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Ian Gillan, Steve Lukather, Chris Thompson, Jimi Jamison, Robin Beck, the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague and the Mat Sinner Band
Zénith - Paris, France
January 24 2012

Homepage -> Concerts -> 2011 -> Rock Meets Classic -> Paris the Zénith 2011
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The Rock Meets Classic Tour was stopping in Paris for the first time.
Rock Meets Classic? What’s this? Well, it’s a tour that takes place in Europe, mostly in Germany, since 2009 I think.

Rock The Violin

The tour combines classic rock, heavy metal and classical musicians. In other words, the best of both worlds!

And who plays in the Rock Meets Classic Tour?

First of all, there’s the classic sound, brought by the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague, conducted by the Maestro Bernhard Fabuljan.

Matt Sinner on the Rock meets Classic Tour

Second, there’s the rock and metal sound, called The Mat Sinner Band.
We had musicians from Primal Fear, Sinner, Avantasia, At Vance, Silent Force and other bands, for example Alex Beyrodt, Oliver Hartman, and of course, Mat Sinner himself.

On the backing vocals, the team was made of some well known singers, like Ralph Scheppers or Amanda Somerville.

Jimmy Kresic on keyboards, and the Rock meets Classic choir

Finally, the classic rock sound: 5 well known musicians playing a set with this special rock band and the orchestra.
This tour featured Jimi Jamison from Survivor, Robin Beck, Chris Thompson the Manfred Man's Eearth Band, Steve Lukather from Toto and Ian Gillan from Deep Purple.
With all these great musicians, it was sure that we were about to spend a magical evening!

But sadly not many people showed up... According to some sources there were not even 1000 people at the show. What a shame!

This is partially due to an almost total lack of promotion.
But another reason might be that Manfred Man Earth Band or Robin Beck are not so well known in France.
But Deep Purple and Toto always play large venues here, so there was a huge potential for this show.

By the way, the other concert in France was supposed to be in Strasbourg, but it was cancelled due to lack of presales... In the meantime, audiences in Germany exceeded 4000 people each night...
Here, there was not even merchandising for sale...

Ralf Scheepers, Amanda Somerville, Tiffany Krikland and Verena Schock singing with Rock Meets Classic
Mat Sinner and Jimi Jamison at the Rock Meets Classic

The show started with the orchestra playing the intro of Van Halen's 1984 album, followed by the classic Jump. German singer Sascha Krebs, who was one of the backing vocalists, took care of the vocal lines. This was a good tune to start the evening.

Right after that, the first classic rock guest tonight was Jimi Jamison from Survivor. I loved his 5-song performance! He's a very good singer and received ovations on every song. Of course, the major one was after the mega-hit Eye Of The Tiger.

Robin Beck at the Rock Meets Classic show

Second special guest on stage was Robin Beck, who performed 3 songs with the band and the orchestra.
She has interpreted several chart hits but never achieved great fame in France.
Although her performance was good, the response of the audience was less enthousiastic.
Still, her hit First Time was recognized by some fans.

Chris Thompson on tour with with Rock Meets Classic

Next singer on stage was Chris Thompson from Manfred Mann's Earth Band, and his performance was the surprise of the evening. This guy has an incredible voice!

He made a great performance and a great impression.
Chris Thompson has never enjoyed great success in France, so practically no one knew the songs. But that this didn't prevent the crowds to stand up from their seats, to shout, dance and even headbang!

Steve Lukather and Amanda Somerville live in Paris

After Chris Thompson there was short interlude.

The following special guest is not known for singing but for his unique guitar playing: Steve Lukather from Toto!

From this moment on, many people stood up and went to the front of the stage. As a result, the guys that were seated on the first row had to stand up too.
Anyway, even if there was an orchestra, who had the crazy idea to put seats in the pit for a rock concert!?

Tiffany Krikland on tour with Rock Meets Classic at the Zénith in Paris France

Steve Lukather played and also sang most of the tunes, but was helped by different chorists during the songs: for example Ralph Scheepers sang Rosanna and Amanda Sommerville sang the Beatles cover While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

The hit Hold The Line was sung by Tiffany Krikland, and it ended with an unforgettable guitar / voice duel.

One more singer to go, the highway star everybody was waiting for: Ian Gillan from Deep Purple!

Ian Gillan and an orchestra, this reminded me of the first Deep Purple concert I attended back in 2000.

He made an easygoing performance, mixing musicality and humour. Oh yeah, good old british jokes! How about spitting feathers then saying "that's the chicken I had for lunch!"
He had a splint on a leg because he got hurt durng the ski holidays. But instead on complaining, he asked us if we liked his new boot.

Steve Lukather, Olivier Hartmann and Alex beyrodt

Ian Gillan performed 6 tunes and they think the choice of the songs was right. Especially regarding Perfect Strangers: this song takes another dimension while played with an orchestra. I would have loved that they played Child In Time, but this one hasn't been performed in a while, and it's a number very difficultt to sing.

After a rocking version of Hush, every singer that performed tonight came on stage for a festive version of Smoke On The Water, a jam that won't be forgotten by the attendees.

Ralph Schepers from Primal Fear - Live in Paris with Rock Meets Classic

So, The concept of bringing on stage classic rock musicians together with a hard rock musicians and an orchestra was a great idea. But a Rock Meets Classic concert performed in front of so little people in such a large venue, it didn't show its full potential.

Given this fact, I don't think that the Rock Meets Classic Tour will get to Paris again. But who knows? Maybe another promoter will bring it back and back it with some more promotion.
In the meantime, I have to say that I'm happy and proud to be one of the few ones who was there.

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Setlist Rock Meets Classic – the Zénith - Paris, France – January 24 2012

01. Intro 1984 + Jump (with Sascha Krebs)
Van Halen cover
—————Jimi Jamison—————
02. Burning Heart
03. Didn't know it was love
04. The search is over
05. I can't hold back
06. Eye of the tiger
—————Robin Beck—————
07. Hide your heart
08. Tears in the rain
09. First time
—————Chris Thompson—————
10. You're the voice
11. Davy's on the road again
12. Blinded by the light
13. The mighty Quinn
—————Steve Lukather—————
14. Rosanna (with Ralph Scheepers)
15. While my guitar gently weeps (with Amanda Sommerville)
The Beatles cover
16. Africa
17. I'll be over you
18. Hold the Line (with Tiffany Krikland)
————— Ian Gillan —————
19. Highway Star
20. Knocking at your back door
21. Perfect Strangers
22. When a blindman cries
23. Woman for Tokyo
24. Hush
Billy Joe Royal cover
————Everybody on stage————
25. Smoke on the water

Rock Meets Classic Line-up:

The Classic:
Bernhard Fabuljan – Conductor
Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague – Too many to name them all!

The Rock:
Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) – Vocals
Steve Lukather (Toto) – Guitars / Vocals
Jimi Jamison (Survivor) – Vocals
Chris Thompson – (Manfred Man's Eearth Band)
Robin Beck – Vocals

The Mat Sinner Band:
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Oliver Hartmann – Guitars
Mat Sinner – Bass
Jimmy Kresic – keyboards
Martin Schmidt – drums
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Amanda Somerville – Vocals
Tiffany Krikland – vocals
Verena Schock – Vocals
Sascha Krebs – Vocals
Ian Gillan from Deep Purple and the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague - Rock Meets Classic live in Paris
Rock Meets Classic: Steve Lukather and Bernhard Fabuljan from the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague
Who's playing the guitar? Alex Beyrodt and Oliver Hartmann live in Paris
A Cello player from the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague
Bernhard Fabuljan, Steve Lukather and the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague
Rock Meets Classic ovation in Paris
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