PAIN (Live)

at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, February 20, 2005

Peter Tagtgren had taken his Pain over the border to Norway for a mini-tour, and after gigs in Bergen and Stavanger a few days earlier, it was now time for a show at Oslo’s John Dee. As it was Saturday night, it took some time to fill the club – of course the Metal Express crew was three hours early – but the club did eventually get quite packed, and Tagtgren seemed quite satisfied with the crowd, maybe due to the fact that there weren’t too many present at the two previous gigs.

Anyway, the band delivered a relatively strong set. Peter himself is always giving 110% when onstage, regardless of if it’s with Hypocrisy, Pain, or whatever, and was dressed in his trademark white shirt with a loose tie. To accompany him, he had two not-at-all-bad-looking females on guitar and bass, and this definitely further improved the visual aspects of the gig.

Whether or not they improved the sonics is more of an open question, as this spectator couldn’t stop the word “playback” from whirling around the ole cranium. Not to accuse anybody, but some of their fretboard fingerings seemed a bit too poorly coordinated and illogic at times, and their moves and facial expressions were frighteningly close to the ones of the guitar-carrying extras in boyband videos.

This set aside, the song selection made the evening enjoyable, and especially the ending four songs of “Shut Your Mouth,” “Dancing with the Dead,” “Same Old Song,” and “On and On” were downright dynamite. Other highlights were “Breathing In, Breathing Out,” “Nothing,” and last but definitely not least, the dead cool cover of the Beatles classic “Eleanor Rigby” (let me hear you – ooooh, look at all those horny people, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da).

The sound was quite good – the guitars were loud enough while still letting the synths come through true, and the unknown drummer (who looked quite funny as he was far too tall for the tiny battery) made it all groove very well.

The music is definitely not astrophysics, and not all of the band’s material is equally strong, but the night was entertaining enough, if one forgets the playback conspiracy theory.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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