MAGNUM / MAJOR INSTINCT
I was surprised that the queue was rather long outside the venue 15 minutes before the place had opened and even more surprised that it grew quickly and at the top of the hour reached all the way around the corner. Even if the crowds at Sticky Fingers normally are good it's very rare that it's more than 20 people waiting outside before the place opens. I'm not sure if it was sold out as last time, when people had to turn around when they reached at the door. But if not, it must have been rather close to being full.
And full of alcohol this crowd was something that was proven early since MAJOR INSTINCT got some really good response. Ok, they perhaps had their own fan-club with them to boost the video-shoot for “I Need A Drink” which worked out really well, most of the crowd clapped along and shouted for more when the song was over. That people drink at Hard Rock shows is perhaps not all that strange but to have a crowd mainly consisting of men at 40+, drunk as skunks are not very common. The excitement was in the air and most of them did their duty supporting MAJOR INSTINCT as well. But there was also a few really booing them out.
Although a few of them looked rather familiar I can't say I've ever heard of MAJOR INSTINCT prior to this show. So it was a pleasant surprise getting some DEEP PURPLE oozing Heavy Rock with catchy vocal lines. Stefano Marchesini’s Brian Johnson look perhaps became a little too much but apart from that he looked and sounded amazing. It was very smart of them to put the monitors for the lead vocals on the side of Stefano to allow him to interact with the crowd. Reading up a bit about MAJOR INSTINCT I realized that both drummer Johan Häll and bass player B.J Laneby were part of the Swedish Hard Rockers M.ILL.ION and that’s why they looked familiar. And no wonder that the quality of MAJOR INSTINCT was high. I really liked M.ILL.ION, but I guess I have to settle with MAJOR INSTINCT these days.
One of the absolute coolest things with the show was Gabriel Glamheden who brought a real Hammond organ to the stage. First of all, to be able to squeeze it in up there and then to carry it. That's really not a one man’s job. Also, that he did a John Lord thing and tilting it and smacked it to the floor creating a thunderous effect. That's respect and damn cool. The Set closer “High Five” worked well too and made a nice ending to a very good show.
(click to enlarge)
But there was no doubt, feeling the tension in the air, that it was MAGNUM who were the main attraction and who lure the people to Sticky Fingers that early to form a queue outside. Taking into consideration how people behaved in the beginning of the night and how damn drunk they appeared to be I thought it would have been a rather rough show. But the fascinating thing was that people seemed to sober up when show-time approached. The loud mannish laughs and rumbling around just stopped and the same guys looked like kids around a Christmas tree instead.
“Soldier Of The Line” opened the set in a magnificent way but it was for “On A Storyteller's Night” when the frenzy really started. The screams sounded more like 14-year old girls than 40-year old men at this point. Bob Catley still sounds absolutely fantastic and it was good to see him in a denim jacket compared to the sparkly shirts he normally wears; this suited him perfectly. For sure MAGNUM have been around for decades and have started to come up in age as well but the energy they performed with is fantastic. That the response went down a little for title track of brand new “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies” is not so surprising, still most people around me knew this song too which is very good to see.
“Dance Of The Black Tattoo” is one of my more recent favorites so I was really happy to get to hear that one. What actually surprised me yet again was the number of new tracks featured in the set. Not that I mind, on the contrary, I really enjoy the new stuff as well. And to get five songs from the new album, apart from the title track also “Crazy Old Mothers”, the divine ballad “Your Dreams Won’t Die”, “Twelve Men Wise and Just” and my favorite from the album “Princess in Rags (The Cult)”. More bands should really learn from MAGNUM and skip some of the stuff they've always done and play more new material, at least for a tour or two. This show was a very good sample that it actually works.
Just before show a roadie taped the setlists on the stage, it's good for the show review of course but the bad thing was that all around me knew exactly what was to come next. Even if I try to catch the setlist I rarely look at it until afterwards, now the songs were shouted out just while Bob was introducing them. No matter what, “How Far Jerusalem” gained one of the most massive responses of the night. It's absolutely fantastic and still feels relevant even if it's been out for over 30 years now. “Les Morts Dansant” got the same treatment too and with this one I actually thought that the guys around me would start to cry.
The atmosphere in the venue was really good so it didn't turn out the way I expected it to at all. Everyone just seemed so joyful when MAGNUM played; I’m talking about true happiness and not at all that rough drunken attitude appearing during MAJOR INSTINCT's gig. “Vigilante” ended the main set and showed that the crowd was hungry for more.
MAGNUM came back and did “Kingdom Of Madness” which is a true classic but it felt a little cheap with only one encore. The response from the crowd had been great all night and really peaked with “Vigilante”. There was actually one more listed and I wonder why they didn't do that one. Also, would MAGNUM be able to play at a bigger venue in Gothenburg? Sticky Fingers was packed the two times I've seen them there so they should be able to do this I think. Anyway, it was a fantastic performance by MAGNUM and to prove that. I was dead tired getting to Sticky Fingers but the show gave me energy it was actually hard to sleep when I got back home.
01. "Soldier Of The Line"
02. "On A Storyteller's Night"
03. "Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies"
04. "Freedom Day"
05. "Dance Of The Black Tattoo"
06. "Crazy Old Mothers"
07. "Blood Red Laughter"
08. "Your Dreams Won’t Die"
09. "How Far Jerusalem"
10. "Unwritten Sacrifice"
11. "Twelve Men Wise And Just "
12. "Les Morts Dansant"
13. "All England's Eyes"
14. "Princess In Rags (The Cult)"
16. "Kingdom Of Madness"
(click to enlarge)