It's summer 1997 - the time I got in touch with Eternity X for this very ReviewPage of ours ... especially I had email correspondence with Keith Sudano. At that time I already loved "The Edge" (and I still do) and soon later on "Mind Games" appeared in my mailbox. I realized that this band really keeps in touch with their fans and that they always remember that fans are important for a band. Finally on March 18 1998 a dream came true:
Eternity X in action
|18.03.1998 Edguy, Eternity X - RockCafe Muenchen
As I entered the RockCafe before the concert I got confronted with the soundcheck of the melodic-powermetallers Edguy and it took me just a few seconds to feel back again in the glorious past where bands like Helloween ruled the sky of german metal. During the soundcheck "Until we rise again" smashed up my ears ... and stayed there. After Edguy's soundcheck I ran into Eternity X-drummer Jimmy Peruta and we talked for quite an hour about ourselves, music in Europe and the states and the feeling of having a few hours left to the first ETX-gig in Europe. During our chat I had to conclude (sadly) that no german or european metal band has been able to jump over the ocean in means of popularity like Accept, Helloween and the Scorpions (oh no !) did. Even such great european Progressive-Rock-Bands like IQ are not known in the states in a way they deserve.
Oh .. what's that ... the merchandising-table is set up, where I met the etx-maniac (and ETX-workaholic ... in a positive sense) Manu Bäuml. Manu leads the german/international ETX-Fanclub and once again an email-address in my head is replaced by a face. On this evening we saw two support-acts. The first ... Edguy of course. The second was "the roadie for one night" ;-) , Helmut Bäuml, who enjoyed his job pretty much.
Kevin Reilly, having joined Eternity X as guitar player in late autumn 1997, seemed pretty excited and nervous before the gig but this was quite naturally because this evening included three premieres for Kev': 1) the first time in Germany, 2) the first concert in Europe, 3) his first concert as member of Eternity X.
There were only a few minutes left for a short smalltalk with Keith Sudano (vocals) who assured me, that Eternity X would play their souls out of their bodies in order to thank and please their european fans. And I can tell you ... they did ! Why else did they gather all the rest of their money in order to make this dream of a european tour come true ??
The lights went out ... silence ... no more. Edguy came onto the stage and fired "until we rise again" into the depths of the RockCafe (approximately 50 people had come as paying visitors). But because of too many chairs people sat on the athmosphere was bound to fail. On that evening it was the first time that Edguy-songs hit my ear and for that reason I stood there passive and concentrated on the show and the songs. The amount of energy that these 5 young musicians produced on stage was quite astonishing ... pure hymn-like melodic powermetal at it's best. It's a pity that most of the people were not able to join this energy. And as the athmosphere did not get much better in the RockCafe, Tobi Sammet (vocals) gave himself a challenging mission: making the people sing a refrain - loudly ! And therefore he started to tease the crowd with the refrain "how many miles" time and time again until the first half really was singing and the other half nearly left the RockCafe, because the were not able to stand the refrain anymore ;-)). Wow ... a big compliment for a great and powerful performance by Edguy. I really could see (and listen) the fact, that Edguy are in deep love with heavy metal and their music.
Edguy handed the stage over to Eternity X. The phone hang up and the show began with "Rejection". Jimmy behind the drums, Zeek on bass, Kevin on guitars and Jamie at his keys ... but where the hell was Keith ?? But it was Keith whom I heard singing. Suddenly a shadow rushed towards the stage from behind, someone hits me slightly from behind moving me a bit to the right and jumping on the stage. Ommph ... here he is ! ;-) The man who walked, ran and crawled each inch of the RockCafe during this evening - lying on the floor, singing side by side with fans, running through the RockCafe, singing from behind the stage, mourning on a chair ("The confession"), recording from the stage with a camcorder ... this man really was free as wild horses. We all never knew if in the next moment Keith would kneel before us, crawl behind us ("Crawl before you walk"), tip our shoulders from behind or offer all of us a joyful and thankful high five.
Of course they mainly played songs from "The edge", but "Zodiac" and "Mind Games" did not come short, too. Zeek played his bass like a maniac, Jimmy smashed his half-cage of drums impressively, Jamie seemed to play with magic fingers and Kevin and his guitar turned into siamese twins. I never have seen such a great guitar-player. Melting together with his instrument he tickled, pulled, caressed and tormented the notes and riffs out of it ... stamping over the stage snorting like being in rage while firing riffs into the crowds and just a moment later he stood still ... deep in honest love and touch with his guitar.
Looking at drummer Jimmy I really had to wonder if his complex playing was not enough for him because he always found the time to juggle the drumsticks in his hands ... just in order to give his drums a big something onto their fur afterwards right in time.
This gig definetively was a great start of the first european tour, although there were some problems with the equipment and the sound and some more people could have shown up that night.... The entire Eternity X crew seemed quite happy and relieved after the gig, especially Kev' who sat at the bar gasping for air and being entirely pumped out. All had given their best and it was time to celebrate the first gig with a bottle of champaign, while the author of this review took over the merchandising-table for a moment so that Manu could drink some champaign, too .... she really deserved it !!! Everyone in the crowd knew that he has just been part of an unique evening and an excellent show.
|26.03.1998 Edguy, Eternity X - Rotplombe, Erfurt
Being on vacation for a week in Thüringen (the region which Erfurt lies in) with my girl-friend, what else could we do as to take part in an Eternity X concert again ? After some problems in finding the right location we stood in front of the "Rotplombe" which was a former pudding-factory and now is a really nice club. The concert was delayed by an hour ... but this was no use because the club stayed as empty as before. I would estimate 15-20 people that stopped by. And so there was no other choice for the Edguys to just RRROOOCCCK !!! Knowing that this evening would be their last with Eternity X, the Edguys turned their powerful show into a powerful show with lots of fun. The playlist was shorter than the one in Munich but in means of fun and dedication to their music this gig was kilometers ..erm.. miles ;-) ahead of the Munich-show. The whole evening changed into a more or less private concert between Edguy and Eternity X giving them the chance for water-fights with "Thüringer Waldquell", filming each other or attacking Eternity X on stage with camcorders and mag-lights while pulling faces.
The most moving moment of that night was (without any doubt) when Edguy-shouter Tobi Sammet confessed his deep love for ETX-keyboarder Jamie (who sat quite in front of the stage) informing the audience about "hot nights in the tour-bus" ... in german of course. This lead to the fact, that all people nearly fell from their chairs - laughing and smiling - while Jamie was not able to imagine what fun Tobi was making of him. Dedicating the ballad "Scarlet Rose" to Jamie, Tobi kneeled down before Jamies feet, gesticulating wildly for Jamies attention and love while singing and brought the song to an end with heart-ripping cries and mourning.
Eternity X made the best out of this evening, too. YESSS RRRROOOOCCKK !! ;-) Keith explored the entire building during the show again, leaving the stage on the left side just to appear on the gallery on the right ... and suddenly we all asked ourselves: "Why did Keith ran off the stage with a bottle of water ?" A few seconds later Tobi Sammet came back into the audience with his shirt dripping of water .. we all know what Keith has been up to, don't we ? Zeek and Jimmy celebrated their skills during the highlight "Fast forward" and Jamie dedicated the orchestra-hits on "Crawl before you walk" to his "lover" with a smiling eye. ;-)
Kevin had to be amputated from his guitar after the show and if his look were able to kill, we would have been able to carry home the mixer responsible for the sound on that evening ... inside a box of matches.
After the concert Edguy and ETX exchanged autographs which seemed to turn into lots of stress as (especially the Edguys) started to carry everything onto the stage that a human being is able to write on. Offering Keith to sign the left door of my car I got nothing else than a dangerous look from his eyes ...
For sure ... it was a great, a honest and a crazy concert that only a few lucky people were able to see.
|27.03.1998 Vernissage, Eternity X - Hafenbahn, Offenbach
On our way back from our vacation we dropped into the Offenbach concert, too. I was convinced, that this evening (the last concert on this tour) would become the best one: with good sound and the biggest and most enthusiastic audience. Instead of Edguy AFM-records made Vernissage support Eternity X. Technically they sure have been no dissapointment, but it did not click with the audience (me included). The songs were too lethargic and uncatchy and so lots of people in the audience started to miss the Edguys (nicknamed "Edgays" by Eternity X from now on ;-)) by heart (me included).
As Eternity X came on the stage (all except Keith of course ;-)), about 60-70 people were in the Hafenbahn. Ok ... not enough people again, but this crowd celebrated Eternity X and their progressive metal creating such a great athmosphere that the band forgot about all their problems they had during the week before (especially caused by the poor promotion of the tour and quite a bunch of foolish sound-technicians at several locations). During the Offenbach-gig all this was ... forgotten. Keith again whirled through the hall and even stood in the first row several times to cheer and shout at his mates together with the fans. Compared to Erfurt, the playlist was changed and came close to the one in Munich:
And again people were stunned by the bass- and rhythm-section special "Fast Forward" (Zodiac - bonustrack). It was quite amazing to see Zeek (and Jimmy) playeing the bass (the drums) in that impressive way again:
- The Edge (Intro)
- Fly away
- The Confession
- A day in verse
- The edge part 3
- The saviour and the disease
- Baptized by fire
- The edge part 2
- Viper II
- Fast forward
- Crawl before you walk
- The edge part 4
- encore 1: Libra
- encore 2: Aries
- encore 3: Endless journey
Offenbach developed to an evening with frenetic applause and people loud singing and clapping along ... an evening that was able to heal the wounds of the band (I mentioned the cause of the wounds already). This tour (and the last show) definetively were a success and you could see this on everybody's faces ... both immediately after the show and later at night at the bar and during the table-football-matches. Hereby I want to send special greetings to Wolfgang Volk (german progrock/metal-fanzine "Jesters News"): Wolfgang, you and Jimmy were really undefeatable ... but the next time Kevin and I will kick your butts ... I swear .. otherwise I will make you catch a cold from me again .. ;-))))
Wolfgang Volk, Jimmy Peruta
Kevin Reilly, Markus Weis
Edguy and Eternity X surely made new fans during this tour and have given a big "THANX" right into the faces of the "older" fans. This was a tour man must have seen ... I am sure that some people will slam their faces in a few years remembering the fact that they have not been on a single show of Eternity X's first european tour.
...after the show
...perhaps this was a tour that will never happen again in means of a private atmhosphere to that extent.
|© 04/1998 Markus Weis / Die Ultimative Review Page - http://www.durp.com|