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introGruga Halle, Essen, Germany
2nd April 2014
Rock Meets Classic with soloists Alice Cooper, Mick Box & Bernie Shaw from Uriah Heep, Kim Wilde, Joe Lynn Turner, Midge Ure and Mat Sinner with his band

Once again, the ROCK MEETS CLASSIC tour was an unforgettable concert experience at the highest stage. Already for the fifth time this unique crossover-project linked, in a 3 hours lasting live programme, world- famous Rock-hits with emotionally Classic music, presented by legendary Rock musicians.

With international top stars like IAN GILLAN (DEEP PURPLE), STEVE LUKATHER (TOTO) or LOU GRAMM (FOREIGNER) at the last four tours in concert halls, the line-up was presenting this time ALICE COOPER who was supported by the internationally renowned guitarist ORIANTHI who was touring with SANTANA amongst others, Mick Box and Bernie Shaw from URIAH HEEP, as special guest KIM WILDE, JOE LYNN TURNER (RAINBOW) and MIDGE URE (ULTRAVOX). Once again the singers were accompanied by the MAT SINNER BAND and the BOHEMIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRAGUE. You were experiencing an extraordinary concert event with worldwide hits in a new appearance which is thrilling nowadays all generations like they did in the past. As a whole there were 60 top class artists ignite a superb firework of their greatest hits. An extravagant light show, attuned to the performance, gave the show a special visual experience. ROCK MEETS CLASSIC gathered, due to its high quality, a steady growing fan base even though the show in Essen was far from sold-out.

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The show started at 20:00 when the curtain in front of the stage was falling and giving sight onto the orchestra and the MAT SINNER BAND opening the evening with a ‘We Will Rock You’ intro followed by ‘The Show Must go On’ from the QUEEN ‘Innuendo’ album. The vocals were presented by the choir quintet, containing such famous names like Amanda Sommerville (TRILLIUM) and Ralf Scheepers from PRIMAL FEAR. My first personnel highlight of the evening followed with the appearance of MIDGE URE. I love his music, his voice. MIDGE URE celebrated his greatest success as singer of the New Wave band ULTRAVOX with hit singles like ‘Dancing with tears in my eyes’, ‘Vienna’ and ‘Hymn’ amongst others, as well as solo artist from 1980 to 1985 with ‘If I was’. For his social engagement he was decorated with the title of Honorary Doctor and the Order of Merit OBE (‘Officer of the British Empire’). Nowadays he still tours successfully as soloist all over the world. The Scotsman presented the above mentioned biggest ULTRAVOX hits and with ‘Breathe’ one song of his solo career. Supported by the orchestra, all songs offered a new sound direction. Fitted very well. His last song, ‘Dancing with Tears in my Eyes’, was introduced by an extensive guitar solo presented by MIDGE. Great first guest of the evening indeed!

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Following MIDGE URE was legendary vocalist JOE LYNN TURNER who is a real old hand of Rock history. Besides his solo career and his own project BRAZEN ABBOT he performed with the Rock bands RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE. His greatest hit singles were ‘Since you’ve been gone’ and ‘I surrender’. The latter reached the third position of the single charts in Great Britain. The sing from New Jersey, who already passed the 60, entered the stage wearing dark sun glasses and spreading huge power and agility from the first moment. He opened his set with a fabulous version of RAINBOW’s ‘I Surrender’, followed by another RAINBOW track, ‘Stone Cold’. His DEEP PURPLE ballad ‘Love Conquers All’ from the ‘Slaves and Masters’ album was causing goose bumps. And once more, orchestra and choir showed their extraordinary musical and vocal abilities. TURNER closed his set with the rousing ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ from RAINBOW. It was really amazing how perfect solo artists, choir, orchestra and band were interacting to present pure ear candy.

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With special guest, pop queen KIM WILDE, another star from the eighties would soon be entering the stage. But before, there was some more time for the orchestra given and presented the first movement of BEETHOVEN’s Symphony No 5. An then, it was finally time for KIM WILDE! Somehow, this lady acts as she’s forever young, even though she is already fast her fifties. She simply spreads pure joy on stage. Her single ‘Kids in America’ (1981) was her first international Top 5 hit. With her cover version of the SUPREME classic hit ‘You keep me hangin’ on’ she returned in autumn 1986 more successful than ever. In 1988 she was engaged as supporting act for the European tours of MICHAEL JACKSON and DAVID BOWIE and the music business cannot be imagined without her. KIM WILDE opened her set at Rock Meets Classic with some pyro effects and one of her big hits, ‘You Came’. From the beginning, she impresses with a perfect interaction with the band as well as with the audience. And she puts a lot of power into her performance. When she makes her announcements between the songs, she even is little out of breathe. With ‘Cambodia’, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ and her first super hit, ‘Kids In America’, she earned lots of applause. It was really pure joy watching her perform.

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When KIM WILDE had left the stage, there was time for a twenty minutes break to take a breath and recharge batteries for the rock acts following afterwards. But first, the second part of the show was opened by the orchestra, presenting the PINK FLOYD hit ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ with Oliver Hartmann on vocals. He did a great job! Then it was time for Bernie Shaw and Mick Box from URIAH HEEP to enter the stage. URIAH HEEP have – until now – sold more than 30 million albums and thus rank among DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN or BLACK SABBATH to the early and most successful representatives of Hard Rock music. Being more than 40 years in the music business, URIAH HEEP reached the Olympus of Rock. Whereas nowadays Mick Box is the only left founding member from 1969, band- mate Bernie Shaw joined the band in 1986 as singer. The, already in 1971 released, song ‘Lady in Black’, sung by KEN HENSLEY, from their second album, is the best known song of the legendary British band. And of course, this famous hit was also presented, in a very long version, this evening and the entire audience was singing along. The duo shines furthermore with three more songs, ‘Easy Livin'’, ‘Free Me’, and the ballad ‘July Morning’. The audience loved it!

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After another interlude by the orchestra, it was finally time for the evening’s headliner, shock rocker ALICE COOPER. He is a real institution of Rock history. For the merits of his ALICE COOPER BAND, existing from 1964 to 1974, in the Rock’n’Roll domain, they were established in the Rock Hall of Fame. The solo career of this eccentric musician reached after ‘Welcome to my nightmare’ with the album ‘Trash’ and the hit single ‘Poison’ in 1989 once again its pinnacle. Until now the originator of the “Rock-Horror-Show” sold more than 50 million albums and his legendary performances are infamous. Besides his peerless musically career ALICE COOPER could be seen in numerous films or serials like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Wayne’s World’ or in the Tim Burton’s remake of ‘Dark Shadows’, where the film buff usually represents himself. Before COOPER himself entered the stage, his young guitarist ORIANTHI entered the stage. Finally, accompanied by a pyro staccato, ALICE COOPER entered the stage staring his show aptly with ‘House Of Fire’ from the 1989 album ‘Trash’. The rock star had an incredible charisma and the hall was on fire, just like the stage with the pyro effects.

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The show went on with big hit ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ and the ballad ‘Only Women Bleed’, latter one presenting a vampire dancer, just to add some more dramatic. Vocally not on top, Mr ALICE COOPER still is a rock star par excellence. He had the audience under absolute control. Towards the end of the show, no one was sitting anymore. After ‘Welcome to my Nightmare’, the big final followed with mega hit ‘Poison’, also from the ‘Trash’ album. The audience was going nuts… as much as an audience being partly as old as the stars on stage can go. The band left the stage but of course there was an encore with all stars together on stage. They presented the ALICE COOPER hit ‘School's Out‘. What a fantastic final song of a fantastic evening with fantastic artists. All guest presented a great show under musical director MATT SINNER with his international top- class engaged MAT SINNER BAND. Together with the symphonic power of the BOHEMIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRAGUE they were melting the borders of popular and serious music. Rock Meets Classic is always worth being attended. For us and surely for the attendees too, this was a perfect evening.

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Setlist
-First Set-
01. The Show Must Go On (Queen cover) (Mat Sinner Band)
02. Hymn (Ultravox cover) (with Midge Ure)
03. Breathe (Ultravox cover) (with Midge Ure)
04. Vienna (Ultravox cover) (with Midge Ure)
05. Dancing With Tears in My Eyes (Ultravox cover) (with Midge Ure)
06. I Surrender (Rainbow cover) (with Joe Lynn Turner)
07. Stone Cold (Rainbow cover) (with Joe Lynn Turner)
08. Love Conquers All (Deep Purple cover) (with Joe Lynn Turner)
09. Since You Been Gone (Rainbow cover) (with Joe Lynn Turner)
10. Beethoven, Sinfonie Nr. 5, 1. Satz (Orchestra)
11. You Came (Kim Wilde cover) (with Kim Wilde)
12. Cambodia (Kim Wilde cover) (with Kim Wilde)
13. You Keep Me Hangin' On (Kim Wilde cover) (with Kim Wilde)
14. Kids in America (Kim Wilde cover) (with Kim Wilde)
-20 minutes break-
-Second Set-
15. Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd cover) (Mat Sinner Band, Oliver Hartmann on vocals)
16. Easy Livin' (Uriah Heep cover) (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw)
17. Free Me (Uriah Heep cover) (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw)
18. July Morning (Uriah Heep cover) (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw)
19. Lady in Black (Uriah Heep cover) (with Mick Box & Bernie Shaw)
20. He's a Pirate (Hans Zimmer cover) (Theme of Pirates of The The Caribbean; Orchestra and Drums by Randy Black)
21. Hello Hooray (Judy Collins cover) (played by the orchestra, with the band joining during the last few bars)
22. House of Fire (Alice Cooper cover) (with Alice Cooper)
23. No More Mr Nice Guy (Alice Cooper cover) (with Alice Cooper)
24. Only Women Bleed (Alice Cooper cover) (with Alice Cooper)
25. Welcome to My Nightmare (Alice Cooper cover) (with Alice Cooper)
26. Poison (Alice Cooper cover) (with Alice Cooper)
---
27. School's Out (Alice Cooper cover) (All Together)

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 9.8 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.black-cat-net.de / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)


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