confess I do a little hard with this review here, becaue maybe I'm a
little prejusted as many other's I presume. Prejusted because I, or
better we, have experienced for so many years now - every year again and
again just before Christmas the famous Night Of The Proms. This is a
very colourful event and I guess, many of you out there know what I'm
talking about - a classical orchestra, a choir, a rockband and some
partly half forgotten rockstars, presenting their greatest hits from
back then together with the just mentioned participants, and this in a
very big style. There's a lot of money behind that. And as we all know:
with money you can do almost everything.
Anyway compared to the Night Of The Proms, this Rock Meets Classic, what we got here to review, is celebrating now it's third round and literatually is nothing else than the Night of the Proms, just not as voluminous. But don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean, this here is bad. Only the idea is definately copied from the bigger Proms event. That's for sure, though some people deny this. I don't wanna complain either, but it's a matter of course to draw some comparisons.
Let's start with the comparison with itselves, which is the fact, that this third round of the Rock Meets Classic Tour is much bigger then both tours before. A big thanks to radio Antenne Bayern for their promotion and also the Promoter Hertlein, who mainly deals with german Schlager(pop)stars and german folkmusic projects, who enjoy huge popularity. Both radio and promoter are responsible for the fact, that this event here in Munich has now been transfered from the smaller Philharmony fitting in 2.000 to the large Olympiahalle, where 12.000 people find their place, when it's sold out.
Well' it's still not sold out here, and the figure of the audiance counts aprox. a little more half the just mentioned number of guests. But mind me, that's still a lot compared with the 2.000 from last year's event. And because the arena is seated, the place looks better croweded than it actually is. The audiance is a mixture of Woodstock veterans, Hardrock Fans from back in the Seventies 'till nowadas, but also the average music listenere, for whom 'Africa' from Toto is still the ultimate Ace of modern Pop-Rock music. The average age lies between 35 and 65.
Rock Meets Classic is the slogan. Up there is a classical orchestra, a Hardrock Band and just mentioned rockstars, who dedicate us their biggest hits in an even bigger dejavu. Only one thing is missing. Where is the Classic?.While at the Night of The Proms you find classical music throughout the whole event exchanging with modern Poprock tunes, here only 3 minutes in the very beginning are dedicated to classical music, but that's it. And only because there is a classical orchestra up there, playing all those Rock'n'Roll classics, the question is up in the air, whether the name of this tour is a 100 percent correct. I guess that' a matter of individual opinions, of what we could start a discussion Is it, or is it not? But it is for sure, that Rock meets violins, cellos and bass drum - however!
Okay, but I have to say that the production of this Classic/Rock rendevouz is a little more unspectacular than the one of the Proms. Star host Wolfgang Leikermoser from Antenne Bayern is starting the magic with a little speech, but doesn't do much more during the show. Announcements and further comments then are done by musical boss Mat Sinner, who apparently ain't sure whether to decide between understatement and cool rocker attitude :-)
Another comparison to the Proms is the shows devided in two parts, whereby each part has got a length of about 75 minutes. And another comparison ist the fact, the the rockstars are appearing one after the other the more popular they are, finishing with the most popular celebrity.
so the evening is going ahead starting of with Van Halen's 'Jump'
performed by musical singer Sascha Krebs, who's biography shows many
musical jobs but also doing background singing for famous german
off we go with our first rocker, who's name is Jimi Jamison, and
who used to be the singer in Survivor - and is again the singer of
Survivor since recently.
And where do we know this band from? Yeah well of course - the movie classic 'Rocky' with Sylvester Stallone... And the fan of course knows not only 'Eye Of The Tyger' but also 'Burning Heart', which is Jimi's first entry here. By the way just for information, this song has actually been the biggest hitsingle for Survivor in the first half of the Eighties. After the split between the two parties, Jimi Jamison never hit it that big again, and not the band either. So what is better then just celebrate a reunion and hoping to get real big again... Why not, it's worth a try. So Jimi flys ahead to Europe promoting Survivor's music on this Rock Meets Classic Tour for the planned reunion concert trip of the band later this year. It then will show, how it worked out.
Jimi certainly doesn't look his age. Taking care for this youthful look are the cool sunglasses as well as his fitness and of course his still great voice. So he sings all those Survivor tunes as it's been yesterday and not 25 years agao. And he collects lots of bonus points at the audiance by jumping from stage running throughout the whole venue, communicating with the crowd. They luv him for that....
Grandpa likes is as much as mum or sister in law. I assume, some of the
audiance will get their old Survivor records out of the cupboard for
memory - of the past and also about this evening here. And maybe some of
it gets stuck and many of us go out and see Survivor when they finally
roll along to wake up old Rocky nostalgica.
Jimi Jamison has shown that he is still fit and can do it. And maybe he can manage together with Survivor to jump out of his shade of undertatement - well at least here in Germany..
As soon as the first chapter is closed the second is starting, and this one is entitled Robin Beck - who ????
aprox. 90 percent of all guests here do hear this name for the very
first time. Although this lady has got a name in the Melodic Rock
section, at least since the Coca Cola ad in 1988, when she delivered her
greatest hitsingle straight after with 'First Love' which went number
One in quite a few Countries. The only problem is, she never could
repeat this huge success since back then. And that's why the audiance
has lost the connection. And so the name Robin Beck stays within insider
circles here in Europe. By the way, she is married to James Christian,
who again is the singer and frontman of melodic rockers House of Lords.
And her husband accompanies her throughout this tour, and will later on
tour Europe with his own band, but I fear unfortunately not in such a
huge frame as his wife does.
back to the Action, where Mrs. Beck, who is very stylish dressed in
Dandy look and hat and lots of make up doesn't look her aged, is
performing 3 songs with a beautiful voice (see setlist above)
Inbetween she is asking for some water ins german, but at some point says, that she now needs something stronger. Well, I mean - with something stronger you might rather think of alcohol and not only a plastic bottle of Coca Cola. But the intention is behind the last and third track, which is First Love', the song from the Coca Cola ad. And here many voices in the audiance go - ahh and ohhh recognizing the melody. And so Robin Beck has played her joker and has stepped up a little further in average popularity. Now let's wait and see, whether this step throws an echo or not...
from that Robin Beck hasn't contributed the biggest part of this show
here, but she's done with a great mood, lot's of Sex appeal and an even
greater voice... So why not trying another start over here....
This guy, who meanwhile looks like a bank clerk in a mountain village, - everybody in here knows for sure.So he was once upon a time "the" voice of Manfred Mann's Earth Band and is also responsible of the huge success for many hitsingles, the one's we get to hear tonight, due tho his brilliant voice. None of the later singers in the Earth Band could sing those songs as good as he did. And maybe that's the deal, that he and his great reputation can survive as a solo artist at least here in Germany. Many of us even think he meanwhile lives here as often as he is here. But that's not the case, as he tells me before the show in a little smalltalk. Never mind, Mr.Thompson within this very moment right now, he presents us a real great ‚The Voice’, ‚Blinded By The Light’, Davy’s On The Road Again’ and how can this be missing? -
reaction of the audiance is so huge, that their chairs are almost
turning upside down. And everybody in here is singing along. The current
Earth Band line up would probably get jealous, as they could never do
the same, and this is not due to the instruments, but rather - to repeat
myself - the great voice. To be honest, thanks to the great output the
orchestra is almost drowning within this intensive cloud of sound. And
not only for me, our singing bookkeeper is the first real highlight
Whereby I can't really tell you, whether this is due to his voice only, the songs or just his loveable Uncle Willy appearance. But he definately never sing with the Earth Band again. That's what he commented just before the show with a: „Yeah well, that’s Life“.
We've got a break now to steam out our head and settle down the just happened chapter. We've got half of it, and my impression is not a huge enthusiasm, but hasn't been bad at all until now. And I've still got hope to get the ultimate kick within the second part of the evening. And this one is starting off with the spirit of Toto a.k.a. -
Yeah well Toto, what a band that was in the past with all those brilliant milestones, having definately written music history as well. Although there has been something of a break in the carriere, whn band boss and drummer Jeff Porcaro passed away much to early in 1992. Currently it's a fact, that Toto are still doing very well here in Germany and we still luv them. So reason enough for the - now boss of the cultband - Steve Lukather to take part in this Rock Meets Classic trek. As we all know, Luke can't sing the high notes in 'Rosanna' or 'Hold the Line', but that's not a problem, as in the case of 'Rosanna' none other than background singer Ralph Schepers, who we all know from metalheads Primal Fear, handles the high notes. And there is a little smile on our faces, as we only know him as a wild heavy metal shouter, and here he sings such a soft tune... but well, at least it proves his talents - congratulation!
is followed by the Beatles track ‚When My Guitar Gently Weeps’.And
Luke can do the singing here on his own, as there ain't many high notes.
Same for Toto's 'Ill Be Over You', and inbetween we get some 'Africa'
the end of this extravaganza Luke gives us some 'Hold The Line' with the
help of background singer Tiffany Krikland.
Standing Ovations are a conclusion at all those hitsingles. Well done Luke, and I wish you all the best in life - health, happiness and ... yeah well, you what I mean...
has definately received an imaginary Lifting here. Good, as in summer
the Orginal will be back again for summer festivals here in
Europe. And I bet, venues will be crowded again.
Only at close ups you realize the lines of life as we say so. Next August he will be 67 years young and not too far away from the magic 70. But Ian Gillan is yet another prove, Rock'n'Roll doesn't know any age, and if one thing has surely not got any older than this is his voice. He shoots off with 'Highway Star' a track which orignally is not recorded with him, and this in the RMC version, followed by a very individual 'Knockin' On Your Backdoor', as well as 'Perfect Strangers'...
With ‚When A Blind Man Cries’
and ‚Woman From Tokyo’ he is dropping two more pearls. . And the
enthusiasm of the Rockband here gets bigger and bigger, exspecially
what's up to the 2 guitarists, who play themselves almost in some sort
of trance. All this is underlined by the whipping hair toll of the
orchestra conductor, who obviously enjoys it very much to conduct his
orchestra to Rock'n'Roll tunes.
Ian Gillan ends his stint with 'Hush' a song Deep Purple had lots of
success with in the late Sixties. But the tune is written by Joe South ,
who went on no. 52 in the billboard charts in 1967. Only 2 years later
Purple went with their cover on 4 in the charts. Enough history and back
to the present, where Gillan is just right now busy to win some more
Easy Listening fans for his band. And those will be back as well this
year in the fall from Nov 15 until Dec. 1... So watch out...
Ian Gillan Superstar, that's what he is handled. He's very professional and noone realizes that he's not too well tonight according to his own statement. And so he did arrive pretty late just before his turn on the venue and leaves it straight afterwards. This gives him some sort of extraordinary status.
to draw a final resumee I want to say in the end: it's been nice evening
entertainment with a large nostalgic note, performed by some
professionalles and legends. But in my feelings the whole things has
been played down to much without a dot and coma, if you know what I mean
by that. Another Cormparison with the Night of the Proms, where the host
leads the event throughout the whole evening with lots of humor and gags.
That's what I did miss a little here at the Rock Meets Classic. And as I
said in the beginning, while at the proms with do have real classic
music mixed up with rock and pop, here it's only rockmusic played with
partly classical instruments. The whole production, lightshow etc. is
bit lower as the proms as well, - and so not only me got a slight mixed
feeling about all this, as we can't avoid this frequent comparing...
sorry about that....
But in the end, I have to give this night 8 out of 10 points, exspecially for the obvious effort, the producers, promoters and all muscians have taken. And as I heard, this Munich show here has been apparenty been the best visited one. So this here was filmed for a future DVD. Watch out, maybe you see me jumping around taking pics at my paparazzi work :-)))
And wait and let's see, if there will be another issue of Rock Meets Classic next year...
Find some pre- and aftershow snapshot as always in the Diary