A dull and barren Monday night was wonderfully lit up when I finally got to see one of my favourite singers in the world today, Jorn Lande. I have 3 favourite singers of which Jorn is one with the other two being Nils Patrik Johansson and Johnny Gioeli. When I found out that Jorn was playing a gig at the Underworld it was a complete no-brainer to nab a ticket to see this legend of the mic. I looked forward to last night immensely and now that it has come and gone I realise that Jorn is just an amazing singer with great power and emotion.
However before Jorn took to the stage, the support band Crimes of Passion played an energetic if one dimensional melodic rock set with guitar shredding aplenty. I have come across these Brit melodic rock merchants before and have quite enjoyed their material whilst not loving it. In a live setting they played pretty well but didn't really get the juices flowing so to speak. Their front man is an energetic dude and has a few nifty one liners for the gathered crowd which draws a few laughs. The sound didn't help them being rather loud and muddy but Crimes of Passion did their best and had one or two cool headbanging tunes to enjoy.
Finally at around 9.15 or so it was time for the main event. I was wondering what sort of setlist Jorn had prepared for us and was hoping for a couple of older songs from Worldchanger and possibly a couple of non Jorn solo songs from Masterplan or his Dio tribute album but the whole setlist was plundered from his more recent albums. I would have loved to have heard Sunset Station or World Changer but alas it wasn't to be so I didn't let it worry me too much as song after heavy song was played to the half full Underworld. Actually the turn out was probably around 250, not too bad considering there was a tube strike and it was a shitty Monday night.
Anyway let me tell you Jorn's band is shit hot tight. His two guitarists never missed a note all night. The sound in the Underworld was incendiary too. I had my usual home made ear protectors in and the sound was super clear but bludgeoningly loud but very crisp like I said. In fact Jorn's vocals were at times a little difficult to hear over the crunching guitars and super clear bass but that was remedied after a song or two.
Now what about the man's live vocals. The guy is just a monster powerhouse of a singer. His live voice is much more raspier and angrier than what you hear on record. He used to be more of a Coverdale type of singer, smooth yet rough, but now he uses his angrier waspish voice much were he sounds very mean and angry like some one spilled his pint or something. I must admit I absolutely loved this slightly more aggressive live approach. It made the songs sound meatier and darker, not that they aren't mean and moody to begin with. The setlist was in the main culled from his latest albums with a few older songs thrown in. I cannot remember the setlist exactly but I have it listed below though not in this order. I think I am missing 2-3 songs as well which I cannot recall.
The best songs were the monstrous Road of the Cross, the catchy Lonely Are the Brave and the most evil pounding and heavy version of Tungur Knivur which wrecked ears badly! Blacksong was also amazing and Jorn took the roof off with his vocals on that song. Throughout the show the band was getting an amazing reaction from crowd and Jorn had them eating out of his hand. He's actually a much smaller guy than he looks in photos and I thought he would be more imposing but in fact he's more like a modern day Dio. In time the guy could go on to as many great things as the great little man himself but there's a long way to go yet as we all know. During the encore Jorn gave a very empassioned speech about the great little man before introducing Song For Ronnie James which was just savagely heavy and sung with more vigour and power by Jorn than he does on record.
After the final song and a 90 minute set finally the band took their ovations and I think everyone in the whole crowd got to high five Jorn even yours truly. I hope to see Mr. Lande again one day maybe with Masterplan this time but I ain't holding my breath for that one, No sirree! Any how next time Jorn plays local, I'll be there again like a shot. The man is a vocal GOD!
Road of the Cross
Rock and Roll Angel
Are you ready (thin lizzy cover)
Lonely are the brave
Man of the Dark
Song for Ronnie James
War of the World
I took my camera to a gig for the first time in a long time and managed to get a few decent photos for a change.