John Wetton
June 2nd 1998
Groena Lund Theater, Stockholm, Sweden

By Tigran


I'll try to review now, in my own "very short way", John Wetton's concert from Tuesday night, June the 2nd, here in Stockholm.
So please bear with me, because this was a marvelous night.

Fortunately the concert happened, while the Uppsala one was cancelled. And what a concert it was! If you have Akustika - there you have it! John was singing so good that he performed some songs better than on that album. Incredible power and feeling in the voice. The small, but perfect theater for acoustic occasions, was filled and roaring with John's voice and guitar playing. Awesome!

He basically did a greatest hits selection that night. John said at the beginning that these songs are best done in a original way, in the way they were conceived - acoustically. Without, as he said, super bit mapping, digitalized surround stereo, etc. The voice and the guitar. In some songs he had the recorded keys and background effects, but mostly it was him and the guitar.

We were very enthusiastic crowd, especially as the concert went on. I think John can feel the public - and this one was OK. The funny thing was that we made the "Russian" clapping (party congress clapping in Russia used to last for 15 minutes sometimes), screaming and feet thundering for more than 5 minutes to get John for encores. He came back and probably would have stayed much more than planned if it was possible. Well his tour manager (?) brought out a travel suitcase at the end.

Getting back to the music, he gave his all into the songs - played them flawlessly and with such passion, feeling, power and emotion. truly, as one of the rock columnist remarked that night, one the last rock troubadours was playing that evening. It's a night to cherish for a long time to come. Highlights were Battle Lines, Thirty Years, Hold me Now, The Night Watch, Book of Saturday, Starless and Arkangel. Oh, what the heck - all of them were good. I missed though Only Time Will Tell and Don't Cry. John made occasional jokes in between and announced every song and "the theme" around it or the album. As far as I remember he mentioned that some of the songs 1 or 2 he did in a way like never before - meaning doing them as they were originally conceived - and that was a special treat.

Yes, apologies for forgetness, but in the HEAT OF THE MOMENT one forgets about remembering exact set list and details. The music was so enchanting that we could have stayed there for a couple of more hours. It would be great if he includes parts of this concert for some of his recordings, and even more important, if he comes back again. He performed only 2 Asia songs - surprisingly opening with the Heat of the Moment and later doing the Smile Has Left your Eyes. Songs from Arkangel, Battle Lines and King Crimson dominated the night. Wonderful mix indeed. UK stuff was there too - and Rendez-Vous 6:02 was particularly emotionally done while Easy Money was a real powerful one! The Ambient, as I said, was really great for an acoustic evening. Even the light effects were not that bad. So to close it : A great night with the one of the greatest voices ever...

We thanked him for a great concert and gig. He seems a wonderful guy and a real gentleman - one can really feel that radiating from him. A real musician - one of the greatest. I think he really enjoyed himself (I must admit he has pit a little bit of weight on him).
I asked him couple of questions at the end. He came out and signed albums for us (I bought the Arkangel for a good buddy of mine, but after getting the Signature I decide to keep it) and chatted a little.

CONCERT DATA:

Place: Groena Lund Theater, Stockholm 2nd of June 1998
Crowd: Enthusiastic Crowd of 60+ persons
(particularly between the songs)
Performance: Brilliant!!!
Sound Recording: Very Good ++++
Concert Rating (from 5 to 10) : 9

Set List
(not in a particularly right order)

Intro -The Circle of St. Giles
Heat of The Moment
Easy Money
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Battlelines
Arkangel
Hold me Now
The Night Watch
Emma
Rendez-Vous 6:02
Book of Saturday
Thirty Years

Encore #1 & #2:
You're not the only one
Starless
End -Celtic Cross

Approximate Running Time: ca 110 min

Once again a brilliant performance and a brilliant musician and human being...truly one of the last Mohicans out there...
I apologize for being a bit too emotional, but with John and his music there is no other way.

Cheers,
Tigran from the land of the "MIDNIGHT SUN"...  

 

 

 

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