Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force ali zgodba kako pomeriti (velike!) Blackmore-jeve čevlje (2003)

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Lokacija: Dunaj (Wien) / Planet Music / Austria
Datum: 22.03.2003


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Staro mesto naših obiskov na idealni dan, soboto! Pozno popoldne smo kot prvi vdrli v preddverje Planet Musica. Tam je vladala smrtna tišina. Vse je bilo lepo pospravljeno, reklamni letaki so bili skrbno založeni in naznanjali burno pomlad predvsem kar se tiče obiska starih rokerskih in blueserskih legend (Big Brother And Holding Company, The Yarbirds, Paul McCartney, John Mayal).

V spremstvu hostese Planet Musica jo je mimo nas ucvrl Dougie White (ex-Rainbow). Malmsteenov pevec je pomahal in obljubil, da bo takoj prišel k nam. Seveda je takoj stekla beseda o Ritchieu Blackmoreu in o tem kako Dougie gleda nanj in celotno situacijo, ki se vrti (ali se je vrtela) okrog Rainbow. Očitno pozitivno presenečen, nad tremi manijaki, ki jih zanimajo bolj korenine, kot novodobni trendi je razdal skrivnost kaj počne trenutno Yngwie: “Gleda CNN!” Valjda v kafiču znotraj Planeta Music, pa je kar pograbil material namenjen podpisovanju in se prijazno ponudil, da bo šel k maestru po podpise. Yngwie je poznan po svoji nedostopnosti in kuleričnih izpadih (zaradi ene takih kuleričnih peripetij, v kar ga je baje napeljala žena (normalno, ženske kdo pa drug), je končal za zapahi, ko jo je preganjal s kuhinjskim nožem po njunem stanovanju v Los Angelesu). Vanj se je naselil Blackmoreov duh in Yngwie je dobesedno obseden z Blackmoreom (o tem kasneje), ki ima skoraj identične značajske lastnosti. Medtem se je od nekod vzel basist Mick Cervino (ex-Blasckmore’s Night) in znova je tekla beseda o Ritchieu. Cervino je naglas priznal, da turneja z Malmsteenom poteka fantastično za razliko od njegovega nekdanjega druženja z Blackmore’s Night, ko se je pripetilo tudi to, da je Ritchie med koncertom prišel do Micka in zarisal črto na odru ter določil kje se lahko Cervino sploh giblje. Yngwie je druga pesem, on ti dopušča popolno svobodo na odru.

Dougie je prinesel naš plen (avtogrami): “Master sends me!” je bil kratek, ko je predajal Yngwieve avtograme. Dodal je še: “Tonska proba, bodite pozorni, igrali bomo v glavnem Deep Purple in Hendrixa!”

Medtem je bilo očitno poročil na CNN-u konec in skoraj dvometrski možakar se je prikazal v “pelzmontlnu”, škrlatnosvileni srajci in po dolgrm in počez okrancljan z verižicami. Ygwie jo je oblečen kar v odrski opremi mahnil na tonsko probo, medtem ko je Dougie skakal še v trenirki naokoli.

In res je skupina žgala Hendrixa (Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile), Black Sabbath (Heaven And Hell, Children Of The Sea), Deep Purple (You Fool No One) med tonsko probo. Seveda Yngwie ni mogel zdržati brez preigravanja del svojih najljubših klasikov.

No pojdimo k bistvu. Ob 20:15 so se prikobalili na oder lokalni fantje, ponos mesta Dunaj, imenovani Codex. Zvok je bil idealen, za predskupino več kot idealen, pravzaprav popolnoma razločen. Uporaba stereo chorus efektov, kompresorja, pevčev eho efekt, enega šuma ni bilo slišati. Vendar….No, ne rečem! Fantje so dobri muskontarji, super se ujamejo med seboj. Pevec je očitno še malo manj izkušen obiskovalec odrov, saj je bil preplašen kot zajec. Reševal ga je streniran vokal ob nevživetem pristopu. In kaj so gonili? Obskurno novodobno izpeljanko, …sploh težko doreči. Nekakšen obrat thrasha. Odvzete solaže (kitarist je bil vsekakor klasa, hitro in precizno denfanje strun, prehodi popolnoma čisto odigrani, in odlično polno rifanje), poenostavljeni prehodi, glasba temelječa na poltonskih zaključkih. Torej melodije v klasičnem pomenu besede je bilo bore malo najti. Zvok je bil poln, predvsem po zaslugi odlične opreme in ozvočenja ter usklajenega dela bobnarja, basista in kitarista na odru. Pevec s kristalno čistim streniranim vokalom je skušal vnašati v temačen zvok malo več melodije, a je izpadel premalo opazen. Več agresije, jeze, besa potrebuje. Morda bi kakšen kos surovega konjskega zrezka pomagal. Tega mu je manjkalo. In efekt je bil sledeč. V prvi vrsti sem skoraj, da ne zaspal. A pristop skupine je bil korekten, fantje so se potrudili in vsakokrat so si zaslužili aplavz. Vendar enostavno glasba nima posebne veze z metalom. Generalno gledano bom sedaj izrekel paradoks a vse skupaj je izzvenelo bolj kot pojeklenjen pop, predvsem v pesmi, kjer je bil ritem dobesedno prekopiran iz kakšnih novoromantikov osemdesetih (Spandau Ballet), čez njega pa so bili položenI poltonskI rifi. Poslušali smo tudi U2 (With Or Withouth You), pri čemer sem se spraševal, kaj so U2 naredili takega za dobrobit človeštva, da so si to zaslužili.

No umiranja je bilo po eni uri konec, čakali pa smo še eno uro, zato umiranja še zdaleč ni bilo konec. In končno se je Malmsteen s sodelavci prikazal na odru. Vmes so spustili enormne količine dima na oder, tako da sem se skoraj zadušil, tista reč s katere piha dim pa je sikala kot kača.

Rise Up ob 22:00. Brenčanje frštekarije in nerazločnosti je bilo z naslednjim komadom konec. Ship Of Fools je postavil stvari na svoje mesto. Zvok jasen. Yngwie? Hej, že s prihodom na oder je takoj odbrcal pet trzalic med občinstvo. Vedenjski vzorec kot pogojni refleks. Kot možakar ne varčuje s kitarskim lestvicami, tudi s trzalicami ne. Tako, da nas je popolnoma zamedel z njimi med koncertom. Roadie se je vsaj petkrat prikazal na odru in paranoično zatikal nove na stojalo mikrofona, da jih je maestro vsaj dobrih petdeset razmetal med ljudstvo. To je zanimiv fenomen. Ta način komunikacije kitarskega virtuoza z avditorijem. In te trzalice ležijo vsevprek po odru, med kabli, foot switcherji. Eno trzo je tako močno brcnil, da se je od vampa enega napaljenega fana iz prve vrste odbila, ter pri tem ohranila dovolj kinetizma, da se je vrnila nazaj na oder med monitorje. Na, zdaj me sprašujete, če sem šel gledat na koncert let trzalic in računat proste pade, poševne mete, vodoravne mete in podobne fizikalne reči, ali uživat v glasbi Y.J. Malmsteena? Vendar tega ne bi izpostavil, če ne bi bila takšna posebnost. Nisem še videl glasbenika, ki bi se pri tem tako za(je)baval na odru. Arpeggio, puf trza med folk, nov arpeggio in puf, druga trza med folk….Yngwie se je res brezmejno zabaval pri tem.

No in kmalu smo dočakali sceno, en oder – en človek. Solo točka po Stronghold, ko si je privoščil Yngwie sprehod skozi zapuščino mojstrov klasike Paganinija in Albigionija. Vsaka nota najde locirano in časovno odmerjeno mesto popolnoma usklajeno. Ostro in peklensko hitro ter kot solza čisto. Brzenje in le skrajno navito brzenje je prešlo v naslednjo pesem z zadnje plošče, kjer so se kitarskemu bogu na odru pridružili ostali člani skupine (z izjemo Dougija) saj so odžlajsali točko Baroque And Roll. Pri Dreaming s plošče “The Oddyssey” je prijel Yngwie v roko akustično kitaro, seveda je bila tudi ta opremljena s simbolom vzpenjajočega konja (Ferrarijev simbol, ki simbolizira Yngwiejev band Rising Force), kot pač vsaka njegova bela Fender stratokasterica.

Eden vrhuncev je bila nedvomno izvedba trilogije (Trilogy). Kitarski mitraljezec se je popolnoma razživel in na trenutke dejansko misliš, da je na odru Blackmore. Glede na geste, na igro… Sicer sta po obvladovanju kitare neprimerljiva. Yngwie je Ritchiejeva nadgradnja. Pri dvanajstih letih je znal Yngwie vse Deep Purple solaže odigrati po kitarskem vratu „navzgor in navzdol” vzdolž kitarskega vratu. In njegova obsedenost z Ritchiejem Blackmoreom je na odru več kot očitna (isti model kitare, preigravanje Rainbow in Deep Purple klasik na odru, enake kretnje na odru). To je žal škoda, saj heh.., se tu postavlja retorično vprašanje ali Yngwie izraža sebe ali poskuša izražati Blackmorea. Solo umetnina je prešla v zemeljsko Red House. Hendrixov blues je odpel kar Yngwie sam, ter z vokalom poskušal pričarati tisti zemeljski občutek okajenih nočnih klubov. Ponovno nas je vzdignil na krila s solistično avanturo vzeto iz svoje plošče “Concerto Suite” in sicer Fugue. Malmsteen je prepričal tako še zadnjega nejevernega Tomaža v dvorani tega dne, kdo je gospodar. Maksimalno na vso moč in neutrudno je streljal rafale svetlobno hitrih lestvic ter uprizoril pravi dramatični zaključek svoje najdaljše solo pustolovščine v set listi tako, da je potrgal strune s kitare, maksimalno zjahal tremelo ter ob tem izvedel nekaj gibov ob katerih sem dejansko pomislil, da namerava demolirati kitaro na prafaktorje. V nekem trenutku se je na odru prikazal roadie. Preplašen kot zajec je čakal, da mu na tleh klečeči Yngwie po končani točki vzvratno vrže kitaro v naročje. Jo bo ujel? Roadie je uspešno opravil delo in izginil tja kamor spada. V temno zakulisje.

Yngwie je odšel na zaslužen vrček (dva ali tri?) piva medtem ko smo mi lahko uživali v klaviaturistični solo avanturi, mojstrovinah bas kitarista Micka Cervina (ex-Blackmore’s Night) in topniškem napadu Patricka Johanssona na bobnih, Yngwie je pritekel na oder in družno so vžgali s klasiko You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget, kjer se je publika pričela znova živahneje pozibavati ob petju verzov pesmi. Sredi pesmi je Yngwie kot improvizatorski ekspert zavil “po svoje”. Skupina je vgradila v You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget klasiko Deep Purpleov Demon’s Eye in izkušeno prešla nazaj na refren You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget ter zaključila pesem. “Nekateri ljudje verjamejo v nebesa, Ronnie James Dio verjame v pekel, Yngwie pa verjame v Valhallo!” To je bila Dougijeva napoved zaključne pesmi (prav tako z zadnjega albuma). Kako je navil potenciometre Yngwie mi ni jasno, a v prvi vrsti je njegovo rifanje preglasilo vso skupino, saj je zvok kitare naenkrat postal prebrenčav.

Dodatek. Po akustičnem intru odigranem preko svoje fenderice, je Yngwie odvijačil klasični rif. Mistreated. Ahhh, okej, meni se bo scufalo. Res, da je morda Dougie v primerjavi z Mikeom Boalsom ali Michaleom Vescero v višjih sekvencah “mrzel”, pa je v Mistreated pokazal vse svoje mojstrstvo tehnike petja in vživeto s polno mero improvizacije oživil še eno Deep Purple klasiko iz obdobja njihove Mk.III postave (Lord/Paice/Coverdale/Hughes/Blackmore), ki jo sam osebno najbolj cenim. Seveda si ni Yngwie mogel kaj, da ni rifov kar presoliral z rafali mikronomsko natančnih lestvic ter tako skrajno zabelil pesem. “Za malo malico” je še u nulo skinil originalno Blackmooreovo solažo. Pesem se je zaključila z dolgim grandioznim zaključkom skozi čisti blues vložek. Zares posvetilo legendarnemu bandu (Deep Purpleom), množici pa so ponudili ob tem možnost brezmejne uživancije. Skupina je zaključila koncert z Rising Force. Avditorij je oživel in družno s petjem verzov pomagal pripeljati umetnikom svoj šov h koncu.

Malmsteenov koncert je posebna avantura, drugačna avantura v primerjavi s klasičnimi metalskimi “žur” koncerti in že zato vredna vsakega ogleda. Poleg tega njegove koncerte obiskuje avdienca, ki je malo bolj zrela v smislu, da pridejo na koncerte zares poslušat glasbo. Tu ni bilo moč najti enega zafrustriranega metalčka, ki bi hotel vzbujat svojo pozornost s kakšnim stage diveom, zalivanjem svoje bližnje okolice s pirom, zaletavanjem v ljudi ali s posnemanjem delovanja helikopterske elise s pomočjo svoje trde betice. Super, vsaj z enega koncerta sem prišel suh in moji lasje niso bili zlepljeni skupaj s politim pivom. Yngwie in klapa, see you around!

ENGLISH version:
Being in the same old town and the same old place again, very early to participate that special event, we found enough time to collect and read very precisely all flyers that were revealing hot spring events in Planet Music (Big Brother And Holding Company, The Yarbirds, John Mayal). But after couple of minutes we met Dougie, who was the most active Malmsteen’s member at that moment. We asked him directly: “Where is Yngwie?” And Dougie replied: “He’s watching CNN!” Dougie who worked with Blackmore and did vocals on Rainbow’s “Strangers In Us All” was in good mood, positively surprised with three Purple and Rainbow die-hards and was ready to discus about all sort of things. So we’ve focused on Ritchie’s case.

Mick Cervino (ex- Rainbow’s Night) who also joined us in conversation applied, that Ritchie was even so arrogant that during one gig he approached to position where Mick was doing his bass job on stage and drew a line on the bottom of the stage. This line marked Mick’s active space where he’s aloud to move on stage in order to not cross that line. Mick added that he’s enjoining very much being with Yngwie on tour. The working spirit of touring team is fantastic, everything runs smoothly and Yngwie leaves his mates plenty of room to breathe. Being a part of Malmsten’s team in comparison with Ritchie’s regime full of strange restrictions seems therefore as if you change a night for a day.

Meanwhile Dougie entered the Marshall’s Café in Planet Music where Yngwie was still very busy with watching current CNN news about U.S.A. actions in Iraq. He returned with Yngwie’s signatures saying: “Master sends me!” He also dropped three guitar picks on the table and invited us to enjoy the listening of band’s sound check sessions that will include a lot of stuff from Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix.

And so it was. Sound check jamming delivered Purple Haze, Voodo Chile (Hendrix), Heaven And Hell, Children Of The Sea (Black Sabbath), You Fool No One (Deep Purple) and was spiced up with classical stuff from 19th Century’s translated and extracted into very special Yngwie’s electrical experience.

Let’s get to the point. Codex from Vienna as a local support hit the stage at eight p.m. They offered phenomenal sound as a support group. Supreme sound, they knew the acoustical specifics of Planet Music cellar hall. Everything was crystal clear for an ear. Band was perfectly tuned in. All effects, from singers echo up to stereo chorus and compressor’s ringing were there to help in building a “no mistake” and perfect sound. Guys are four pieced group. Drummer, bassist, guitarist and vocalist. First three are experienced, good musicians and were looking very relaxed. Singer was a little stressed. He wasn’t as convincible as he’s pals. He looked frightened, but he balanced that lack of self confidence with he’s trained clean vocals. From this guy we can expect more in the future, that’s for sure. Maybe a little more emotional expressions on stage wouldn’t harm at all. Codex are trying to develop their unique style. Passages are simplified, almost no guitar solos included, but first class riffing with great palm muted chords. Style is uhh… how to call this? Well, songs are caught in mid tempo thrash drive, based on obscure sounded half tune conclusions. But here we have interesting contrast between melodic clean vocals and this obscure sharp edged music style. General expressions also left a feel that Codex felt out to be slightly poppy (cause of singer’s style). Unfortunately they didn’t get me under their flag, but anyway, I wish them good luck in future. The band included also live performance of U2 With Or Without You. I’m still wondering what this bloody U2 did so special on a rock scene to deserve that?
Well Codex played one hour. We waited another hour for maestro and company to start their show. One plus one makes two hours of dying to meet El President. And he showed up with Rise Up at 22:00 (or 10p.m.). Opener wasn’t sounding clear. Yngwie’s riffing diminished other instruments including Dougie on vocals. But next piece Ship Of Fools placed things where they should be. I’m talking about sound improvement.

Hey, Yngwie just hardly appeared on stage and first thing he was up to do was, guess what? As usual he immediately kicked off a few guitar picks into the crowd. This Yngwie’s behavior strategy is something very interesting to discuss a bit. It is a sort of communication between Yngwie and his audience. During the show, roadie appeared at least for a five times on stage in order to supply Yngwie with guitar picks. Roadie was looking very funny. He was sweating like hell and looking with eyes full of paranoia. I understand that, how can you ever find yourself relaxed in such position? You know that it is funny thing to do, but you must do it. Master commands you to. Well, almost any single time when Yngwie looked to the audience, he threw one pick into the crowd as it would be a part of ordinary way of “day to day” living (sleeping, eating, etc,…). It was funny when I watched how Yngwie kicked one pick with such force that it hit a fan in the front row in his stomach, but still kept enough kinesis, to return back on stage. So picks were lying all over the place. On stage, among the technical equipment, well they just kept on flying from all directions. One arpeggio, one flyin’ guitar pick, next arpeggio, next flyin’ pick. Again and again Yngwie just kept on showering us with those little plastic pieces. And he was having a real big time while doin’ it.

After band did Stronghold we face one stage – one man scene. It was Yngwie’s journey through Paganini’s and Albigioni’s legacy, but blazed out on electric way. Translated hellish precise, every single tune was clearly detached with my ears. It was manifestation of pure speed, speed and again blistering speed of fuckin’ light. Maestro who meanwhile received a company on stage (with Dougie’s exception) drove his band directly (with no pause) in the next instrumental song Baroque And Roll. Dreaming (from “The Odyssey” album) calm things a little bit. Yngwie used for that special acoustic event his guitar with a rising horse symbol drawing on it.

A highlight of that evening was Trilogy. Machine gun guitar hero with his astonishing wizardry all over the guitar’s fingerboard was highly determinate to rip it up. Mood completely took him in and he really gave all his 110% here. I popped my eyes out while standing still in front row with my mouth wide opened. Those were a real breathtaking moments.

What is also very interesting is the fact about Yngwie’s obsession with Ritchie Blackmore. It is an old story but anyway. “At the age of nineteen, he became the Macedonian king”…, sorry (this is Iron Maiden, 1986). Let’s start again. At the age of twelve, he knew all Deep Purple’s solos to slide them in both directions of guitar fingerboard. Yngwie’s gestures on the stage reminds on those of Ritchie, also swinging the guitar around and over his body, than sliding the fingerboard with both hands, etc… This heaven’s solo fantasy faded directly into earthly Hendrix’s cover Red House with Yngwie on lead vocals. He tried to sound raunchy. This move (including of Red House in set list) made a nice contrast to a gig as whole.

Mood completely changed after Yngwie fired Fugue from his album “Concerto Suite”. This was firing storm of blazing arpeggios all over the place again. Where are his fingers, does anybody probably sees them? This was first highlight of the evening. This solo attraction was even lengthened with its orgasmic end with Yngwie who scrapped all six strings from poor instrument and threw them into the audience. At a moment I thought to myself: “Hey, his going for that Hendrix’s ritual!” (to burn guitar with gasoline). But instead of doing this he waited at the end of that act for roadie to appear behind his backs. After a sign, Yngwie thrown instrument over his head backward in the arms of roadie who scored his final touch down.

After that, the band went for a couple of beers. But Mick remained on stage and provided some good vibes out of his astonishing bass solo. After Mick ended his thing, Patrick Johanson’s drum flak began to thunder all over the hall. At a certain point Yngwie ran back on stage and band fired as one You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget. Audience became more active again. In the middle section of a song, maestro started a well known riff. The band incorporated Purple’s classic “Demon’s Eye”. I was amazed. After that Dougie replied to the audience: “Some people believes in heaven, Ronnie James Dio believes in hell, and Yngwie believes in Valhalla!” This was the ending song.

Encore. After acoustically driven intro with his Fender Strato, maestro turned everything into pure delirium by opening theme of another unbeatable Purple’s classic Mistreated. Perhaps Dougie can’t get so high in vocals as his predecessors Mike Boals or Michael Vescera, but with Mistreated he showed all his great talent and amazing feeling for improvisations. He did it with full force, soulful and this felt out to be very convincible. This majesty from Purple’s Mk.III period (Lord/Paice/Coverdale/Hughes/Blackmore) got its wings. Yngwie perforated the song with his solos and arpeggios. Almost all guitar lines where riffs are placed in song’s original version were done in that Yngwie’s fashion and spiced up with all sorts of his own guitar ornaments, as it was actually expected. A long lasting beauty of this song faded into grand bluesy end that seemed as it won’t ever stop. A real dedication to the legendary band. Pure gates of delirium ended with full blown striker Rising Force with audience singing along with the band.

Malmsteen’s show is always something special. It is unique and unusual (from metal maniac’s point of view) and I think that every single one of us should taste it once in his life. It was also cool because there were no frustrated “metal earthdogs” that would come on gig to stage dive or to pour litres of beer on the crowd a and headbang through entire show, giving a common listener a real hard time to enjoy the live act (I’m too old for this shit!). Yngwie and guys, thank you for giving us incredible and unforgettable show. Take care and see you again as soon as possible!

avtor: Aleš Podbrežnik
fotografije: Aleš Podbrežnik

Setlista:
01. Intro 
02. Rise Up 
03. Ship Of Fools 
04. Stronghold 
05. Solo (Yngwie plays Paganini) 
06. Baroque And Roll 
07. Dreaming 
08. Razor Eater 
09. In The Name Of God 
10. Trilogy 
11. Red House 
12. Fugue 
13. Solo Keyboards (incl. Toccata And Fugue) 
14. Solo Bass 
15. Solo Drums 
16. You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget (incl. Demons Eye) 
17. Valhalla 
—dodatek— 
18. Intro 
19. Mistreated 
20. Rising Force


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