» Jon Oliva's Pain 2007 04 13  
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Reviewed by Thomas
Special guest: Dionysus, Nostradameus
City: Gothenburg, Sweden
Venue: Musikens Hus
Date: 13 April 2007
Dionysus set length: 40 minutes
Nostradameus set length: 40 minutes
Jon Oliva's Pain set length: 110 minutes



Dionysus should have started the way they ended, then it would have been good. It took this Swedish/German band almost their entire set to get things going. The vocals from Olaf Hayer came out rather flat and far from how good he can sound on the albums. Altogether it was not until the end he and the rest of the band had worked up the intensity and it actually became good. With March For Freedom they manage to save their honour, a definite highlight in an otherwise dull performance.

3 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)



When Nostradameus entered the stage, the difference between them and Dionysus felt huge and it felt like a fresh wind as they started off good with high intensity. But contrary to Dionysus, Nostradameus did not work their way up. Instead, as the set went on, it rather got reduced in quality and intensity. The vocals from Freddy Persson sounded strained as this streak of touring would have affected his vocal-chord, and the band did not perform as tight as they can do. Perhaps they felt relaxed playing in their hometown and did not put any extra effort into to their performance, but they should have. I have seen them before and I know that they can be really great on stage, but this time they were just barely ok.

4 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)


Jon Oliva's Pain

If you have not heard of Jon Oliva, I will not hold it against you. However, if you have not heard of Savatage, you better do your homework. Jon is of course the mastermind of Savatage and Jon Oliva's Pain is what he occupies himself with while Savatage is on hold. Jon has a voice you either love or hate, I for one have learned to love it and for the first time hearing it live was an experience, especially in the old Savatage classics.

Opening with Warriors from The Power Of The Night, the atmosphere the band created was warm and welcoming and you got the feeling that this could be great. The setlist consisted of a mix of songs from the two Jon Oliva's Pain albums, most of them from the latest Maniacal Renderings, and with the main focus on, what I suppose to the most of the audience's delight, was of course on Savatage, and at times I could find no other words than 'purely magical'. I would never imagine that I would find a ballad to be one of the highlights at a concert but when they played I Believe I just had to resign, the beauty and the power made it impossible to resist. Much focus was put on the Savatage album Streets, and a long medley from the album was delivered, and when the band got that grand rock-opera feeling going and judging by the way it came out - it was most enjoyable. Even a song like Ghost In The Ruins that have not been any of my favourites turned out to be a really strong song for live performances.

These guys must have a ton of laughs on tour, they seemed to be getting along just splendid and all of them were in a good mood and performed with an excellent high level of musicianship. So performance wise there is not really any things to complain about, only to praise. When Jon Oliva ends his days as a hard rocking musician I can see he has a future as bar-pianist telling funny stories between the songs. Gosh, that turned out to sound as something negative, but it is meant just the other way around. He spreads warmth and creates an intimate feeling when he talks between the song. And while sitting behind the keyboard at the front of the stage he is not further away from the audience than that he can just reach out to shake hands with the crowd, and he does. Moreover, he also took the time to sign various things that the crowd reached to him, during the songs. On the stage this evening you had a great man that showed his appreciation to the audience, as well as the audience showed their appreciation to him.

Perhaps to much focus was put on the album Streets, although it was the Savatage material that worked the best with the band, even if a new song like Through The Eyes Of The King from Maniacal Renderings turned out great live. Although there were small dull moments in the set and they came with The Answer and End Times, also new songs. Somehow I felt they could have continued to play for much longer than what they did, because there were still so many songs you would have liked to hear. Nevertheless, after one hour and fifty minutes the concert ended, but it ended with a trio of songs that will echo in my head long after the music has silenced. Edge Of Thorns, Gutter Ballet and Hall Of The Mountain King. Probably three of the best songs Jon Oliva have ever written, for me this is the classic Savatage songs and Jon Oliva's Pain could not have ended their set in a more grand way.

8 chalices of 10


Maniacal Renderings
Evil Beside You
The Answer
Jesus Saves
Tonight He Grins Again
Strange Reality
New York City Don´t Mean Anything
Ghost In The Ruins
Agony And Ecstasy
Eyes Of The King
All The Time
Push It To The Limit
End Times
Egde Of Thorns
Gutter Ballet
Hall Of The Mountian King

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