Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Avantasia - Tuesday 8th March - Forum, Kentish Town

So, it turns out Tufnell Park is a cheap place to meet for a pre-gig drink at the Forum. £2 a pint in the Boston Arms, although to be fair you are highly unlikely to list this as one of your favourite pubs. Opposite, the slightly more upmarket "Aces & Eights" has Moretti at well below "City" prices and best-of-the-bunch "The Pineapple" had a delightful German Pilsner for well below £4 a pint.

But there wasn't too much time for merriment. German (and associated European) rockers Avantasia had promised a lengthy 3 hour set. I didn't quite know how to take this as a) I have none of their records and b) I know none of their songs. 3 hours of unfamiliar music can test even the most patient of casual fans and basically if it hadn't been for Magnum's Bob Catley being in the number of guest vocalists due to appear then we probably would not have been here.

I gather Avantasia are reasonably popular on the continent, playing to much larger venues than here tonight. Still, it was a slight surprise to find the Forum so crowded with no obvious way through to the lower floor section. Therefore, our evening was spent on the first tier to the right, at bar level. And what do you know? It was a really good night. The music held my attention and the set felt less than the 2hrs 45 or so it actually took and the evening did not drag at all. Bob was on great vocal form as were the guests which include the singer from Mr Big - Eric Martin. I had feared it all may be a bit "prog" or the concept may take over from musical quality. Instead the charismatic Tobias Sammet has produced a decent band with a range of decent music. I still don't know the songs (although "The Story Ain't Over" was instantly catchy) - and to be fair am unlikely to invest in the back catalogue, but this was a shot in the dark well worth taking.

Mystery of a Blood Red Rose
Ghostlights (with Michael Kiske)
Invoke the Machine (with Ronnie Atkins)
Unchain the Light (with Ronnie Atkins and Michael Kiske)
A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies (with Bob Catley)
The Great Mystery (with Bob Catley)
The Scarecrow (with Jørn Lande)
Lucifer (with Jørn Lande)
The Watchmakers' Dream (with Oliver Hartmann)
What's Left of Me (with Eric Martin)
The Wicked Symphony (with Oliver Hartmann, Jørn Lande, Amanda Somerville, Herbie Langhans and Eric Martin - without Tobias Sammet)
Draconian Love (with Herbie Langhans)
Farewell (with Amanda Somerville and Michael Kiske)
Stargazers (with Michael Kiske, Jørn Lande, Ronnie Atkins and Oliver Hartmann - without Tobias Sammet)
Shelter from the Rain (with Michael Kiske and Bob Catley)
The Story Ain't Over (with Bob Catley)
Let the Storm Descend Upon You (with Jørn Lande and Ronnie Atkins)
Promised Land (with Jørn Lande)
Prelude (backing tape)
Reach Out For The Light (with Michael Kiske)
Avantasia (with Michael Kiske)
Twisted Mind (with Eric Martin and Ronnie Atkins - without Tobias Sammet)
Dying for an Angel (with Eric Martin)
Lost in Space (with Amanda Somerville)
Sign of the Cross / The Seven Angels (with everyone on stage)

No comments: