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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Live-Report: Rock Meets Classic 2014 (Leipzig, 30.03.2014)

Mat Sinner is a genius. Point. Beside his acivities with Primal Fear and Voodoo Circle he made a name for himself with "Rock Meets Classic" in recent time. Year after year he presents us Rock Legends, such as Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Robin Beck, Bonnie Tyler or Steve Augeri (Journey) together with his Mat Sinner band and the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague. You see, the guestlist is pretty long. This "Rock Meets Classic" celebrated its 5th Anniversary and it was a blast. With Alice Cooper (feat. Orianthi), Mick Box & Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep), Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, ex-Deep Purple), Kim Wilde and Midge Ure (Ultravox) Rock Meets Classic featured the best line-up ever. But let's start at the beginning.

When I arrived at the location (Leipzig Arena) on March 30th 2014, the venue was already packed with around 4.000 people. Everyone was sitting on his chair and was staring at the huge stage. At 8 pm the show started with the song "The Show Must Go On" and first of all we got an impression of the Mat Sinner band and the Orchestra. What an organic and bombastic sound! I had a huge smile on my face, because there were so many well-known musicians on stage if you are a fan of the Rock & Metal scene. You want to hear some names? Amanda Somerville (Trillium, Avantasia), Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear, Voodoo Circle), Oliver Hartman (Avantasia), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) and many, many more were part of this huge spectacle and ensured excellent musicianship and great choirs.

Beside the orchestra and the Mat Sinner band the five Rock legends were the stars at this evening and the first one in line was Midge Ure from Ultravox - a very sympathic guy and an amazing singer. I think I don't need to say that every song he played is an evergreen. "Hymn", "Vienna" and "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" brought back great memories of the good old 80's. These songs still fascinate generations of people. You could really feel that, because the audience was mixed - there were many very young people, as well as older people and everybody was thrilled.

After this strong performance the show was getting a bit more heavy when Joe Lynn Truner entered the stage. Especially "I Surrender" and "Since You Been Gone" turned up the heat in the arena. Joe is still a fantastic entertainer who has just fun on stage and who likes what he is doing. You feel that he is a passionate musician and his great voice didn't lose anything of its magic over the years. Thumbs up for his performance!

So everything was fantastic on stage, but until that point there was one major problem - and that was the audience. Personally I really hate it when there are only seats, because that means most people just sitting there and clapping a bit with their hands. Yeah and this is what happend. Although there are Classic arrangements it is still a Rock'n'Roll concert, so why is everybody sitting on their seats?! Midge and Joe had a hard time to make the audience move. So to everybody who was sitting in the audience: make a little bit more party and have fun!


Luckily Kim Wilde didn't give up animating the crowd and she succeeded. "Cambodia" and "Kids In America" made the audience move and cheering. Although I wouldn't say that Kim Wilde belongs to the Rock artists she made an incredible job and her Pop songs sounded stronger than ever with these Rock and orchestra arrangements. I'd say that sounded better than the original versions.

After her performance it was time for a short break. A security member used this time to complain about me, because I shot some videos. I've been to a lot concerts now and only at the Arena Leipzig it's not allowed to capture some video material. So sorry folks, but since then I couldn't do more videos.

So, after the short break it was Oliver Hartmanns turn: he sang Pink Floyds "Another Brick In The Wall" in a pretty good version. Right after this classic two legends entered the stage: Mick Box and Bernie Shaw of Uriah Heep spread a fantastic 70's mood with their Evergreens "Free Me" and "Lady In Black". Especially singer Bernie Shaw knew exactly how to handle the crowd. It was pure fun to see them rock out on stage and again I just can say that the orchestra in the background was amazing. I'd love to buy a Rock Meets Classic record with all songs from the show after a tour. It's strange that  no one had this idea already. I think this would be a bestseller and also people, who couldn't see the shows would have the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful versions.

After the appearence of Uriah Heep you could feel lots of tension in the whole venue, because it was time for the headliner of this evening: the moment I was waiting for - the master himself, Mr. Alice Cooper entered the stage with his Rock-Chick Orianthi. Suddenly the wohle venue was out of control and there was lots of energy in the audience. "House Of Fire" was the perfect opener and also "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Poison" ensured great party feeling. I was surprised how good these songs sounded with an orchestra. Some months ago I couldn't imagine how it would sound. I mean Alice Cooper with an orchestra, this is something that happens once in a lifetime and it was simply brilliant. I will miss those arrangements on future Alice Cooper shows. The cult-Rocker was in top form and also Orianthi did again an amazing job on the guitar - as always. I love this girl.

So after two and a half hours the show came to an end and all musicians sang the Cooper classic "School's Out" for the grand finale. This was the most stunning moment for me: seeing all these cult stars together on one stage. It was unbelivable. The  grande finale was supported by pyro-effects, big ballons and huge streamers. You can imagine how spectacular that was.

So, if I should descibe this show with one word, I'd say "bombastic". Sorry for all this superlatives, but it really was that good. It was a great experience and I just can recommend you to attend one of the shows in 2015. I can't wait for the next line-up. "Rock Meets Classic" is an event, which is woth it to travel to Germany (or to any other country where these shows take place). Believe me, you won't regret it!

You'd like to see more pictures from the show? Then take a look at the official Facebook-Page to this blog:


01. The Show Must Go On (Queen cover)
02. Hymn (with Midge Ure, Ultravox cover)
03. Breathe (with Midge Ure, Ultravox cover)
04. Vienna (with Midge Ure, Ultravox cover)
05. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes (with Midge Ure, Ultravox cover)
06. I Surrender (with Joe Lynn Turner, Rainbow cover)
07. Stone Cold (with Joe Lynn Turner, Rainbow cover)
08. Love Conquers All (with Joe Lynn Turner, Deep Purple cover)
09. Since You Been Gone (with Joe Lynn Turner, Rainbow cover)
10. Beethoven, Symphony No. 5, 1st set (orchestra)
11. You Came (with Kim Wilde)
12. Cambodia (with Kim Wilde)
13. You Keep Me Hangin' On (with Kim Wilde)
14. Kids In America (with Kim Wilde)
15. Another Brick In The Wall (with Oliver Hartmann on vocals, Pink Floyd cover)
16. Easy Livin' (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw, Uriah Heep cover)
17. Free Me (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw, Uriah Heep cover)
18. July Morning (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw, Uriah Heep cover)
19. Lady In Black (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw, Uriah Heep cover)
20. He's A Pirate (orchestra, Hans Zimmer cover)
21. House Of Fire (with Alice Cooper & Orianthi)
22. No More Mr. Nice Guy (with Alice Cooper & Orianthi)
23. Only Women Bleed (with Alice Cooper & Orianthi)
24. Welcome To My Nightmare (with Alice Cooper & Orianthi)
25. Poison (with Alice Cooper & Orianthi)
26. School's Out (all together)

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