Every year again and again, Christmas is returning and Easter and Saxon next to many other liveacts. As it happened in the past, an artist came on tour, when he had a new product in his luggage, but nowadays they are touring like mad with or without new CD. Because with the downhill race of product sales, thanks to our www, you've gotta watch out how to earn a little more money. That's a fact. But of course, there are still bands out there who really got a new album to promote, like in our case  with Saxon. 'Call To Arms' is the title of the milestone of this former NWOBHM flagship. Whereby you've gotta say, that Saxon meanwhile belong to those methusalems, who don't need to do another album. Why? Let's face it: at live shows, everybody just wants to hear  ‚Denim And Leather’, ‚The Eagle Has Landed’ and ‚Crusader’. On the other hand, nobody want's to get stuck musically and is hoping to pull a new and young audiance with yet another new born baby. 
And they do, at least to a certain constant. If you look at the audiance inside Munich's Backstage Werk, you realize pretty soon, that about half of the 1.000 kiddies are not older than about 30. And that's a good sign and the hope  for the survival of this music
Saxon own a certain cult status in metal circles and this is definately not a disadvantage to stretch out the retirement. In any case, these guys, who some of them have crossed the 55+ already, are still fit as a desertflea while stepdancing. And despite some wrinkles on the forhead, Biffy and Co. are still spoiled by some kind of youthful spirit, such as Spiderman during his morning gym. I mean you've gotta defend a certain image and most of all keept that. Don't worry, Rock'n'Roll keeps ya young , so well let's start off to yet another battle with all consequences.  

Before that, Vandebyst from the Netherlands lid up the place 

In the year 2008, Willem Vanderbyst (Ex-Powervice formed this group together with drummer Barry Van Esbroek and Jochem Jonkman am Bass und Gesangsmikro. One album is already out, the second one is due out soon. And those dutch guys don't leave any chance out to play all the big open air festivals, whereever possible. Because nothing is better for individual promotion, or such a supportslot as here for Saxon.
the light conditions are once again more than bad, as often happening during supportact shows. And in additon to that, two of the threesome are moving so fast, that my lense can hardly follow them. But never mind. as because of all that hair, there is not much to see anyway. Their style is leaned onto 80s Hardrock, whereby Vandenbyst remind me a little on australien rockers Airborne, though it's probably more the visual aspect. And I seem not to be the only one, thinking this, as singer Jochem has told me later on. 

However, this band makes a pretty decent first impression, and they are a nice surprise, what's up to so much energy, enthusiasm and fun to play. I hope we get to hear and see this lot more often in the future... And for now I advise you, to remember at least their name. 

Next are Crimes Of Passion dran from Sheffield, England. 

And that is, as known, also the original hometown of Saxon. So let's call it a little neighbourhood friendship move of the Headliners, to take this outfit out on tour. To be honest, I haven'g got a clue, whether this group is really known over here or not. But it's a fact, that Crimes of Passion have supported already many other musicians in the past. They've got one selftitled album and a brand new EP, which includes a cover of Ronnie James Dio's 'Holy Diver'. - And that's what they also perform amongst other songs. 
What else to say: Crimes of Passion are standing for classic Hardrock with a touch of Glam...

And they do get paid a lot of attention as well, though I have to admit, that I do hard, whom to prefer of these two supportacts. Nevertheless the band offers us solid hardrock and old school metal. And I'm sure, this has not been the last time, we've seen them live on stage over here.  http://www.myspace.com/crimesofpassionrock

Okidok, and here we are for the 325th time  live on Stage with a Formel 1 energy. 

Well leave the 3 in front of the 25 away. We don't wanna overdo it. To be honest, I have not counted, how often I've seen those oldtimers so far in the past... But well, as long as the quality of the product is okay, we always like to consume them again and again.- And as we say so: old wine is still the best, as long as it doesn't get sour. Unfortunately there are too many oldiebands out there, who keep returning all the time because of prestige or of money reasons. And who are only a shade of themselves. 

Saxon do rather belong to the mid Seventies generation and have been through to many ups and downs and line up changes throughout their 36 years of carriere. I mean, not everybody can manage to stay together in the same line up for 40 years, as for instance the Rolling Stones do. But mind me, Saxon are going now in the same outfit  for about 16 years. And this is only because of newest member Doug Scarreth. The rest  is much longer part of the engine. Not to talk about Biff Byford and Paul Quinn, who are originals anyway. 

Saxon are an old institution in showbiz, and they know exactly how the games is played. And they are using it for their advantage. the setlist is a perfectly mixed poker including old and new in a way, that it never gets boring at any minute. 

They are not playing those overdone solos and rather put the focus on a great cooperation, but still take care, that every musician in the band gets his ace. As in most concerts, the biggest hits can be found in the last part of the gig. And the fans show their devotion with lots of applause. I for my part get convinced all over again, how much better such a Bands comes along in a club, instead on a huge open air festival. the only bad thing about is, that in here about 10.000 peole less can be found. So everything got it's advantage or disadvantage.

Last fazit: it's been very nice. The adrenalin cocktail has done it's work and the guarantee for quality is provided once again - 'till next time... and with open end.

Offstage Snapshots in the  Diary