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Old 09-24-2009, 08:18 AM
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Stratovarius -- Baltimore, MD -- September 23rd, 2009

This was an interesting night. First of all, we drove 3 hours each way for this show, which was relatively pain-free but still quite long. Stratovarius have this VIP thing they do where people get in early for a Meet + Greet and such, and it was incredibly disorganized and led to the rest of us getting let in about 45 minutes late, which no one was happy about. Instead of the 7:30 or 8 start-time I expected, the first of two local support bands didn't come on until 8:30, and they sucked. It was a bunch of kids who sounded incredibly sloppy, like they shouldn't be playing shows for another couple of years. Wouldn't have been SO bad if it wasn't so loud. The second band had their shit together a bit more, but still just weren't very good.
Eventually, around 10PM, Pagans Mind took the stage to a dismal crowd of no more than 100-150 people, but they fucking ruled. The one thing that struck me as so great about this band is that they are one of the few bands I've heard that are able to capture their definitive sound in the live environment. Their performance had a shit-ton of energy, mostly coming from frontman Nils K Rue. The whole band was pretty much spot-on performance-wise, and the crowd loved them. Honestly, they were much better than Stratovarius.
Pagan's Mind Setlist:
01.God's Equation
02.United Alliance
03.Atomic Firelight
04.Hallo Spaceboy (David Bowie cover)
05.Enigmatic Mission
06.Approaching >
07.Through Osiris' Eyes
08.Alien Kamikaze

Stratovarius came on around 11PM to a very small and tired crowd, and I think this really hurt their performance. It kind of seemed to me like the band got out there, so how many people were there, and just kind of half-assed the performance. It almost kind of seemed like we were just watching them rehearse or something. Kotipelto sounded pretty off, Jens fucked around a lot, and the rhythm section just didn't sound that tight. The new guy, Mattias though, was fantastic. I'm assuming that's because he feels he needs to play his ass off every night in order to earn the respect of the audience. Song like "Speed of light" never sounded as good with Tolkki playing. The band were at least fun and entertaining, though at times it just seemed like they were dragging stuff out, like the big-endings of songs and such. A few of the shorter, more uptempo numbers were really enjoyable, but overall it was just kind of a weak performance, the band sounded a bit off, and the crowd was just dismal, as I said. All in all, it wasn't BAD, and certainly would have come off better had Pagan's Mind not played before them, but I was expecting a little more.
Stratovarius setlist:
01.Destiny
02.Hunting High and low
03.Speed of light
04.Kiss of Judas
05.Deep Unknown
06.A Million lightyears Away
07.Winter Skies
08.Phoenix
09.Guitar/Bass Solo
10.Forever Is Today
11.Twilight Symphony
12.Eagleheart
Encore:
13.Father Time
14.Black Diamond

After the show, we were able to meet, talk to, and take pictures with all the Pagans Mind guys, who were so incredibly cool, and for that, I applaud them. I might post pictures later.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
Instead of the 7:30 or 8 start-time I expected, the first of two local support bands didn't come on until 8:30, and they sucked. Wouldn't have been SO bad if it wasn't so loud.
Welcome to the Sonar, where they start fucking late and turn the sound up way to fucking loud. It gets very frustrating when they take the good shows like this from Jaxx and then fuck them up with stuff like this.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:33 AM
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it does seem Strato is getting a bit lazy. in the '06 tour every night had a different setlist. this setlist is the exact same thing as the one previously posted. oh well i'm still looking forward to seeing them.

by the way was Destiny played in full or did they cut it short?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:38 AM
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You guys got Enigmatic Mission? Lucky bastards. They didn't play it at ProgPower. That was the song that got me hooked on PM.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:41 AM
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Sucks that Strato phoned it in, but now that I think of it, they seemed to be really pleased with the crowd reaction in NYC and it often seemed that they were going the extra mile and rockin' harder because they saw how crazy the audience was going. They should have still tried to put on a good show for a less crowded or enthusiastic audience, but I guess I can understand it was probably hard for them.

At least Pagan's Mind delivered the asskicking. I can't wait 'till they get their own headline tour.

edit: Unrelated question, but what's the Gramercy theater like? I'm going to see a show their tomorrow and I'm curious about the environment since I've never been there before. It can't be that bad if the Primal Fear show was as awesome as you described.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by xStructualDefect View Post
it does seem Strato is getting a bit lazy. in the '06 tour every night had a different setlist. this setlist is the exact same thing as the one previously posted. oh well i'm still looking forward to seeing them.

by the way was Destiny played in full or did they cut it short?
Full song, all 10 or so minutes of it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:48 AM
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edit: Unrelated question, but what's the Gramercy theater like? I'm going to see a show their tomorrow and I'm curious about the environment since I've never been there before. It can't be that bad if the Primal Fear show was as awesome as you described.
Yeah, that place was really cool, can't make any complaints about it. Timely operation, security weren't dicks, sound was good (better than almost any other venue of that size I've been to), and the atmosphere of the venue was pretty cool. It's a nice compromise between the intimacy of a smaller club and the niceness and atmosphere of a theater of sorts. I actually hope bands I like continue to play there, which isn't something I can say often.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 AM
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Yeah, that place was really cool, can't make any complaints about it. Timely operation, security weren't dicks, sound was good (better than almost any other venue of that size I've been to), and the atmosphere of the venue was pretty cool. It's a nice compromise between the intimacy of a smaller club and the niceness and atmosphere of a theater of sorts. I actually hope bands I like continue to play there, which isn't something I can say often.
That's awesome to hear, even though I don't see any cool upcoming shows there after tomorrow.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:30 PM
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Tolkki must come back
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:34 PM
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Tolkki must come back
Not gonna happen, and I'm not upset about that. The show last night may have been disappointing, but Tolkki wouldn't have made it any better, probably worse actually. As I said, Mattias was actually one of the high points, I'm guessing because he feels he needs to play his ass off in order to prove himself.
Tolkki is pretty much done as far as I'm concerned. Both Revolution Renaissance albums were mediocre, and his solo stuff (including the Sauna thing) is pretty pointless. Once upon a time Tolkki was a pioneer of power metal guitar playing and even moreso songwriting... but that was ten or fifteen years ago. His return to Stratovarius would not help anyone.
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