Jon Oliva’s Pain – 1 April – Bosuil, Weert, The Netherlands

The Mountain King was back in town, finally. His latest album “Maniacal Renderings” was the first power metal highlight of this year, and now we could enjoy those great songs alive and kicking. Right from the start it became clear that Jon was really having fun and that he was glad being back in his “favourite” country. His voice was again remarkably rocky, steamy and groovy. So after “Through the eyes of the king” the entire crowd – yours truly included - was headbanging, shouting, clapping and screaming….

From the new album the highlights were the amazing title track and the fabulous song “End times”. Especially Matt LaPorte’s guitar solos and riffs were truly spectacular and if you see that guy playing the guitar, it looks so f….. easy; but you know it is not!

Of course, Jon surprised us with a heartbreaking “Streets” medley. That album, released back in 1991, is still one of the best rock albums ever made and it is certainly Savatage’s best! So, the audience fastened their seatbelts as JOP played “Streets”, “Jesus Saves”, “Ghost in the ruins” (with a spectacular guitar solo) and of course the ballad of all ballads “Believe”. A song that brings back a lot of memories and emotions every time you hear it. Sadly the band also played “Push it to the limit”, which is nothing more than just an up tempo Dr. Butcher like metal song and it really did not fit in with the rest of the material. Of course we could all sing and scream along to “Sirens” and the “predictable” encore “Hall of the mountain king”. The gig went by in a jiffy and it is a shame that the band did not come back for more songs…..

Next time, I will be there again! The Mountain king rules!!

Report by Martien Koolen,
Photos by Augie Rothkrantz

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