Joe Lynn Turner / George Gakis
Date: 28th September, 2016
Venue: PH Cafeen
Ticket: 180DKK (€24/$27)
Promoter: Mighty Music
Photos: Erika Wallberg
With the Kip Winger show fresh in mind from the night before, it felt great to return to PH Cafeen for another night full of music. And to get to see Joe Lynn Turner on a small place like this one, felt like a true honor. He's been a part of the music business for decades and has been playing with some of the most influential bands of the scene. Also, I've only seen him perform twice before, once with DEEP PURPLE on the "Slaves And Masters" tour and once with BRAZEN ABBOT, both shows fantastic.
But let’s start from the beginning of the night. Greek multi-talent George Gakis, who did a guest appearance with Kip Winger the night before, opened this evening. Based on how great he did the previous night, my expectations was set high for this warm-up show. Also, from experience, Greek musicians are normally very talented, especially when it comes to vocalists; it seems there is a dozen of such guys and George is one more to confirm that. “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, which started the set, got the crowd going. In comparison with the night before, this was a standing concert which now instead felt a little odd but in the end it did work for an acoustic show. In general, the atmosphere was light and easy going and people were encouraged to sing and clap which let it all loose a bit. “Dead Or Alive” and “Blaze Of Glory” worked fine too. His range when it comes to vocal abilities is really fantastic really.
The time I thought it got really exciting during George’s gig was when he played one of his own songs, “Street Of Broken Dreams” which was recorded together with Joe Lynn Turner. This is a fantastic mid-tempo track which worked extremely in the acoustic version. Unfortunately, that was the only original song of the setlist. In a way, I can understand this but I still think it’s a bit unfortunate to not push originals in front of classics. On the other hand, the medley of “Stairway To Heaven”, “Temple Of The King”, “Angie”, “Lady In Black”, “Holiday” (with a fantastic imitation of Klaus Meine, another Greek specialty, copy freakishly close to the original), “Hotel California” and “Soldier Of Fortune". Maybe not in the correct order and I may have missed some too. “Is This Love” ended the set and went down really well with the crowd, as all the rest. Absolutely, George did a great job both with the vocals and the guitar, but why all these covers?
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As George also played with Joe Lynn Turner, the stage was set and ready as soon as George left, and after a very short break, he returned to introduce Joe Lynn Turner. At this time, the place was basically full and really started to get heated up. It almost felt surreal to stand 1-2m away from Joe and I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I've seen most all of the classic bands and musicians but not all of them from this close and I'm really happy I managed to get one of the front row places to be able to watch it all in detail. “Hush” opened the set and was followed by “Gimme Some Lovin'”, THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP's groovy classic hit and I guess this set the expectations for what was to follow. I must admit I was a bit disappointed; not with the playing or the performance byJoe and George, it all was close to perfect. I mean, Joe’s voice these days is stronger than ever and he really sounds fantastic. But the selection of songs... He mentioned doing this for fun and I guess it's his all time favorites being played. But... I was really thrilled when he started to tell the stories about joining RAINBOW (follow Joe HERE to learn more), how songs were written. To allow enough time for story-telling was one of the best parts here. And to have a good story, connected to the song and then have “Stone Cold” kicked off made really made it a full experience.
One of the covers I really enjoyed though was the VAN MORRISON tune “Moondance”, an epic with a great vocal line. I'd never heard it before and I can't say I've ever listened to Van The Man so this song came as a big surprise. Like it happened the night before the requests started coming the moment a song had ended. “Catch The Rainbow” was one of the most requested songs and apparently it was planned for later in the set. But after a rather vile comment from Joe making fun of one of the requests the song was moved up in the set. And absolutely, this too worked perfectly.
One of the most hysteric moments of the show and potentially in Joe's career too was the story about Room 1204 at the Scandinavian Hotel in Copenhagen when he was on his first tour with RAINBOW. Mischief and pranks like that can't be done these days without getting arrested, let's say this. “Street Of Dreams” followed and sounded absolutely fantastic. Apparently George Gakis wasn't an Elvis fan at all, but as Joe was the boss, a few of his was played anyway. Songs from THE DOORS, Chuck Berry, STEPPENWOLF were also included and everything came out great of course but I had my mind set on many more RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE songs rather than those. “King Of Dreams” came though so that was cool.
It might seem as I'm complaining about the show which absolutely isn't the case. It was absolutely fantastic to hear Joe sing all these songs, to experience it from up close and to really hear his vocal abilities. There were multiple occasions when I got goose-bumps all over or when the sound of his voice sent shivers down my spine. And with only two acoustic guitars and vocals, you need to do it good as there's nothing to hide behind - it's all very naked and intimate. But everything was absolutely flawless and to get the privilege to see Joe perform at a place like this and share the moment with just 100 others was a fantastic experience. But a bit of a shame he didn't play any of his fantastic solo stuff...
Joe Lynn Turner
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