Stratovarius – San Francisco – October 8th, 2005
Remarks: Ah, the reunited Stratovarius. They put on a damn good show. Into Eternity on the other hand… I could’ve done without them. There was one song where it just seemed like the singer was trying to figure out how high he could screech. Anyways, I’m just glad to have been able to see them before they split up again.
(They started with a tour video, showing them traveling and playing gigs along the way. They had footage right up to the night before)
●Maniac Dance (They had the music video playing on the back screen. It changed throughout the night with some pretty cool artwork.)
●Speed Of Light (They went right into this one at the end of the last song. It seemed that they were playing this faster than normal.)
●The Kiss Of Judas (Was right in front of Tolkki so I got to see his sweet solo! They kinda extended it at the end, with Kotipelto vocalizing while Tolkki and Lauri sang “The Kiss of Judas” over and over like the chorus.)
●Father TimeKotipelto mistakenly introduced this song from the Fourth Dimension album instead of Episode.)
●Twilight Symphony (Awesome song that I feel is pretty underrated. They played the little symphony part before the solos themselves instead of just hearing the strings play it.)
●Will the Sun Rise
●(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth) (Lauri took the stage and dedicated his solo to one of the greatest bassists. He remarked that it was especially fitting tonight since he from the Bay Area. He of course meant Cliff Burton although he never mentioned his name. It was pretty obvious when he started playing though :) )
●The Land Of Ice And Snow (Pretty little ballad they dedicated to their homeland. I liked how Jorg came out to play drums for a whole 30 seconds on this song.)
●United (Before the song, a bunch of statistics came up on the screen talking about war as well as some hippy-ish statements. But we needed to be… UNITED! For the duration of the song, excerpts from the Declaration Of Universal Human Rights came up on the screen. They also extended the end again and added some ‘woaaaah’s which they made us sing along to)
●Against The Wind
●Hunting High And Low (The crowd really came though on the chorus. Kotipelto seemed taken back at our loudness :) )
●Forever (Naturally, they made us sing along here.)
●Destiny (They played the whole thing minus the choir-y intro. Within the first 5 seconds, Tolkki’s pretty dolphin guitar died and the song was guitarless till the first verse.)
●Black Diamond (Kotipelto tried to make us guess what color the next song was. “Is it blue?” “No!” “Is it yellow?” “No, it’s black dammit!” “Is it… black?” “Yes!” Then Jens took his dear sweet time trying to find the right key to play in. Here are my two clips from it:
Number Of Tracks Per Album
Fright Night: 0
Twilight Time: 0
Fourth Dimension: 2
Elements, Pt. 1: 0
Elements, Pt. 2: 0
Misc: 1 (Bass Solo/Anethesia)
Total Songs: 14
Sort of a ‘greatest hits’ setlist with some newer songs for their ‘reunion’ tour. Not surprising that they didn’t play anything pre-Kotipelto or from Elements.
After the show, we stuck around for a bit. I met Jens outside and was able to get his picture:
Okay so that’s not a picture of me and Jens. We tried 3 times but my camera’s batteries were dead, so I had to settle for a handshake. As we were walking to the car to get new ones, I aim at the street and test it out… Of course it takes a picture. @#%(#@. A little while later, Lauri came out to mingle. He took a picture with me:
My friend’s friend wanted to have him sign his arm, but Lauri one upped him and signed his jacket… after drawing the Stratovarius symbol (the fleur de lis) on it:
Finally, we camped around for a little longer. Kotipelto and Jens headed for their bus for an interview. Tolkki eventually came out and I just about pounced on him. Handshake, exchange of friendly words, then held out my Black Night LP for him to sign. He was rather surprised to see it seeing as it was one of their first singles and it was pretty rare in Finland to begin with.
I thanked him profusely before he headed to the bus. The crew started to load up so we decided to call it a night.