SAVATAGE January 5, 1996
Concert Review


Biebob, Vosselaar (Belgium)

The band:
Zak Stevens: Lead Vocals
Johnny Lee Middleton: Bass
Chris Caffery: Guitar
Al Pitrelli: Lead Guitar
Jeff Plate: Drums
Jon Oliva: Keybords, Backing Vocals

Playlist: (probably not completely in order)

1) Christmas Eve/Nothings Going On 2) Jesus Saves 3) Edge Of Thorns 4) Taunting Cobras 5) Handful Of Rain 6) Starlight 7) Alone You Breathe (Criss's Song) 8) Chance 9) Doesn't Matter Anyway 10) Mozart And Madness 11) Dead Winter Dead 12) Gutter Ballet 13) Sirens 14) Hall Of The Mountian King 15) This Is The Time


The last time Savatage played in Belgium was during the Edge Of Thorns tour with OverKill. They couldn't make it to Europe last year because there were some problems with their management, so they play a lot from Handful of Rain on the current European tour.

'Den Biebob' is a very small place, I don't think that it can hold more than about 300 people so naturally it was sold out. Anyway, support band Sinner started at about 8.45 PM. It's a typical German band like The Scorpions, not very original.

A bit past ten all lights went out and after the intro (Christmas Eve) Savatage came on stage to play their second show in Europe this year. They started with Nothings Going On followed by Jesus Saves. Then Jon Oliva started a short improvisation on his keyboard as intro for Edge Of Thorns. I must say that this song sounded much better than on "Japan Live '94", probably because there are two guitarist again. I don't know exactly what the next song was but I think it was Taunting Cobras; the crowd went wild and some people started skydiving (I wonder if they hit the ceiling). The next song (I guess) was Handfull Of Rain, I must admit that at first I didn't recognise it, Al Pitrelli played the intro not at all like Alex Skolnick plays it. The first new song was Starlight. Then everyone was silent for a while because Zachary Stevens began to talk about Criss Oliva. "We'd like to dedicate this next song to Criss Oliva, what do you say? This is Criss's Song." When they started to play Chance I thought they'd stop after the second part (like on "Japan Live '94") and indeed they did. But then Zachary looked at the crowd with a special look on his face (like he knew we didn't expect them to play the third part) and suddenly they continued. Jon started the final vocal part, Zak did the second voice, Al the third (he had to cover his ears to stick to his part), Chris the fourth then Jon again and Zak ended with "Pictures at an exhibition...". When Zak asked "You wanna do one too Jon?" he answered with "Sure" and Zak went off the stage while the rest played Doesn't Matter Anyway followed by Mozart And Maddness. Zak returned and they played Dead Winter Dead. When Jon played the first tunes of Gutter Ballet everyone started to shout. Jon started teasing us by adding a house beat to the intro. Eventually they played for real, Jon and Zak both did the vocals. After Gutter Ballet everything was quiet for a while until Chris started the intro of Sirens. Naturally everyone sang along. After Sirens the band said goodbye and left. They were called back twice and they played Hall Of The Mountain King and This Is The Time. I don't think This Is The Time is a very good song to end with but anyway, this is definitely the best concert I've ever seen.

Jan Laureyns | E-Mail: | 1ste Kan Informatica WWW address: