Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

24 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends
Axel Rudi Pell & Friends
by MarcusTheRocker at 27 March 2015, 11:42 AM

On one hot summer’s night in July of 2014, the last three hours of the Bang Your Head Festival in Germany were brought to life during an explosive set from Heavy Metal guitarist Axel Rudi Pell who was celebrating his 25th Anniversary as a solo artist. To document this, he invited a whole host of special guests to play with him and his band over the course of the night including his old band mates from STEELER, a few former band members and a whole myriad of special guests to play with him and naturally of course, when you have a show this special, you want to document it and sure enough that is exactly what happened as this show was recorded for a live CD, DVD and for the first time in ARP history, a Blu-Ray as well and the end result is “Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Show” which is due for release next month and I’ll be reviewing the CD version of the show and I have a feeling that this is going to be my longest review to date so here we go.
I’ll start by saying that I am already familiar with Axel Rudi Pell as he was the first musician to get me into Heavy Metal after I found out that Johnny Gioeli, who I already knew from the video game band CRUSH 40 was a vocalist for his band so I checked out his stuff shortly afterward and straight off the bat, I liked what I heard so I soon became a fan and I have heard every single work of Axel’s since discovering him sometime in 2009 and I have seen him live twice to date as well. I always get excited for any new releases from this mastermind so I instantly reserved a promo of this once details were released and the album was made available for me to get my hands on to listen to and review and I’m here to find out if the end result was indeed full of Magic Moments or not.
The first disc of the three CD set opens up with a total of four STEELER songs before going into three songs from Axel’s back catalogue featuring two of his former vocalists, Rob Rock and Jeff Scott Soto respectively who each belted out a song or two they had previously sung on Axel’s solo albums from the 90’s including “Nasty Reputation”, “Warrior” and “Fool Fool” with the latter two still being played live by JSS to this day. I will admit that I was never a big fan of Axel’s old band STEELER so I wasn’t expecting much when I listened to those songs during their four song reunion set but I won’t deny that the sound was pretty tight as was the band which is pretty impressive when you bear in mind that they haven’t played together for a long time so I will give them points for that.
As for the three songs from Axel’s solo back catalogue, the first one featuring Rob Rock was pretty sweet despite me not being a huge fan of his voice but the next two featuring Jeff Scott Soto were pretty kickass but I knew it would be as I am a fan of JSS and I got to hear the two songs he sang on his 30th Anniversary tour last year which was pretty sweet so listening to him belt out these two classics reminded me of that show I went to and if anything, Jeff’s voice has gotten stronger since he was the vocalist for Axel’s band and you can really hear that in his performance. Only complaint I have is that I wish that more songs could have been played from the back catalogue but I guess that due to time constraints that wasn’t possible so I’ll overlook that bit.
The second disc comprises of a total of around nine or ten songs featuring his current band mates including Johnny Gioeli on vocals, Volker Krawczak on bass, Bobby Rondinelli on drums and Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards. Throughout this portion of the show, the band belted out tunes from the newest ARP solo album “Into the Storm” including the title track, “Long Way to Go” and “Burning Chains” as well as tunes from ARP albums released in the 21st century including “Strong as a Rock”, “Mystica”, “Rock the Nation”, “The Masquerade Ball” and “Too Late”. The band sound extremely tight in both their performance and sound as Ferdy’s keyboards are perfectly tuned to the live sound, new drummer Bobby Rondinelli shows us what he can do by mixing together his experiences with the bands he has played in as well as his talent as a drummer and singer Johnny Gioeli shows us not only his amazing vocal talent as a singer which you can clearly hear on the beautifully haunting cover of the Neil Young classic “Hey Hey My My”, but also his charisma as a performer as he knows how to entertain the crowd in between and during songs as well and that’s just one of the many reasons why he is one of my all-time favourite rock and metal singers as yes his live performances may not sound exactly like they do on the album the song comes from, but then it’s always going to sound different live, and I like it when bands add a bit of flair to their songs when playing them live, including bits you would never otherwise hear before on the originals, such as new or extended parts of a song, and all of this reminds me of when I last saw them live, which was last year in London during the first leg of the “Into the Storm Tour” and already, memories of a great show are starting to flood back to me as I listen to the amazing performances on this second disc.
The third disc of this live album set is the ARP & Friends part of the show which kicks off with a Drum Battle featuring Vinny Appice and Bobby Rondinelli and listening to the two of them duke it out against one another sounds pretty amazing as both are giving it their all showing off their skill, talent and experiences as drummers but I’d probably have to watch the DVD version of the show to see the actual drum battle but this audio version is just as good so I’ll make do for now.
The remainder of the third disc compromises of Classic Rock covers from acts such as URIAH HEEP, RAINBOW, ZZ TOP and DEEP with the performances being divided up amongst various rock singers including Ronnie Atkins from PRETTY MAIDS who belted out a cover of “Black Night” from DEEP PURPLE and John Lawton who is the former voice of URIAH HEEP and he performed "Sympathy" from the URIAH HEEP band followed by “Tush” by ZZ TOP.
From there, the solo performances ended and the remaining songs were all duets which included “Mistreated” by DEEP PURPLE featuring Doogie White, Johnny Gioeli and Tony Carey, “Since You’ve Been Gone” by RAINBOW featuring Graham Bonnet, Doogie White and Michael Voss and of course, Axel couldn’t leave it there without paying a tribute to the late great Ronnie James Dio and so the song “Long Live Rock N’ Roll” from the Dio era of RAINBOW was performed featuring  Graham Bonnet, Doogie White and Tony Carey and it was quite sweet hearing these classic rock covers performed live during this special show even though I am not a fan of a couple of the singers who performed them such as Graham Bonnet but the punch from the performances was pretty impressive and it sounded great so I can give some points for that.
Before the show was over, every single musical guest who played with Axel during the show came out on stage to belt out a great big group cover of the DEEP PURPLE classic “Smoke on the Water” to finish things off and hearing all of those rock voices singing to a classic rock song was pretty damn amazing and a song like that is perfect for closing off a special show like Axel’s 25th Anniversary show.
Overall, I was hugely impressed with this three disc live album from Axel Rudi Pell & Friends and hearing a good diverse mixture of different songs featuring different performers was a real treat for the ears as was the sound which was very tight even for a live album which impressed me even more. Despite a couple of songs I wasn’t all that overly keen on, the majority of the performances during Axel Rudi Pell’s 25th Anniversary show were pretty amazing to listen to and it was those amazing performances which helped it to regain any lost points and if you’re looking forward to hearing or watching this for yourself then you can pick it up when it’s released around the end of April on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray which I recommend you do as this is an essential addition to any Axel Rudi Pell fans collection.

4 Star Rating

Disc 1
  1. Steeler - Call Her Princess
  2. Steeler - Night After Night
  3. Steeler - Rockin’ The City
  4. Steeler - Undercover Animal
  5. Nasty Reputation
  6. Warrior
  7. Fool Fool
Disc 2
  1. Burning Chains
  2. Strong As A Rock
  3. Long Way To Go
  4. Hey Hey My My
  5. Mystica
  6. Into the Storm
  7. Too Late/Eternal Prisoner/Too Late
  8. The Masquerade Ball/Casbah
  9. Rock the Nation
Disc 3
  1. Drum Battle
  2. Black Night
  3. Sympathy
  4. Tush
  5. Mistreated
  6. Since You’ve Been Gone
  7. Long Live Rock N’ Roll
  8. Smoke on the Water
ARP Band:
Axel Rudi Pell – Guitar
Johnny Gioeli – Vocals
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Bobby Rondinelli – Drums

Axel Rudi Pell – Guitar
Peter Burtz – Vocals
Tom Eder – Guitar
Roland Hag – Bass
Jan Yildiral – Drums

Special Guests:
Jeff Scott Soto (TALISMAN, W.E.T.) – Vocals on “Warrior” and “Fool Fool”
Rob Rock (IMPLITERRI) – Vocals on “Nasty Reputation”
John Lawton (URIAH HEEP) – Vocals on “Tush” and “Sympathy”
Ronnie Atkins (PRETTY MAIDS) – Vocals on “Black Night”
Michael Voss (MAD MAX) – Vocals on “Since You’ve Been Gone”
Graham Bonnet (RAINBOW) – Vocals on “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Long Live Rock N’ Roll”
Doogie White (TEMPLE OF ROCK) – Vocals on “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “Mistreated” and “Long Live Rock N’ Roll”
Tony Carey (RAINBOW) – Vocals & Keyboards on “Long Live Rock N’ Roll” and “Mistreated”
Joerg Michael (STRATOVARIUS) – Drums on “Nasty Reputation” “Warrior” and “Fool Fool”
Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) – Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green