House of Blues – San Diego, CA
The night started with a band shipped in from Russia. They spoke little English but the crowd didn’t care; they really knew how to warm up the crowd! They would speak Russian as if we understood and then say, “Jager!” The crowd would then roar louder. Their accent was so thick I never did make out the name of their band.
After the Russians, the stage curtain was drawn closed and the excitement grew within the crowd. The guitar chimed in and the crowd went nuts except the curtain didn’t open yet. This was a great way to keep us hanging. The curtain finally drew and Yngwie ran on stage. Ripper came on stage and they went right into “Rising Force.”
The night was filled with killer guitar solos, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from Yngwie. Ripper’s vocals were powerful and he still amazes every audience he graces with his vocal range. A couple people I talked to forgot that Tim “Ripper” Owens was fronting Yngwie’s band right now. It was a great surprise to those who didn’t expect to see him.
They played new material off Yngwie’s newest release Perpetual Flame, which is his first release in 3 years. The night was filled with classics like “I Am a Viking” which Ripper warmed the crowd up with before leading into the song. Lets just say there were lots of Vikings in San Diego that night. The set for the night was:
Cracking the Whip
Far Beyond the Sun
Gates of Babylon
I Am a Viking
The Fugue/Guitar End
You Don’t Remember
Black Star (acoustic)
I’ll See the Light
The night was a great balance of Yngwie solos and Ripper’s vocals. Yngwie would switch from electric guitars to acoustic. Ripper would switch hats…well, he snagged a man’s hat from the audience. The hat happened to be from a San Diego local band called Cage. The crowd even participated in the singing, not that Ripper needed a break. This had to be one of the best sounding audiences I have encountered in a long time. Their timing might have been a little off from all the alcohol consumed but they weren’t tone deaf.
Another great thing about the night was the sound. It was a little loud but it’s a rock band in a tiny House of Blues venue. Besides the volume, it was great to hear a well engineered night of music. Ripper’s vocals pulled through all the guitars, bass, and drums. Vocals haven’t been able to penetrate through the rest of the band for the last few concerts we have been to at the House of Blues.
It was a great night, and amazing to see a guitar icon live and in the flesh doing what he does best. If you get a chance to see Yngwie live, don’t miss the opportunity. His guitar playing skills are legendary and entertaining for all.
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN 2008 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – CENTRO BELLAS ARTES
OCTOBER 4, 2008 SAN ANTONIO, TX – SCOUTBAR
OCTOBER 5, 2008 DALLAS, TX – GRANADA THEATER
OCTOBER 8, 2008 SAN DIEGO, CA – HOUSE OF BLUES
OCTOBER 9, 2008 ANAHEIM, CA – HOUSE OF BLUES
OCTOBER 10, 2008 LAS VEGAS, NV – HOUSE OF BLUES
OCTOBER 11, 2008 VENTURA, CA – MAJESTIC VENTURA THEATER
OCTOBER 12, 2008 LOS ANGELES, CA – AVALON
OCTOBER 17, 2008 ROYAL OAK, MI – ROYAL OAK THEATER
OCTOBER 19, 2008 CHICAGO, IL – HOUSE OF BLUES
OCTOBER 21, 2008 WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – CLUB INFINITY
OCTOBER 24, 2008 SAYREVILLE, NJ – STARLAND BALLROOM
OCTOBER 26, 2008 NEW YORK, NY – BLENDER THEATER
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE FOLLOWING SITES:
www.YngwieMalmsteen.com (official page)
www.RisingForceRecords.com (official record company page – will be launched soon)
www.fender.com/yngwie/english/ (information – and video clip – about Yngwie’s signature guitar)
Photos of Yngwie and Ripper Owens: