June 2nd 1998
Groena Lund Theater, Stockholm, Sweden
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
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
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.
Place: Groena Lund Theater, Stockholm 2nd of June 1998
Crowd: Enthusiastic Crowd of 60+ persons
(particularly between the songs)
Sound Recording: Very Good ++++
Concert Rating (from 5 to 10) : 9
(not in a particularly right order)
Intro -The Circle of St. Giles
Heat of The Moment
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Hold me Now
The Night Watch
Book of Saturday
Encore #1 & #2:
You're not the only one
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.
Tigran from the land of the "MIDNIGHT SUN"...