This was the first time I'd ever seen Yngwie live in concert, and I had been looking forward to it for months. I certainly wasn't disappointed! The performance was spectacular, the musicianship flawless and the volume LOUD!!! Held at the Thebarton Theatre, it was the perfect sized venue, large enough for a good crowd, but small enough to remain intimate. Although it wasn't quite sold out, the fans were enthusiastic and certainly showed their appreciation by making a lot of noise. The tour was in support of Yngwie's "Unleash The Fury" album, and he certainly did that…
The night began in total darkness, broken only by the trademark sound of the scalloped Fender being strangled through a Marshall stack. Then the lights flashed on with the band appearing out of the mist of dry ice to play a furious version of "Rising Force". There was no letting up as they tore through the opening section of the show, which included "Demon Driver", "Cracking The Whip" and other new and classic Yngwie songs. He then played "Adagio" and this led straight into one of my favourite Yngwie songs "Far Beyond The Sun". I'll tell you, when he played the opening chords of that song, the crowd just erupted, myself included! Yngwie may be getting older, but he certainly hasn't lost any of his speed, handling his earlier songs with ease. An excellent acoustic solo followed, and being a classical guitarist myself, I certainly appreciated seeing him shred on an acoustic guitar. Another awesome instrumental in "Baroque 'N Roll" followed before the powerful renditions of "I Am A Viking" and "Locked And Loaded". This was followed by "Trilogy Suite" and a cool version of blues song "Red House". He then played one of my favourite songs of the night "Fugue" from his concerto suite, with a backing track from the orchestra. A brief drum solo was next, followed by a few more songs to finish off the main set. The encore consisted of another acoustic solo, which led into "Black Star" and then "I'll See The Light Tonight" finished off what was an amazing night of guitar driven virtuosity!
Yngwie's band was excellent throughout the whole night. I was very excited to see Derek Sherinian on keyboards as I am a massive Planet X and Dream Theater fan. He complemented Yngwie perfectly, matching his solo's brilliantly. Patrick Johansson was powerful on the drums all night with his barrage of double bass pedal, and contributed an impressive drum solo. Mic Cervino was also solid in rounding out the rhythm section on bass. Doogie White was surprisingly good on the vocals, and although he appeared to lose his voice towards the end of the night, the band covered well and none of the intensity was lost. As usual, Yngwie was amazing on the guitar, spewing forth fiery, neo-classical runs at the speed of light, without letting up the entire night. Two and a half hours of unrestrained, shredded bliss made the night one which will be remembered for a long time to come.