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Yngwie J. Malmsteen in San Juan, Puerto Rico

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Monday, October 6, 2008 @ 10:25 PM


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Reviewed by Ghostrider2003 Tonight was truly a once in a lifetime experience for many puertorrican fans of Yngwie J. Malmsteen. Although Malmsteen has been to the island of Puerto Rico before it was quite a long time ago with the Graham Bonnet fronted band Alcatrazz. This time around is very special now that the band has one of my favorite singers, the great Tim “Ripper” Owens. The concert was held at the prestigious Centro de Bellas Artes auditorium in San Juan, a facility were rock concerts are a rarity, as it is usually reserved for classical music, opera, plays and other popular music. Tonight was an exception as Malmsteen’s music covers classical, rock, metal and also attracts many musicians from all around.

Admirers such as me have been supporting Malmsteen’s career since day one. I can still remember purchasing the “Live In Japan” VHS and playing it to death, watching in total amazement the virtuosity of this guitar Maestro and feeling inspired to become the best guitar player I could be. I think the feeling and support was mutual for many fans here in the island, as the auditorium seemed packed with people. The show started around 8:30p.m. as the third call was announced and kicked off with the song “Rising Force”. Ripper Owens sang in full force giving many of us goose bumps and providing an unmistakably energy to a classic song, this carried on throughout the whole show, he never skipped a beat and nailed every note. Ripper conveyed passion, anger, energy in his voice and a true professional attitude.

The band was tight and provided a solid foundation; they were all great and deserve tons of respect. Yngwie Malmsteen of course is the ultimate frontman and leader of the band, running around like a mad man, as well as throwing and kicking a million picks into the audience with true prowess; it literally rained picks all over the auditorium. The Maestro really keeps you entertained, even handing the guitar to some people in the audience while he played and tapped on in like a piano, truly a sight to see. Yngwie’s technique is flawless, demonstrated a lot of emotion and good taste and his improvisational skills are the best, this was totally demonstrated tonight. We were treated to a wonderful show were the Maestro also sang the song “Cherokee Warrior”, from the album “Unleash The Fury”, which indeed he achieved, and with great conviction.

We also were treated to a wonderfully wicked version of “Gates Of Babylon”, one of my favorite songs of all time. I must state that no one plays the acoustic guitar like Yngwie, as the encore prepared us for the final songs, the classic “Black Star” and “I’ll See the Light Tonight”, which tore the house down and left many of us in a state of amazement and disbelief. Even today as I write this I cannot believe I attended this awesome concert and recommend everyone to rabidly attend this tour (let’s fill every seat in the house!), as well as purchase the upcoming album by Yngwie J. Malmsteen, “Perpetual Flame”. Finally I must thank the organizers of this concert as it was very well planned and brilliantly conducted.

Setlist:

    1. Rising Force
    2. Demon Driver
    3. Badinere
    4. Cracking The Whip
    5. Far Beyond The Sun
    6. Paraphrase (Acoustic Guitar)
    7. Dreaming
    8. Gates Of Babylon
    9. Baroque & Roll
    10. Viking
    11. Rise Up
    12. Trilogy
    13. Guitar Solo/ The Fugue
    14. Cherokee Warrior
    15. Guitar Ending
    16. Drum Solo
    17. You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
    18. Acoustic Guitar Encore
    19. Black Star
    20. I’ll See The Light Tonight



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