Tilburg/The Netherlands
November 13, 1998

from Aardschok, January 1999 (Netherlands)
by Ron van Hal
translated by Yvonne Kluitman
corrected by Thomas Lipschultz, Wyrdwad


It's not usual to start a concert review with an impression of the venue. An exeption is made with pleasure about the new concert hall 013 in Tilburg. From the outside, standing in the rain (what's new in the Netherlands/YK), the 5 milion dollar building doesn't impress me yet. Once inside I'm convinced right away that every dime was worth the effort. The sphere of the old concert hall of Tilburg "The Noorderligt" has been maintained even though 013 is almost twice as big (2200 "seats" instead of 1200). The hall is built like a cinema without seats so wherever you stand you get a good view of the stage, which is a LOT bigger. The hall is equipped with balconies on both sides and a good air-conditioner which works so well that on a sold-out night like this it's actually cold on some moments. When the sight, sound and light also turn out to be OK, I can declare 013 the most beautiful place in the Dutch club circuit for sure.

Vengeance has the very great honour to open 013 unofficialy tonight (the official opening will take place in two days). Before Vengeance starts they receive their new single "crazy horses"out of the hands of guitarist Jan Akkerman. The ancient t-shirt of Goewie(vocalist/YK) stating: "Do you hate hard rock? Guess you've never seen Vengeance" sets the sphere of a typical Vengeance gig. Goewie runs around on stage, dressed in a pilot outfit with a turban worn during the not-so-good playing of "Arabia" and still throws lots of beer and whiskey-cola over his head. Thanks to his enternaining performance also, the new songs "Flight 19" and "Planet Zilch" get civilized reactions and even the out of date sounding songs "Take it or leave it", "May heaven strike me down" and "Take me to the limit" get a good response. Strange enough Goewie wrestles with his microphone during the first four songs. With the classic "Rock and roll shower" and the Osmond-cover "Crazy horses" the Vengeance party is over (thank God/YK).

After a (very long) break, the born musicians of Savatage climb the stage for one of the best concerts I've seen this year. Last year in the Noorderligt I thought they were almost too nice, tonight I see a band reigning on every level ! Again we get 140 minutes of the best Sava songs in an excellent performance. Nothing new sofar. It's the circumstances that make this gig fascinating: the new hall, the great lightshow (hey Taz/YK) the vocal interaction between Jon and Zak (now more than ever) the beautiful instrumental tribute of Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery to their late friend and former guitarist of the band Criss Oliva and Jon Oliva's solo interpretation of half of the "Streets" album ("A little too far", "Heal my soul" and "Believe"). And when you can make an appeal to the band for songs as "Chance" (with a perfect canon-part), "Edge of thorns", "Sirens", "Gutter ballet", a medley of almost all the other "Streets" songs, the surprising "Strange wings" / "Dungeons are calling" and the traditional encore "Hall of the mountain king" (where we actually can hear Zak Stevens grunt with the help of a vocal effect), you're quite rightly are one of my favourite bands.

After the gig I explore the rest of the 013 building in a flash (including the new Bat Cave (the small concert hall of the building/YK)). I miss the first part of the heavy seventies gig. Fortunately I'm back just in time to see them at work with Chris Caffery. Chris is in charge of the vocals, raping the ZZ top song "Tush" ('I'm just looking for some beaver') and to the relief of the HS is leaving the stage again after this. About 800 people are partying on a greatest hits set along with songs from Foreigner, Thin Lizzy and Queen. A perfect closing of this festive evening.

<< back