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savatage in germany - august 1998

from RockHard (Germany)
translated by Ellen Bakvis

from the w.o.a program folder

There have been two striking touchstones for Savatage. The death of Criss Oliva, who was killed in a car crash in 1993 and the succession of Jon Oliva as the frntman by Zak Stevens. The loss of Criss has definitely left it's marks, but it has been a good decision to go on. And the decision of taking on Zak Stevens as the frontman has also proven itself to be a lucky strike, while he lifted up the commercial potential of the band. Live, the band always surprises us with Jon singing two older songs - cult! With their absolutely incredible stage show they will certainly be a headliner of almost the highest carat, that Wacken has set eyes upon thus far. It goes without saying that their last couple of tours over here were all sold out. Those who haven't been able to see them, will be able to make up for that now...

wacken open air festival - 8/8/98

Let's start with the bad news : An evil sound that overpowered the first 30 minutes and didn't really disappear during all of the 19 songs either. The good news: basically these are five frontmen (phantastic counterpoint vocals !) who know how to fill any stage with athmosphere and enthousiasm and who can present us with a mix of different characters. The setlist of the last tour ('Hall Of The Mountain King', 'Dead Winter Dead', 'Gutter Ballet', 'Sirens'...) had its peak in Jon Oliva's solo part during ' When The Crowds Are Gone / Believe ' - when even grown men cry... Or to quote the Mountain King : " This is what music is all about!" And so we almost had to beat these guys off the stage....

Francoise Berger

hagen, berelethalle - 8/9/98

Savatage, Iced Earth, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Symphony X, Angeldust, Pegazus, Murder One

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Even though the very old songs like "Power Of The Night' or 'The Dungeons Are Calling' were missing again, Savatage did very well and delivered a Best of Set that astonished everybody. The intro with 'Hall Of The Mountain King' raised great expectations that were fulfilled with songs like 'Chance' or "The Hourglass'. And when the guys then tuned in 'When The Crowds Are Gone', that seamlessly merged into "Believe' , to be followed immediately by 'Gutter Ballet', it definitely wasn't just me who was almost moved to tears. And even though the sound quality wasn't exactly perfect, at least "Tonight He Grins Again' deliverd proof of the fact that the Florida-boys still belong to the best Metal combo's of this planet. They simply have a lot more to offer than just a few riffs and drumbeats. Namely a thing called emotion. Criss would have been proud of you !

Boris Kaiser.