It was the first time for Jon Oliva's Pain to play in Luxembourg - and it was the first time I saw a band in Luxembourg, even if I lived in the country in the mid-90's. This time they had Dionysus and Nostradameus with them on tour. Some fans might have seen Dionysus in December 2003 on tour with Circle II Circle, Doro and Saxon, but its been a while. Unfortunately someone caught a cold and now almost everybody was sick, but they are all professionals and so they gave everything to present themselves as good as possible.
Rockhal is a very cool venue, but in the middle of nowhere - sorry folks - and so only about 200 people found their way to Esch.
The Swedish-German band Dionysus kicked off the event and presented mainly songs of their Anima Mundi album - and only 2 tracks of their latest release Fairytales And Reality. Fans of the melodic power metal band knew that drummer Ronny Milianowicz had left the band, but only a few days before they head on tour keyboarder Kaspar Dahlqvist left the band and so they had to hire someone last minute. Was this the reason for picking mainly songs from Anima Mundi? Anyway, even if singer Olaf Hayer was obviously suffering from a cold, he hit almost every note, only the high notes caused problems. Bassist Nobby didn't just played his six-string bass amazingly, he also was entertaining the few fans who stand in front of the stage. Guitarist Johnny Öhlin was playing accurately his riffs and solos, but was obviously sick, too. Anyway, it was fun to see them perform songs like Bringer Of War, March Of Freedom, Illusion Of Life and the catchy Heart Is Crying. Hopefully they will come back on tour soon and that next time they will all be healthy.
Next in line were the Swedish Nostradameus who came to promote their latest album Pathway. Powerful they presented their songs and based on the guitar riffs of Jake Fredén and Lennart Specht. Singer Freddy Persson was talking to the people and learnt that nobody in the audience have their latest release, he took is easy and so they tried to convince the metal fans. The strange contact lens the sympathetic singer wore gave him an evil look, but no need to be afraid, in real life he is a police officer! As their predecessors Dionysus they did their best to entertain the people, but they couldn't really heat up the Luxembourgh fans.
Then it was time for Jon Oliva's Pain! And the fans moved closer to the stage when the band started off with Warriors and Sirens. Mastermind Jon Oliva showed that he can still rock, but his voice wasn't as good as a week ago when the tour started. After two old classics it was time for the five-some to play Maniacal Renderings and Evil Beside You from their last release. The fans wanted some more Savatage songs and on this run JOP presented a some Streets tunes. Songs like the title track, Jesus Saves and Tonight He Grins Again they made the fans happy. Highlight of the show was as usual Gutter Ballet and Believe. Believe is a must and in his own tradition Jon added a wrong note in honor to his brother Criss Oliva. The last song was Through The Eyes Of The King from Maniacal Renderings and they left the stage. At the show about a week ago in Weert they played a longer set, but again a cold took its toll and so they returned only for one track - Hall Of The Mountain King. Only a decent show, but due to the circumstances the best they could do. Especially as Jon's voice wasn't in the best shape... Who missed them on this run, they shall be back in October, so watch out for the Mountain King!