RAGE (Live)

at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, December 17, 2004

2004 marks the 20th anniversary for German metallers Rage, but if you have been living in Norway and have been a huge Rage-fan – the 17th of December this year was payday, as this band did their first full set in Norway ever.

Not too many attended this show but as “Peavy” told Metal Express prior to the show, this is their start in Norway and they are more than pleased by the interest so far. This fall, they have been promoting their twin-release of From The Cradle To The Stage, which is a 27-track double-CD and DVD.

For those expecting 2.5 hours and 27 songs, there had to be disappointments, but it was a powerful 90 minutes of experiencing the force of Rage. They started off quite surprisingly with maybe their most known song ever, the 16-year-old classic “Don’t Fear The Winter.” From there on, there was a wise-picked set list spanning through at least the last 10 – 12 years of the band’s career.

The show lasted, as mentioned, for about 90 minutes, for the same amount of time “Peavy” Wagner was continuously smiling, giving the “thumbs up” to the audience and generally having the time of his life. That had an unique effect on the crowd, with a 20-year-old band surely having their ups and downs through their whole career, now having the time of their lives playing for maybe 150 people at a club in Norway. A big thumbs up for the unstoppable idealism these guys possess – truly amazing.

Through a 20-year career, Rage has released an impressive amount of albums… and on top of that, not even one of them is bad. Choosing a set list with so much to select from has to be a challenge. But they got away with it alright, leaving the Oslo-crowd with both old and new material. “Great Old Ones,” “War Of Worlds,” and “Soundchaser” from Soundchaser, “Down” and “Unity” from Unity, and then great tracks like Welcome To The Other Sides “Straight To Hell,” and for the finale, “Higher Than The Sky,” with the John Dee-choir in full effect.

The only thing to criticize is the length of the solo spots of drummer Mike Terrana and guitar virtuoso Victor Smolski. You cannot question their capabilities one bit, but a 15-minute drum solo? And he didn’t even seem to have a plan, just bashing away until the crowd started looking at their wristwatches. Even if the concert was one and a half hours long, fans were left with only 13 songs, and that is a little short from a band playing their first full set in Norway, on their 20th anniversary tour with way over 10 killer albums on their resume.



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