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Avantasia


Date: 4/14/16
Venue: Playstation Theater, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino

 

Tobias Sammet - Vocals
Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween) - Vocals
Jorn Lande - Vocals
Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) - Vocals
Eric Martin (Mr. Big) - Vocals
Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed, Beyond The Bridge) - Backing Vocals, Additional Lead Vocals
Amanda Somerville (Kiske/Somerville, Trillium) - Backing Vocals, Additional Lead Vocals
Oliver Hartmann - Guitar, Backing Vocals, Additional Lead Vocals
Sascha Paeth - Guitar
Michael Rodenberg - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Andre Neygenfind - Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Avantasia is the rock/metal opera brainchild of Edguy frontman Tobias Sammet, and has released seven albums since 2001. Over the course of these albums, with each, Tobias has written and composed 90% of the lyrics and music, and a variety of hard rock and heavy metal songs that range from straight forward headbangers, to speedy power metal anthems, epics, ballads, multi part lead vocal numbers, to ones that have a Broadway, to blusey, to jazz influence. Avantasia is to heavy metal, what Meatloaf is to rock. Since the bands birth, and a collaborative effort, seeing multiple musicians and singers per album, obviously it’s a rarity to get such a band to tour. But, over the years, Tobias has found a way to play some shows after the release of “The Scarecrow” album in 2008, 2010 following “The Wicked Symphony” and “Angel of Babylon”, “The Mystery of Time” tour in 2013, and in 2016 40 concerts in Europe, North America, South America, Canada, Japan, Russia and Scandinavia in support of the latest album “Ghostlights”. To say its an accomplishment for a metal opera/supergroup is an understatement!

Playing over three hours…yes, three hours…first time in New York city…the setlist pulled tracks from every album, with eight lead singers (several who sang on the original recordings) either taking lead, or swapping verses and chorus’ with one or two or more joining them at a time, depending on the tracks original recording. Tobi takes the lead for the very Meatloaf piano based opening rocker ‘Mystery of a Blood Red Rose’, then joined by ex-Helloween singer Michael Kiske for the Euro-speed metal title track to “Ghostlights”, and Ronnie Atkins for the also hard hitting ‘Invoke The Machine’. How cool is that…when was the last time Kiske was in America?! Before the melody to the title track to “The Scarecrow” began, the 1,400 plus crowd starting chanting A…van…tasia!, and as the melody began the people started clapping in unison like at one of the huge European Heavy metal festivals. To boot, Tobias was joined by Jorn and his Dio-Coverdale -esque tone and talents, as he is left in a duet number ‘Lucifer’, with Tobias.

Moving on….since we are talking about a three hour show…four singers take center stage for the title track to ‘The Wicked Symphony’; Martin, Herbie, Jorn, Hartmann, and Somerville making her first shared lead of the night. Amanda also returns for ballad ‘Farewell’, with Tobi. The tempo kicks up again though for ‘Stargazers’ with again four leads shared; Kiske, Jorn, Atkins, Hartmann. If you had the chance (if not, shame on you) yet to see Edguy live, you’d know of Tobi’s sense of humor, which he interjected often between and introducing songs. The song of their namesake is so anthemic, and so is that great melody to headbanger ‘Twisted Minds’, which saw all the band members, and crowd, headbanging in unison. Metal!!

My only complaint…and its justified, why only the chorus to ‘Seven Angels’ off the second “The Metal Opera” album, tacked on to the end of ‘Sign Of The Cross’??? When every other album was represented by at least two or more songs? Really??? Other than that, no reason to bitch. And judging by the crowd, and band’s final bow and thank you's…Avanatasia will return again sooner than later.

Setlist:
Mystery of a Blood Red Rose
Ghostlights (Kiske)
Invoke the Machine (Atkins)
Unchain the Light (Kiske, Atkins)
The Watchmaker's Dream (Hartmann)
The Scarecrow (Jorn)
Lucifer (Jorn)
What's Left of Me (Martin)
The Wicked Symphony (Martin, Herbie, Jorn, Hartmann, Somerville)
Draconian Love (Herbie)
Farewell (Somerville, Kiske)
Stargazers (Kiske, Jorn, Atkins, Hartmann)
Shelter from the Rain (Kiske, Somerville)
Let the Storm Descend Upon You (Atkins, Jorn)
Promised Land (Jorn)
Reach Out for the Light (Kiske)
Avantasia (Kiske)
Twisted Mind (Atkins, Martin)
The Great Mystery (Martin)
Dying for an Angel (Martin)
The Story Ain't Over
Lost in Space
Sign of the Cross/Seven Angels (All)

Note: Tobias Sammet did not sing on The Wicked Symphony, Stargazers, and Twisted Mind.

 

 
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