Sin City Presents Magazine May 2016 Volume 3 Issue 5 - Page 30

Avantasia @House of Blues/ Anahiem 4-11-16

By: Leah Burlington

To say I am a huge fan of the band Avantasia, would be an understatement. First off, most people in America have no idea who this band is, so here’s a little back history from their bio off their website. There’s a lot more to this “Super-group”, than meets the ear and eye. The first thing you need to know is this whole beautiful project came from the fantastic imagination of the singer of this power metal band from Germany called Edguy in 1999. His name is Tobias Sammet and he is not only an amazing singer, he is an equally amazing talented writer. He’s also a funny down to earth guy.

Avantasia/Tobia Sammet bio:

“He has sold more than 3 million discs world-wide and he has played more than 600 concerts in almost 40 countries in Asia, North America, Central America, South America, Australia and Europe: composer and vocalist Tobias Sammet is one of Germany's biggest internationally acclaimed artists in recent music history. Tobias first became known as the singer and songwriter of the band Edguy that he co-founded in 1992. In 1999 he founded his side project "Tobias Sammet's Avantasia", an all-star Rock Opera that would allow him to collaborate with superstars such as Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine & Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions), members of legendary bands such KISS & Mr. Big, Helloween, Magnum, Rainbow, Saxon, and many more throughout the years. All of his recent albums entered the top ten charts in countries all over the world.”

Avantasia, since 1999 has released seven albums and a DVD of their headlining show at Wacken in Germany. They have toured all over the planet, except for here in America, (Until now!) They released the greatest album of their career this year called “Ghostlights.” This album has some of the greatest singers in rock/metal singing on different songs. Avantasia is a Rock Opera so he has only the best sing on his albums sing with him, as duets. This 2016 world tour has featured singers, Jorn Lande, Michael Kiske, Eric Martin, Herbie Langhans, Amanda Sommerville, and Ronnie Atkins on vocals as well as Tobias. Bob Catley usually sings on the all albums or on tour, but he couldn’t make the tour after Japan, as he had other commitments with his band Magnum. The musicians on this tour are, Sascha Paeth - lead guitar, Oliver Hartmann- lead guitar, Felix Bohnke – drums, Miro - Keyboards, orchestration and Andre Neigenfind-bass.

When I found out that Avantasia was finally going to hit North American soil after all these years, I was so excited. But there was only two shows posted at the time I saw this. When Anaheim, California was added I squealed like a little girl. I was about to see the last great band on my bucket list!! And with Jorn Lande to sweeten the pot! Two of my buddies drove me out there and we were about to see one of the best shows of our life!

We get to Anaheim and find their hotel, (Not stalking, mind you, we have a pre set appointment with the Mighty Jorn) go to get coffee and food and walk into Quizno’s and run into four guys from the band including, Herbie, Kiske, Sascha and Andre. They happily signed our merch and then we went onto the hotel where we ran into Ronnie, Oiliver, Miro and then even Tobias himself. We had a long funny chat with the mastermind of Avantasia and photo’s and more signed stuff happened and after tha, our visit with Jorn inside. In walks in the legend himself and my friends Margi, David and Nils, my road mates, stood there speechless. I got my first hug from my idol in years. I have met him before in 2008 when I flew to Germany to see him twice in two days. Jorn is very kind and humble. He walked to the bar, got a beer and then we he went to task signing everything we had for an hour. He told us great stories about his fave show “Vikings” and his wife Christine, his own Shield Maiden, the real story of Lucifer (because of the song he sings) and just all around chatting and answering our questions. He was very personable and we were just in awe of him. He has this huge presence, mind you. After photo’s and signing everything meticulously, we left Jorn and then we were on our way to the House of Blues and to see the Avantasia!

I had a photo pass so I left all my friends to get in the photo pit with several other photog’s and waited for the genius which is Avantasia, the rock opera and super-group of a lifetime, to take the stage.

*Just a side note, this band had a huge stage show for everywhere in the world except these three dates in North America. They played sold out crowds of 4-6,000 people in countries like Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Russia and Japan before coming here. This was a toned down stage, no castle back round, just bare bones Ghostlights backdrop and band. We were getting just the talent and no big stage show, which was fine with me.

The stage was cloaked in darkness while the music from “2001 Space Odyssey” came on, then as the lights went up and out came our hero Tobias Sammet and his incredible band Avantasia, as they tore through the first single off the new album, “Mystery of a Blood Red Rose.” The energy of the crowd was palpable as you could hear them all singing the song, verse for verse. I was in the pit and I was so


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