This review comes from Ingo Rath.
This show was worth waiting for. The Westfalenhalle saw a good crowd of Quo fans of quite different ages (14 up to 55 I guess). Actually I think I (30) was below the average age. It was good to see so many "older" fans keeping the faith.
Thunder did a good job as Quo's support. I liked two or three of their songs but I was a bit disappointed after all those brilliant reviews on the mailing-list. Nonetheless they managed to heat up at least the front rows.
When Quo finally came on stage, the crowd's response was enormous. From the first moment right through to the end the audience was absolutely enjoying the show, was singing along, and everybody (it seemed) was having fun. The sound quality was not the best. It's strange, at all the Quo gigs I've seen so far the support act had a better sound than Quo. Maybe, somebody who knows something about sound engineering can explain this to me. Fortunately, it was not too loud, which is very important for everyone who's suffering tinnitus.
But who cares about sound details when Status Quo take the crowd by storm. WYW, Softer ride, The Wanderer, and on and on it went. As usual there were only a few words for the audience between the songs, but The Frantic Five really seemed to enjoy the show. During the first couple of songs Andy seemed to suffer a stiff back but obviously it went better after a while. Rhino and Francis were joking along with the front rows all the time. Rick's voice was in good shape and he really seemed to enjoy playing. I didn't see too much of Jeff behind his kit but his drumming was powerful as always.
I really enjoyed Mean girl and Dear John (included in a medley). Surprisingly, In My Chair didn't go down too well, and I guess a big part of the audience didn't know Get out of Denver. Still the crowd never came to a rest.
My favourite part of the gig started with Don't Waste My Time, then came Rockin' All Over The World and finally Something 'Bout You Baby I Like - brilliant !!! I always calm down a bit during Roadhouse Blues because I don't like it as much as the other songs. Quo played it without a medley within and then left the stage for quite a long time. The audience did their best to bring Quo back on stage. The encore consisted of Rain and the usual finale with Anniversary Waltz and Bye Bye Johnny. Of course this was the end of the show and of course everybody wanted to hear more, but everybody (I hope) went home happy.
A great evening, a great show, a great billy (as Rhino calls the audience), what more can I say. Perhaps it was my favourite Status Quo concert so far along with my first one, which will always have a 'first-time-bonus'.Revisit the May 1998 event list
The following is a review written by Les Woodland from the May 1998 issue of "Rhythm" magazine concerning a Jeff Rich Drum Masterclass (no date given) - review reproduced verbatim without permission.
The Walter Roy Theatre is part of a school, and any teacher who saw Jeff Rich must wonder what those years at training college were all about. If ever a man was born to hold kids and their parents in enchantment, it's Rich. This was no drummer looking to paradiddle his ego. Lord knows how many years with Def Leppard and then Status Quo have left the man as humble and helpful as his mother could have wished. And his audience loved him for it.
Rich is getting into as many schools as he can. There was no quit - as they say in Norfolk - about how "you can make it big like me - all you have to do is try". Instead the message was: "I got into this while studying for my A-levels. I was just lucky. Most people aren't. If I failed, I had my A-levels and could get myself a job".
And yet it came over not as patronising, but honest. Kids can tell bullshit from brains.
It took a long time before he even sat behind his kit. He started with a log drum, worked his way through ethnic, historical percussion, on through military drums and only then to a kit. And the solo, when it came, was not mere flamboyance - although heaven knows, it was superb - but a logical part of the evening.
Kids can ask questions: sensible, demanding and amusing. The best was: "Would you be upset if you broke your wrist?" Jeff can take an unwitting hint, too: "Have you ever let anyone else play your kit?" produced an invitation to come up on stage. "Drum clinics are for anoraks," he said.
This was no drum clinic. If you get a chance to see Jeff Rich, take it. And take a kid as well.Revisit the May 1998 event list