Friday, October 3, 2014

Uli Jon Roth and Crystal Breed- Amager Bio, Copenhagen Oct 2nd, 2014

Uli Jon Roth is one of my all-time favourite guitar players. He started out in the Scorpions in the early 70s and then left and had a cool band called Electric Sun in the 80s and then for the last many years has toured under his own name playing mostly his own music mixed with Jimi Hendrix songs.  This was the 40th anniversary of his debut with the Scorpions so he was doing primarily a set of old Scorpions songs and mixing the sets up every night and not just doing the same Scorpions songs every night (at least that is what I read in an interview).

          Sue and I walked down to the club about 19:30 and were lucky enough to run into a guy selling two tickets for half price so that was a great start. We later met up with Nils, Sven, Magnus and Finn, which was really nice. It was a mostly older crowd. At 20:15, the opening band, which made up most of Uli’s backing band as well played first. They played about a 45min set of very complicated progressive rock with a pretty hard edge at times but also the sort of high pitched vocal styling’s of the neo-prong bands from the UK in the 80s. Amazing musicians. I was really blown away by the keyboard player and the guitarist who sang most of the lead vocals, was also great but did not show is true form until much later in their set. I filmed one track which was something totally new that they had not recorded yet.  They were not bad..

We went outside for some air on this very warm evening for October while they changed some things on the stage. The band hit the stage at 21:30 and would play for about 2hrs. It was a totally different band compared to when he last played here. They opened with All Night Long, the opening track from Tokyo Tapes. The concert was mix of the more popular Scorpions songs like Pictured Life, We burn the Sky, Dark Lady (last song before the encore), In Trance and more obscure songs like I’ve got to be Free (which was quite jammed out and all members has short solos), The Sails of Charon, where Uli did an amazing solo. Others they played were Catch your train, Longing for Fire, Fly to the Rainbow and Drifting Sun. The encore started off with Polar Nights and then he invited a 12 year old Swedish girl out who he said, her band had covered one of his songs and they played Hellcat with her on drums. She rocked and was great! See the video by Mathias.  Wow.. Next we got some Hendrix tracks and the show ended with a cool version of All along the Watchtower.

The Sails of Charon live in Copenhagen...

          He had a great band but I am puzzled by why they play the songs so fast. It is like a speed metal version of the Scorpions and there are three amazing guitar players who each on their own were really keeping up with Uli and totally ripping it up at times with triple harmony guitars. The keyboard guy was totally pointless to have except that he did a lot of the singing with the guitar player from Crystal Breed who, did the lead vocals. You could not hear the keyboards at all where we stood in front on Uli half way back and the Scorpions never had keyboards!   Anyway, I wish they would slow the songs down to the old speed but I think it has to do with Uli can play his old solos twice as fast today as he did back in the old days and it fits better if the songs are also faster but they just don’t sound right to me, who has heard the old Scorpions records 100s of times…  Anyway, always a pleasure to see Uli play that guitar and hear these classic songs.. Great night…

1 comment:

  1. Has Uli Jon Roth ever done anything with Frank Marino? They'd be perfect together with their similar influences and styles.