In May 2006, Jaded Heart and Mad Max were touring together with Paganini in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. The schedule was very tight: 12 gigs in 13 days. Luckily, I was in Munich on business trip at the time and managed to see their fabulous gig. Due to my busy schedule I was not able to see Paganini on stage, so that is why I am writing this review only about Jaded Heart and Mad Max. This is my first "solo" gig review for RockUnited.Com.

The gig took place in Kleine Elserhalle which I found actually to be a great place for gigs: the sound was very good, very pleasant to listen. I had thought the place would be crowded 'cause two top bands of the melodic hard rock genre (at least from my point of view) were playing there. That is why I was very surprised about the size of the audience. There were only a few dozen rock fans watching the gig. Probably the fact that the gig was placed in the middle of the week had some effect to the turnout. Still, where were you all the Bavarian melodic hard rock fans? You really missed a fabulous gig! Is it so that no prophet is accepted on his own turf?

What I found especially nice was that the gig started already at 8 pm. If only this was the case in Finland as well. It is not uncommon that gigs start around midnight.

Considering the rough tour schedule, the small turnout as well as the fact that the lead vocalist of Jaded Heart had been suffering from stomach aches during the tour, the fans were able to see world-class performances from both acts. Spitze! Toll!

The real fans of melodic hard rock may all agree with me that we are very happy that these guys are not trying to change their music style to appeal to the mainstream, on the contrary they are willing to stick to their own guns. We strongly appreciate that! All Finnish melodic hard rock fans would welcome you to our country. Hope to see you soon in Finland! Click on thumbnails for larger photos.

Mad Max was playing on this tour in the following line-up:

Michael Voss (vocals, guitars)
Roland Bergmann (bass)
Axel Kruse (drums)
Jürgen Breforth (guitars)
Henning Wanner (keys)

Mad Max had invited Henning Wanner as a special guest to play the keys during the tour. In my opinion Henning fitted to the band line-up perfectly, singing also backing vocals in a great way. Watching his enthusiasm on the stage was real joy to me!

The latest Mad Max album "Night Of The White Rock" has been well recieved by the fans, even though it has a Christian message. The album features their classic and most successful "Night Of Passion" line-up of Voss, Breforth, Kruse and Bergmann. I think that the new album belongs to the top albums of the year. There are some absolute gems among the tracks.

Mad Max has always counted on passionate songs with strong, catchy choruses, and that holds true with the new excellent album. It's widely known that Mad Max has always been a true live band, and they really proved that with their storming set in Munich.

Naturally, the band was concentrating on their new material very strongly. The beautiful and passionate power ballads "Hope To Se You" and "Unbelievable" are my favourite songs from the album and they worked beautifully in a live setting. The somewhat heavier songs like "Losin' It" and "Raise Your Voice" were performed too, and they got a good response. The band did not forget their longtime fans from the 80's either, and classics like "Fox On The Run", "Hearts On Fire" and "Night Of Passion" were greeted with great joy.

It may be close to 20 years since the band last played together with this line-up (except for the "guest star" Henning Wenner of course), but you couldn't tell it from their performance. So smootly were they playing. There was no doubt about it that the guys were really enjoying being together on stage.

Jaded Heart was playing on this tour in the following line-up:

Johan Fahlberg (vocals)
Henning Wanner (keys)
Michael Müller (bass)
Axel Kruse (drums)
Peter Östros (guitars)

Jaded Heart had invited Peter Östros as a special guest to play guitar on this tour. This seemed to be a very good decision as Peter proved to be highly talented. The vacant guitarist slot caused by Barish Kepic's departure earlier this year was filled quite excellently by Peter.

I was absolutely blown away about Johan's extraordinary, powerful voice! He seems to be a multitalent singer: he is able to sing very powerfully in both upper and lower registers. One could easily compare his tone of voice, phrasing and lower register to the likes of Jeff Scott Soto, DC Cooper or Janne Hurme (Human Temple). I did also find Michael Bormann's voice outstanding and passionate, but Johan is more than capable as a replacement. Many Jaded Heart fans may have been sad and worried because Michael was fired, but today Jaded Heart is back, more dynamic and stronger than ever, featuring the new wide-ranged lead vocalist!

National pride was brought forward in a nice way: both German and Swedish flags were shown on the stage. Like Johan mentioned: 40 % of the band members were Swedish. Heja Sverige!

Jaded Heart was also concentrating strongly to the latest album "Helluva Time". But hey, I really had nothing against it. This album is packed with awesome tracks. And as I earlier praised Johan's voice, the masterpieces such as "Tomorrow Comes", "Dreams You'll Never See", "Somewhere" and the power ballad "Without You" were performed with such a passion that I was knocked out! Also the cover song of Anastasia "Paid My Dues" was rocking like hell.

The earlier material was not forgotten either. My favourite ones from earlier albums "Live and Let Die" and "Anymore" sounded absolutely perfect by Johan's interpretation as well.

Jaded Heart was founded already in 1990 and till 2004 the band was heavily identified as "Michael Bormann's band". I haven't seen the band before, but today with the new lead vocalist, the band seems to be very united and everyone gets their share of the limelight... Also, the guys seemed to really have fun on stage which could be easily noticed by fans.

After the show the band members showed respect to their fans by giving autographs and chatting with them. That was cool and truly appreciated by us. Thanks guys for a fantastic gig. Hope to see you soon dudes!

Report & Photos by Mira Suutari-Toivonen,

(c)2006 RockUnited.Com