Jon Oliva’s Pain @ Brooklyn Music Terminal (9/16/2005)

Logo - Jon Olivas Pain

Artist: Jon Oliva’s Pain
Venue: Brooklyn Music Terminal
Opener: Chris Caffery, Beyond Fear
Date: 9/16/2005
Label: SPV Records

The walls were set to rumble at the announcement that Jon Oliva the mighty “Mountain King” would be returning to Brooklyn with his band “Pain”. This “Metal Insurgence Tour” would be partnering him with Chris Caffery and Tim “Ripper” Owens. As everyone knows Chris Caffery performed with Jon as a member of Savatage and Owens is currently the front man of Iced Earth. Combined this would prove to be a great night of Heavy Metal power. Local talent Operatika and Brooklyn’s own Gothic Knights would set off the night for this particular show. Operatika, who have recently set their demo recording “Dream World” on the world performed a very short set of only three songs. I am not sure what transpired but it could not have been fun for the band. Gothic Knights were up next and this would be the first time on stage for them in over a year. After the release of the “Up From The Ashes” CD, the group had split with LMP and also had some lineup changes. Even after so long an absence they sounded very good and it’s nice to see Power Metal is not reserved as a European export. I look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.

Ripper Owens was definitely taking a risky step with his new band Beyond Fear. As soon as they announced his appearance I was certain he would not perform any Judas Priest or Iced Earth so I was curious as to how he would come across. When he hit the stage with his very kick ass and heavy band my answers were handed to me very simply and very easily. Tim is a very impressive and imposing front man and whether this came to him in his early years as a tribute band singer or was natural ability that had been honed to perfection by Priest and Iced Earth is anyone’s guess. The bottom line is that Ripper seems to rock no matter what group he is fronting and I watched in awe as he delivered tune after unknown tune and had the audience glued to his every word and gesture. It was not a usual occurrence in this day and age where audience members often stand unfazed glaring at the artist and daring them to impress them. It is my prediction that Beyond Fear will be one of the breakout bands of 2006 when we are treated to their debut CD on SPV Records. The only song the audience really knew when Ripper played was his medley of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and “Neon Knights”. He did this really well and mixed them together just right. I also have to commend his players Dennis and John who walked around the bar after their exhausting set to chill with fans and people who wanted to talk about the band. Watch out for this group in 2006.

Chris Caffery would be up next and on his return from a short European tour was presenting not only some new material but also a new guitar player. Ira Black had come on board replacing Brandon Cook who worked the “It’s All Good” appearances early in 2005. Ira joins Nick, Jeff, Paul and Chris to complete an already solid line up. When we last saw Chris he was promoting “Faces” his debut solo effort. Tonight Chris would perform a good amount of material from this CD as well as his newest release “W.A.R.P.E.D.”. For those that are unaware; a version of this CD was included with the “Faces” CD’s and entitled “God Damn War”. I enjoy Chris’s music very much for when he plays live his personality and sense of humor show very much during the set. He even joked that he had not played this club in 16 years and found out much of the place to be the same after all this time. He actually remembers the other club behind this one which was the original L’Amour’s but it was funny just the same. Chris and his band are very energetic during the show and his material seemed to go over very well to the audience that was present. I would have liked to see Chris feature some later Savatage material in his numbers but that would not be the case tonight. Perhaps next time. Both of Chris’ albums are available on Black Lotus Records.

SPV Recording Artist and Headliner Jon Oliva’s Pain was now ready and the closer for the night. Originally I had heard reports from the various news feeds and even the venues that a mutual jam of Savatage classics would be performed after the Pain set had finished. When the shows began the case proved to be instead that Pain would perform almost 90% classic Savatage material. Since Jon Oliva is the leader of the group and the “voice” of all the Savatage classics, this essentially made Pain become the ultimate Savatage tribute band. I was not disappointed at all since those songs are special to me and so many other Metal heads. However I would have liked to hear more than two tracks from their killer release “Tage Mahal”. This is an excellent album for those that want the closest thing to that Savatage sound nowadays. The members of Pain are a tight unit and actually were the members of the band Circle II Circle before they all joined up with Oliva. C2C is fronted by Zack Stevens who replaced Jon in Savatage for the “Edge Of Thorns” to “Wake Of Magellan” recordings. Jon is definitely a unique front man who spent the evening either standing behind his microphone or sitting behind the piano. He joked about the heat and lights which was difficult to avoid that evening, and I think as a result he decided to not slow the set down for tracks like “Believe” and instead kept the music rocking straight through. Since that is one of my favorite ‘Tage tunes I admit a little disappointment. Yet there was enough of the other classics for everyone to get into. I had seen Savatage a few times The audience who was smart enough to catch this show was treated well musically. This tour was not all that long and only hit select clubs and given the chance to hear all that Savatage music again, plus Ripper and Caffery’s music was indeed a bonus. I think there were about 150 people in attendance for this evening’s fun and I expected a lot more for these killer performers. The music fan in me can only say that a lot of people missed out and that did not need to be the case.

I did have some issues on the venue side this time around. Sadly the air conditioning blew that night and being an already sweltering day it made covering a long show arduous. Besides the uncomfortable heat it was also affecting the sound and lighting gear as that was showing signs of issue. These are all growing pains that can be overcome over the course of time in this new clubs life.

Chris Caffery Set List:
1. Faces
2. Election Day
3. Edge of Darkness
5. State of the Head
6. Mold
7. Abandoned
8. Pisses Me Off

Jon Oliva’s Pain Set List:
1. New York City
2. Jesus Saves
3. All the Time
4. Gutter Ballet
5. Pain
6. Hounds
7. Strange Reality
8. Walk Alone
9. Ghost In The Ruins
10. The Dark
11. People Say
12. Believe – not played
13. City Beneath The Surface
14. Sirens
15. Power Of The Night
16. Hall Of The Mountain King

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One thought on “Jon Oliva’s Pain @ Brooklyn Music Terminal (9/16/2005)”

  1. I was there…came straight from Brazil to see Mountain King face to face…. memorable friday night…. overpriced bier although

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