|» Jerusalem 2006 03 24||
Jerusalem celebrates 30 years in His Majesty's service. They do it with style. Three concerts (Gothenburg, Huskvarna & Stockholm) with two different settings of the band and a setlist of over three hours. I think I have to grade this evening in three parts.
Concept and arrangements: 10/10 The whole idea is wonderful and something for other bands to take after. Seven old and present members all on stage in one evening! First chronologically through the different settings during the career, then all at once for the last hour. A prerequisite for this to happen is of course that all old members of the band get along with each other. This is not a problem for Jerusalem since almost all of them still play interchangeably in the lineup from time to time. No one has been fired or left in dispute (as far as known). On top of that a setlist that includes something from almost all parts of the discography. All this spiced with interviews with the band members (conducted by Ulf Christiansson's brother) and a lot of old pictures and video sequences showed on big screens (edited by Ulf's son). You had to keep half an eye on the monitors all the time, not to miss any good parts.
Performance: 8/10 With so many people involved and just two days of rehearsals, one could not expect everything to work perfect. Still it sounded surprisingly well. You could see small evidences that they did the same thing the evening before though. Ulf Christiansson's voice for example was not as strong as usual. For obvious reasons the frontman didn't get any time to rest, as the others. Clearly over three hours of almost constant singing the night before had taken its toll, even for one like Ulf, who seems to have eternal youth. Peter LeM sorry, Reidar I Paulsen is the member (I think) who has been away from the band the longest this time. Consequently he seemed to have some difficulties to become warm behind his keyboards, when he entered the stage during the second half. Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent, with its characteristic synth melody, didn't sound altogether tight. On the other hand we got two incredible drummers, Klas Anderhell and Michael Ulvsgärd, who first did their respectively parts as vital as ever. Then they did the rest of the show together, with an impressively tight co-working. We also got two bass players, Anders Mossberg and Peter Carlsohn who seemed to enjoy their work more than ever. Ulf himself still seems to burn for his mission as a Christian rock prophet. He held his speeches relatively short this evening though.
Setlist: 6/10 I thought that I finally should get to hear something from my childhood soundtrack, Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent, other than the title track. Well, I got a short version of We're Gonna Take Europe. No Plunder Heaven , no Rebels , no Revelation , no The Great Fall, no Catch The Devil... I guess that there is something about Dancing that Ulf does not like. It is a different sound, perhaps too adjusted to fit into the 80s. Perhaps the lyrics are not radical enough, even if I can't see why they shouldn't be. Anyway, this was supposed to be an evening for everybody. Dancing really meant a lot for me when I was ten, and it still does. The usual excuse, that "the setting are wrong this time" was obviously not the real reason for almost ignoring this masterpiece. Besides from that you always miss particular songs, but it would be impossible to get them all in, even in this marathon set. About twenty indisputable classics, a few obscure fillers and one new composition (Hey Lyssna) gives a great mix! To include a 'cover' on I Exalt Thee on top of that well it's a nice worship song - and for Jerusalem the message and the mission is no doubt more important than the music, so actually you cannot be surprised.
This was an evening worth to remember. I was there. I will probably be
there for as long as Ulf continues to gather his Jerusalem from time to
time. There are no signs of retirement yet. Unfortunately there are no
signs of a new record either
8 chalices of 10