Sin City Presents Magazine May 2016 Volume 3 Issue 5 - Page 31

Stacey blades

Photos courtsey of JustaFan Concert Photos

ERIC GALES &

MIKE VARNEY

Today’s music scene particularly here in Las Vegas is filled with the guys that really defined the hard rock /metal era in the ‘80’s they were setting the pace then and to some degree still are. What makes this music so sustainable?

Oz : With today’s music, rock isn’t the same as it was in the70’s and 80’s; in no way is it the same. There are a lot of people that miss those decades of music. They remember it and they want to see it performed LIVE and well. When the original bands are not around anymore to perform, they’ll take a tribute band! Those who are musicians will start bands to play it LIVE. That’s why I play in a classic rock band because I love to hear it LIVE, I love playing it LIVE. I’ll go see a band that plays classic rock; it’s still great to have that experience of watching it live. The other night I was watching my buddy Keith Roberts playing Zeppelin and Jeff Duncan rippin’ some Van Halen.

North American debut avantasia

excited it was hard to shoot. After our three songs, we were quickly booted out and I sidled up to my friend Dan Pate on the barricade and watched the show and shot from there. I had permission to shoot the entire from from behind the barricade, so I was thrilled!

*Some of the highlights because this show ended up to be three and a half hours long with twenty three songs in all, with seven singers and some of the songs are epic in length, I can only give some of these highlights:

The most amazing thing to me was that Tobias Sammet, who is the creator of this magical ride, sings on almost every song in this show and its over Three and a half hours long. The stamina that this takes is immense. He gives 100% at every single show and how he does this, I do not know. He sounded amazing throughout the show and full of enthusiasm and excitement. He really loves this band and music.

The mighty Jorn came up to our side of the stage and posed regally with guitarist and producer, Sascha Paeth a few times during “The Scarecrow” as I got killer shot after shot! After some stage banter with Tobi and Jorn, they started the song written just for him and my favorite on the album, “Lucifer.” It is part ballad, part rocker, so we get to hear two sides of this amazing singer and again, he came over to our side of the stage to pose for photos and give me a smile and point at me which is his signature pose. Seeing Jorn with Avantasia was the biggest thrill for me because he has been my favorite singer for ten years and I love him with this band!

Eric Martin of Mr Big fame sang beautifully on “What’s Left of Me”, ‘The Great Mystery”, “Dying for an Angel.” He fits perfectly in this amazing crew of talented singers and he and Tobi had some funny stage banter throughout the show and at one time Tobi said the show would last a lot longer than three hours, if they kept it up.

It was awesome to hear our friend Herbie Langhans come out to the front and sing one of the coolest Avantasia songs ever written, “Draconian Love’ off of the new album, “Ghostlights.” Herbie has two other bands he sings in from Germany, “Sinbreed” and “Beyond the Bridge”, whom I saw at the Prog Power USA Festival in few years back. He is a great singer and is another perfect fit for this band!

Michael Kiske showed he still had his power metal pipes from the Helloween days on some of the older songs, “Avantasia” and “Reach Out For the Light”, where he held a super high note for a long time and after he was done, let out a “whew”, as we all cheered him on! Kiske is a legend and he proved that, time and time again during this show!

Ronnie Atkins showed off his awesome pipes during “Invoke the Machine” and “Unchain the Light.”He is also a very powerful singer that has never played in LA in his 30 or so years with “Pretty Maids”. He was pretty excited to be there and said as much.

Amanda Sommerville was always present with gorgeous backing vocals and she got to come out a few times and shine with the men on “Shelter from the Rain” and “Lost in Space.” Her beautiful long blonde hair flying around as she head banged and sang like an angel!

The best highlights for me were: The best song on “Ghostlights”, “Let the Storm Descend Upon You”, which is the most amazing moving song to me written in years! Sung by Tobi, Jorn, and Ronnie with wicked shredding from guitarists, Sascha and Oliver, this song was just an epic powerhouse live!!!! It was just what I had hoped it would be! It doesn’t get any better than this and the crowd singing the all the lyrics just made it all the better! I had goosebumps!

The final major highlight was the encore: “Sign of the Cross/ Seven Angels” where all seven singers came out and after they were introduced to the crowd they then they belted these last two songs out with so much passion and enthusiasm to finish this epic set-list!! The seven singing angels came out to the front of the stage and sang: “We are the seven, Judgement of Heaven. Why don't we know? We are the angels, Its revelation, soul castigation. Fire will burn us away!”

After that amazing encore, an immense bow of thirteen musicians and singers that gave their all for over three hours to an audience that felt blessed to even be in their presence and see this spectacle called Avantasia who finally rocked America!

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