At John Dee, Oslo, Norway, March 31, 2005

There were only approximately 100-150 people present to experience Evergrey this sunny Thursday evening in Oslo. The band has yet to experience their breakthrough hereabout, but they did definitely seem to want to alter this, judging from this performance. The band, led by a sparkling Tom S. Englund and a constant headbanging Henrik Danhage, was in top shape, and presented a good 1.5 hours of some of the best Metal music out there today. The little crowd also began to wake up after a while, after having been very relatively quiet during the first half hour. It was surprising to see the amount of 13 year old girls in the crowd –- at a Boyzone gig, yes indeed, at a Nightwish gig, quite probably, but at an Evergrey gig at a tiny club on a weekday? (Don’t get things wrong, there weren’t that many pre-teens there but the fact that there were any at all was rather surprising …)

Anyway, the band didn’t seem to mind the age of the crowd and delivered a kickass performance. The set list was loosely based around the songs on their killer live-album A Night To Remember, but with some additional songs thrown in for good measure. A wise choice indeed – not because they needed to change to alter anything, but because the new songs were “Watching the Skies” and “I’m Sorry,”, two downright magnificent pieces of music, which should be compulsory listening for every aspiring Metal fan.

Other highlights were the dramatic opener “She Speaks to the Dead,” the heavy “Blinded” and “End of Your Days,” during which the collective headbanging was a blast to watch and to take part, the theatrical and heavy “Nosferatu,” where the on-tape choirs came through very well, making sure that no one missed the real thing, and, of course, the incredible “Recreation Day,” quite possibly the band’s best track ever. This song finished the ordinary set before the encore of “Touch of Blessing” and “Masterplan.” During the latter ,the tiny crowd showed that size isn’t everything during the sing-along part, closing the evening in an excellent way.

The band has grown into an impressively tight unit. Although one seldom gets the impression that the music is overly technical when listening to the records – the focus is always on good songwriting rather than instrumental show-off, and the songs are very demanding to play. Still the trio of Englund, Danhage, and bassist Micke Hakansson did a great job entertaining the crowd with headbanging aplenty, and it was also obvious that they knew their Metal onstage posing A-B-Cs.

Playing-wise, there were very little to point at – Hakansson and drummer Jonas Ekdahl make for a very good rhythm section, with both sufficient groove and chops to boot, and Rick Zander is definitely Europe’s take on Michael Pinella with his mix of single-note lines and chord pallets, and guitarists Englund and Danhage deliver spotless performances both in terms of playing and communicating with the crowd. The former also delivered the goods vocally – not that anyone expected him not to – and he’s an awesome front man that every band could use. He handle’s any crowd – how big or small it might be – with equal charm and humor, and it’s hard to believe that he is a happily married man when observing his relentless flirting with MER’s Frode Johnsrud.

The sound also was impeccable and this was an awesome gig indeed, by one of the best bands on the scene at the moment. Go check out their albums now, and the DVD version of A Night To Remember, due out soon, is a must-have!


– She Speaks to the Dead
– More Than Ever
– Watching the Skies
– Blinded
– End of Your Days
– Solitude Within
– Nosferatu
– Rulers of the Mind
– Mark of the Triangle
– As I Lie Here Bleeding
– Misled
– I’m Sorry
– Recreation Day
– Touch of Blessing
– Masterplan


  • 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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