Monday, 27 March 2017

Live Review: Joe Lynn Turner at High Voltage, Copenhagen

An electric night in Copenhagen with Joe Lynn Turner.

After spending a little too long navigating the streets of Copenhagen, I arrive worried that the show would already be underway. Thankfully it hasn’t kicked off yet and with no support band I’ve got a whole night of Joe Lynn Turner to look forward to.
High Voltage is a big venue with plenty of bar space and cosy corners for chilling out. But right now, the action is all at the front of the room with a crowd gathered around the stage, eagerly awaiting the band’s entrance.
Soon enough my blood is set pumping by the chugging drum and guitar intro to ‘Death Alley Driver’. Joe Lynn’s voice is on point from the very first note. It soars over the crowd and it’s clear that time hasn’t claimed any of his range or power.  Guitarist Jorge Salán gets his first chance to show us how well he can handle Ritchie Blackmore’s famed prowess in a long and intricate solo. He pulls it off with a confidence that I’m sure even Ritchie himself would approve of.
The Rainbow fans in the room are in for a treat as we get a further five songs from the three studio albums that Joe Lynn recorded with the band. The familiar keys of ‘I Surrender’ fire up the room into a singalong which the band seem to really enjoy. Joe Lynn makes a point to get involved with his fans, making the show feel that bit more special. ‘Can’t Let You Go’ gives keyboardist Samuel Olsson time to shine with its classical opening. Joe Lynn’s haunting vocals are so full of emotion and it’s an all-round incredible delivery of the Bent Out of Shape classic.
'Miss Mistreated' takes the tempo up again. A true fist pumper which has me swinging my hips and screaming along. Joe Lynn and the rest of the band don’t miss a note. We’re still flying high over the Rainbow, as Difficult to Cure’s ‘Spotlight Kid’ really does have the crowd going wild. The band oozes energy in this fast paced ode to the rock star lifestyle. The run of Rainbow songs finishes with a powerful and touching rendition of the emotional ‘Stone Cold’ - another from Straight Between the Eyes.
After all of that, my voice is starting to crack (I’m sure to the relief of the lady in front of me) but there is no rest for the wicked! Joe Lynn announces that they are going to play something from Deep Purple’s Slaves and Masters. Like myself, anyone who wasn’t born at the right time to be attending gigs in the early 90s is unlikely to ever hear Deep Purple perform tracks from this record. The band launch into the intro to the album, the tension building... Joe Lynn really is a ‘King of Dreams’ giving us a perfectly smooth rendition of this soulful tune. Another Deep Purple track follows but this time, not one that was recorded with Joe Lynn on vocals. ‘Highway Star’ serves its purpose of getting the audience going. An obviously more well-known track than those from Slaves and Masters, it gets a good reception.
Two more Rainbow tunes, ‘Jealous Lover’ and ‘Can’t Happen Here’ are punctuated by some of Joe Lynn’s solo material. ‘Endlessly’ is a real crowd pleaser taking us right back to the eighties. ‘Blood Money’, by far the most recently recorded song of the set, takes things in a heavier direction that’s slightly reminiscent of Joe Lynn’s groovier work alongside Glenn Hughes on Hughes Turner Project.
To my utter delight, the distinct sound of 90s Deep Purple guitar and keys brings us into ‘The Cut Runs Deep’, the gritty vocals demonstrating how versatile Joe Lynn’s voice really is. Olsson lets loose on the keys for the second half of the song with plenty of air-keyboardists joining him.
Drummer Darby Todd takes us into Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘Rising Force’. The band interact and bounce energy off each other as though they’ve been playing these songs together for years. Yngwie’s music really gives them all a chance to show off, with blistering solos on both guitar and keys.  Thinking that Joe Lynn’s voice had sounded perfect before, he takes it up a notch, absolutely blowing me away with his power and control over this technically demanding number.
It's clear that we haven’t had enough, so thankfully the band come back to end the night on a euphoric note. The atmosphere is electric as the magical first notes of ‘Dreaming (Tell Me)’ captivate a silent audience. The focus right now is all on Joe Lynn and for good reason. The toned-down ballad allows him to show us why he’s still regarded as one of the best rock n’ roll vocalists around.
The evening finishes with a super fun and high energy medley of Rainbow’s ‘Long Live Rock ‘n Roll’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Lazy’ with plenty of audience interaction getting everyone singing and dancing. Not least bassist Magnus Rosén and drummer Darby Todd who really can’t contain how much fun they’re having during their time in the spotlight, impressing us with some groovy and fast paced solos.  
It’s been a long set but it certainly doesn’t feel like it and I could happily watch it all over again. Joe Lynn is still on top form and has picked a fantastic group of musicians to showcase some of his best work. Roll on the next time!
Score: 5/5

Writer: Louise Dornan
Photography: Louise Dornan

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