Bristolian
absence last academic year. And there is "Rainbow Eyes", too,
which I got somewhere in 1987 or something. I was at the time
visiting various games at the "Haarlemse Softball Week" and had
fallen head-over-heels in love with this American softball player
called Kim <sigh>. Of course, it was destined to fail, but around
that time I also got "Long Live Rock'n'Roll" on vinyl and that
had "Rainbow Eyes" on it. A really nice ballad. Sometimes I still
think back of the summer of '87. Hell, if I were Bryan Adams I
might write a song about it. Likely not, though.
Back to the matters of the day. Let's not overdo this human
interest (or is it Richard interest?) lark too much.
Of course, the audience wasn't satisfied with the meagre 90
minutes offered so far. Whistles and cries filled the hall. I
think most of the audience knew they'd be coming back. Encores
are as matter-of-fact as the rain these days, and everybody knew
they'd at least play "Smoke on the Water" before they headed to
the next venue location. And back they came, kicking off into
"Burn" and, indeed, "Smoke on the Water". It was great to be part
of that crowd then, and I even sang along despite my awful throat
with the first few minutes of the song that Dougie White allowed
us to sing solo as it were.
They left the stage again, but the crowd went positively
frantic. To my enormous surprise, they came back a second time.
Blackmore, too. Was this truly this special to them? Apparently.
Dougie started off singing an almost a-capella version of
Nazareth's "Love Hurts". The audience didn't like it, though, nor
did Blackmore, I think. "Black Night" followed, and I think
another song, too. Slipped my mind, though. Might have been Jimi
Hendrix' "Hey Joe", that I'm sure they played but I don't know if
it was part of one of the encores or of the main gig.
After a total of two hours, they left the stage for the third
and final time. No more encores, baby, they'd played enough. And
I think nobody really had anything to complain. Well, of course,
being my usual demanding self, I did have one wish left: I
would've loved to hear them do my all-time fave Rainbow song,
"Stargazer". They didn't.
Rainbow is no longer the band of 20 years ago. No long
instrumental passages so clearly prevalent on "On Stage" and
"Rainbow Live in Germany 1976", but a set containing more and
shorter songs. It's different and not necessarily worse. But
despite the fact that this was a completely unexpected great
concert (pessimism has its good sides, you see?), I will always
feel frustrated about not having been able to go to Germany in
1976, when Rainbow was a true legend. Maybe I should blame my
parents for my being only 9 at the time.
In which case I might as well start blaming them for my
having had the really tender age of merely 1 year at the time
when Jimi Hendrix played Woodstock...
Tivoli, Utrecht, The Netherlands, November 8th 1995.
The day on which this concert happened had sucked. Around
midnight I had had a row with Karin which I felt could have
culminated into an emotional thing like breaking up (it wasn't
until about a day later that we saw it had really been quite
silly and not even close to breaking up, but at the time it
seemed quite different), and when I came back to my room I found
a letter from my landbitch saying that, well, she was sorry and
everything but she was moving out and all, so I had to find
another room. Be out by January 15th.
I wasn't feeling well. Shit like that reflects itself on my
stools, so I quickly developed a strange feeling in my stomach.
Diarrhoea, I knew.
Yngwie Malmsteen was playing in my home town of Utrecht that
evening. I just knew I wouldn't be able to have to fun I'd had
last time (during the "Seventh Sign" tour) when I had witnessed
the whole soundcheck and had made some excellent pictures, not to
mention an interview with the man.
As it happened, the day turned out to be entertaining anyway. At
17:25 - after two and a half hours of waiting - Yngwie and band
arrived at Tivoli and, basically, every fan who had bothered to
be outside at that moment could come in and see the band do a
soundcheck, me among them. The soundcheck was really cool, the
band warming up to various Hendrix songs ("Red House", "Spanish
Castle Magic", "Purple Haze"), Black Sabbath songs ("Symptom of
the Universe" and "Iron Man"), Deep Purple's "Burn", some jazzy
stuff and some Malmsteen stuff such as "Fire in the Sky" and
After that, Yngwie and the rest of the band took time to sign
whatever we wanted. Yngwie's foxy wife Amber was around, too, and
drew pictures on the posters that were handed to her. She's
pretty OK, actually, despite her appearance when Yngwie asks her
on stage before "Forever One". When not part of Yngwie's ego
display she's much more confident and less shy. Yngwie showed us
pictures of him jamming with Uli Roth (ex-Scorpions), a guitar
player that he's really a fan of. He seemed happy as a kid. I
talked to his new drummer, Shane Galaas, who turned out to be
small, from Canada, and into death metal. Cool dude! Some of the
other guys present had questions about his guitars, after which
he took out various axes and showed them, allowed them to hold
them a bit and study them up-close (Yngwie's guitars have
scalloped fretboards and stuff done to the electronics).
Unbelievably relaxed and cool, all of this. Malmsteen might be
arrogant to the world, but he's just cool when surrounded by
We had to get out again until the doors opened, at 20:30. Dash
inside, secure a spot in front of the stage, and stick there
until the very end of the concert, almost straight in front of
Malmsteen and right against the stage.
Yngwie's got a moustache and beard now but still uses make-up
rather a lot. He even accentuates his eyebrows. Come on, dude,
you don't need that shit! Made some good pictures, anyway, some
of which are of magazine quality. Yngwie is one mean poser, and
that's exactly what the camera eye wants.
Despite the that he'd told us he'd play for about 90 minutes, in
fact he played for almost a full two hours. The crowd was
insanely enthusiastic, and the guys in front of him were all
playing air guitar and flipping out. I had needed something like
this on a day that sucked as heavily as it had done so far. Got a
guitar pick (and gave away two other ones I got) and a good time.
The concert experience was even cooler than the previous tour's
one. I was even closer, and I'll be damned if Yngwie didn't play
more accurate because he knew the guys up front were the same
that had seen the soundcheck and who all were avid guitar
Well...erm...which songs did he play? He kicked off with
"Vengeance" and "No Love Lost", both off the new album. After
that (in random order) he played "Far Beyond the Sun", the guitar
solo (including the "Krakatau" and "Trilogy" bits), "Never Die",
"Seventh Sign", "Voodoo" (which ended awesomely with some guiter
hurling and string pulling, superb song!), "Overture 1677"
(wow!), "I'd Die Without You", "Forever One" (where Amber had to
come on stage and kiss him - or, rather, the air near his cheek)
and "Crash and Burn". He came back for a great encore consisting
of "Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live" (Alcatrazz oldie from
1983), "Black Star" and "I'll See the Light Tonight".
Throughout the gig I got the impression that bassist Barry
Sparks is really an amazing bass player who just doesn't get the
attention he deserves. That's a shame, I think. Yngwie stole the
show, as usual, and at one instance he did his "guitar strings
shoving on the monitor speaker" bit that I had but seconds before
been leaning on. I strummed the strings, making noise on his
guitar in concert! Wow!
I was glad he played no "Heaven Tonight", and nothing off "Fire
& Ice". He's getting selective, and I think his last two albums
and his debut are the best anyway.
Before I left the hall I bought a super-cool "Yngwie Who? -
Yngwie fucking Malmsteen that's who!" T-shirt. All in all, the
day had been compensated in the sucking department.
Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, November 10th 1995. Support
act: Brother Cane.
Want to know what the row Karin and me had had was about? It was
about the choice of person that I went to the Satriani concert
with: Miranda. It just seemed pretty harmless to me, and indeed
it turned out to be. We went with her car, which almost meant our
missing Satriani because there were so many traffic queues on the
road from Utrecht to Rotterdam that it almost seemed insane! We
arrived - having excreted more than the usual amount of adrenalin
- at 20:15. The support act, Brother Cane, had already started.
Nothing missed, there. In this case the support act to me was
just a buffer that prevented me from being too late to see
Satriani right from the start.
If you've read the CD reviews you know I am not too much taken
away by Joe's new album, "Joe Satriani". That, as well as the
fact that he had now moved up from the cosy 2,500 capacity
Vredenburg to the totally uncosy 10,000 capacity Ahoy Hall, made
me sceptic. But I sure as hell wasn't going to miss my first
chance of ever making pictures of the man, what with Sony music
having granted me a photo pass! Besides, he now had his old band
with him again: The amazing Stuart Hamm on bass and the almost as
amazing Jonathan Mover on drums. Jeff Campitelli (who, as some of
you might now, played drums on some earlier albums) played rhythm
Satch kicked off with the laid-back "Cool #9", the first song
off the new album. Didn't do much for me, really, even though it
contains some good guitar work. "Flying in a Blue Dream"
followed, one of my favourite songs, sending shivers down my
spine right from the first sounds of feedback, followed by
"Summer Song". Made some excellent pictures (for info, contact
The concert was OK until Stuart Hamm started his bass solo. It
was now quite different from the ones I'd heard him do on the
"Flying..." Satch tour and on his own "The Urge" solo album, and
even more brilliant. I always used to think he lacked a solid
rhythm, but now he has it. For me, his bass solo was the turning
point in the concert, when things started somehow to feel cosy.
Ahoy was shrinking in my mind, and it was just a lot of people
seeing Joe play guitar, his band shining as much as he himself
Live, the new album songs do sound better than on the album.
More alive, throbbing with some kind of pulse. Still, the older
songs got me going more. Of the songs I can still remember, he
did "If", "Down, Down, Down", "(You're) My World", "Killer Bee
Bop", "Luminous Flesh Giants" (all off the new album, possibly
"Home" too), "Memories", "Always with me Always with you", "Ice
Nine", "Satch Boogie", "The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing",
"The Extremist" and "Big Bad Moon" before he left the stage. He
came back for an encore that, as far as I could judge, consisted
of three songs, starting off with "Surfing with the Alien". When
the song had almost ended I went outside. I was not going to take
any chances and really wanted to meet him after the show.
As it happened, I could have stayed inside, no problem. He did
two more songs (Miranda said one was off the new album, but she
didn't know which songs they were) and then quit at about 23:00.
At around 23:20 Stuart Hamm came out. After putting some stuff
in the bus he came back to sign, by which time Jonathan Mover and
Jeff Campitelli had also come out. They were totally relaxed and
talked about a variety of stuff, signing CD liners. I was
breathing the same air as the best bass player in the universe
for a few minutes, there. Quite amazing. I cursed at myself for
only having taken Satriani CD liners with me; I could easily have
gotten the 3 Stuart Hamm solo CDs signed, too, but I'd left them
at home <short moment of sadness>.
At about 23:45, Joe came out. He signed a lot of stuff and had
his picture taken with loads of fans (Miranda's dream came true
there). At 00:00 the tour bus had left and the fans were
dispersing. The end to a really interesting day.
More in future issues...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.