MAGNUM / ICONIC EYE
There are constantly bands showing up as opening acts that I've never heard about nowadays. ICONIC EYE is another one in that line. But seeing them at KB opening for MAGNUM it's no wonder I haven't. Even if I've widened my taste quite a lot lately I still haven't gotten that far into the AOR and Melodic Rock scene.
Initially ICONIC EYE felt very tame and timid. The dynamics normally in Melodic Rrock didn't come through at all and it all felt very laid back. Ok, vocalist Jane Gould did a very good job at the front trying to lure people in to the show. I liked her angelic voice. She still has a Rock voice, not like the Goth-type female fronted bands with a more operatic style. But still, very delicate and clear. And that's something, with my knowledge about the genre that makes ICONIC EYE stand out.
Fun, or ironic though was that for the last songs the pre-recorded backtrack device broke down and the band continued without it. I guess that could be the reason for the earlier, not so intense part of the show. This gadget messed up the sound and did not allow the band to relax and just perform. Because for these last few songs there was a completely new confidence on stage. The energy-level went up and it became a lot of fun to watch ICONIC EYE. Now I recognize the style! It's no secret I'm no fan of backtracks and pre-recorded stuff and this was just another confirmation that pure live music is the best. And ICONIC EYE would have come off much better from start if they could have delivered as the last few songs. But at least the end was really good.
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Then, to prepare for MAGNUM everything was removed from stage including front-line monitors. Those fancy in-ear systems sure bring the artists closer to the crowd. And since there was no fence and photo-pit at KB it was clear that this was going to be a very intimate show. It's impossible not to like Bob Catley, his shrewd smile just boosts the joy of seeing him and the band. The way he takes on the stage is just extraordinary, which has been the case for the last couple of years and there was no exception this time. Not more than he seemed very pleased with having the front row consisting mainly of women and went about to say hi to everyone handing out hand-kisses and all.
Fantastic “When We Were Younger” started the set followed by the title track from their last album “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies”. It all sounds perfect. Since last round, keyboard playing Mark Stanway and drummer Harry James have been replaced by Rick Benton respective Lee Morris. It's of course always sad to see long time members go but judging on how bored Mark looked at the last tour I think this was the right way to go. I mean, seeing him with GRAND SLAM at 'Sweden Rock Festival' the same year it was hard to believe it was the same guy. And music should be fun and since both Rick and Lee did great here it's all for the best.
I expected quite a lot of new material from MAGNUM, they have been playing almost solely new material for some years now. And that was what happened, a few more from “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies” mixed up with the title-track from brand new “Lost On The Road to Eternity”, “Without Love” and “Peaches And Cream”, all three very good songs which shows that MAGNUM is still going strong when it comes to new music as well. Most people seemed to enjoy it all very much but of course there were a few just waiting for some classics shouting for “Vigilante” and “Kingdom Of Madness”. There was one guy that was particularly loud with regards to this and the scream he uttered when Bob presented “How Far Jerusalem” was deafening. The really funny thing though was that he didn't know one bit of the lyrics. He even f**ked up the chorus-line with something completely different and then just kept shouting for the coming parts. I love that song and was happy it was included in the set. “On A Storytellers Night” is a great album from start to end so that also “Les Morts Dansant” and later on “All England's Eyes” showed up satisfied me.
The main set was wrapped up with “Vigilante” and the fantastic “Don't Wake The Lion (Too Old to Die Young)”. The latter is a massive piece and includes a lot of parts and passages. Bob Catley steals much of the visual aspect of the show while Tony Clarkin hides with his guitar in his corner of the stage and is easy to look past. But for this one. His delivery, his tone and the dynamic in his playing is just phenomenal. The rest of the band of course also should have kudos for how fantastic this sounded.
After a very short break MAGNUM came back for a few encores. First out was “The Spirit” which was received ok at least. I think people expected older material, like “Kingdom of Madness” but instead came “When The World Comes Down” from “Vigilante” afterwards and closed the show. I actually think it's pretty cool of a band to exclude one of their biggest songs from the live-set. I would have wanted to hear it of course. But still I like it when bands go against the must's and should do's. That builds my respect for the band, as did this show. MAGNUM seems to have a lot of fun playing these days. It spreads in the venue and everyone I talked to afterwards said the same, another fantastic show, awesome and fun to watch and a feel-good moment.
01. “When We Were Younger”
02. “Sacred Blood “Divine” Lies”
03. “Lost On The Road To Eternity”
04. “Crazy Old Mothers”
05. “Without Love”
06. “Your Dreams Won't Die”
07. “Peaches And Cream”
08. “How Far Jerusalem”
09. “Les Morts Dansant”
10. “Show Me Your Hands”
11. “All England's Eyes”
13. “Don't Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young)”
14. “The Spirit”
15. “When The World Comes Down”
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