Yngwie Malmsteen was scheduled to play on Friday 15th November in Bogotá, but his plane from Buenos Aires was delayed 8 hours... So, the promoter Magic Talent Entertainment successfully rescheduled the show for the next day.
The problem is that the concert was scheduled at 4:30pm, because Yngwie and the band had to catch a plane to Bolivia at 10pm.
4:30 pm is too early for a rock concert, but we were lucky that it was a Saturday afternoon so most people could attend.
This was my first time at this venue, Teatro Ecci El Dorado. It is a very nice theatre, but it has one problem: the chairs. Who wants to seat down for an Yngwie Malmsteen show? Predictably, most people stood up on the seats for most of the show.
There was no opening act, but some logistic problems delayed the show. Yngwie got on stage at 5:15pm, with this marvelous song named Rising Force.
The first thing to note is that the sound was amazing! It was totally clean and powerful.
The light show on the other hand was quite reduced, as only red and yellow spots lighted the stage.
For almost 30 years now, an Yngwie Malmsteen show has involved 5 musicians on stage. There are only 4 on the Spellbound Tour, as there's not a lead singer anymore.
Nick Marino plays keyboards and sings, but he doesn't go to the center of the stage to sing, he stayed in front of his keyboard during the whole show.
Well, at least he's the only keyboard player to remain so close to the crowds.
In fact, Yngwie found a way to be the only frontman in his band: he eliminated the lead singer role, thus he’s the only one constantly under the spotlights.
That's understandable, giving the fact that there are so many solos in an Yngwie Malmsteen show, I always wondered if his singers were only paid part time.
Nevertheless, what I loved of Yngwie Malmsteen is that he’s one of the few guitar heroes to give the impression of having a real band.
Unlike Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and countless of other guitar masters, Yngwie Malmsteen has always had that little extra: it’s not only about the guitar, it’s also about the songs. I hope he'll keep that!
Cleverly, the setlist was arranged so they would play one song with vocals followed by an instrumental passage.
That way, the absence of a lead singer wouldn't be felt.
This also lead to a strange stage configuration, and I’ve never seen anything like this before.
The stage was divided in two non symmetrical parts. Two thirds of the stage were for Yngwie and his Marshall amps wall, while the remaining third was used to accommodate the other musicians.
During most of the instrumental songs, bass player Ralph Ciavolino would even go and play behind the drums, so Yngwie could have the stage almost for his own.
On the other songs, he was closer to the audience in order to sing his backing vocals parts.
Worth to note, Ralph and Nick both did the lead vocals on Rise Up, they sang the lyrics at the same time.
Oh, and strangely, it wasn't Yngwie who spoke between the songs. Not even Nick Marino. It was bass player Ralph Ciavolino who had the task to talk to the crowds.
He stated thanked the audience for being so patient and for showing up for such an early show.
He also said that we were the craziest and loudest fans ever, but he probably says that on every show... but then he stated that the girls in the audience were the best looking, and for this, I know he was being honest!
He called them is Colombianas locas!
He stated that only two manmade constructions can be seen from space: the Great Wall of China, and the Great Wall of Malmsteen.
He thanked the crowds for supporting him through the years, recalling that this was Yngwie’s second visit to Colombia, although Ralph didn’t come with him the first time.
When talking about Yngwie, Ralph referred to him as “the maestro”, which is an accurate term for him, I think.
Seeing Malmsteen playing is just amazing: he performs complicated guitar parts as he moves around the stage and kicks guitar picks into the audience.
Not only he’s fast, everything is done cleverly and every note falls on the right spot.
I was really pleased to hear the Fugue from his own Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E flat minor Opus 1. He was let alone on stage with a sample of the orchestra and he played that precious piece of music.
He also likes to improvise, for example he changed most of the acoustic solo on Dreaming.
One of the best moments was Never Die. This is one of my favourite songs but I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting Krakatau either, although he only played part of it. Same for Trilogy Suite OP. 5, he didn’t play the entire song.
Fortunately, Far Beyond The Sun was complete, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Sadly, the show ended too soon, after only 1 hour and 20 minutes, as the band had to catch a plane. Cherokee Warrior was on the setlist but they didn’t perform it, just like Black Star, and lots of people regretted the absence of that one.
While lots of folks were (rightfully) complaining about the length of the show, each and everyone of the 700 attendees were satisfied with that guitar lesson.
Some didn’t hesitate to claim that this was the best concert they’ve ever seen.
For my part, I loved it, but I was very surprised to see such a stage configuration, without a lead singer and with Yngwie is under every spotlight at the centre of the stage.
Well, Yngwie Malsteen is a rockstar and while he has received enough criticism through the years for that, that’s the way he is, he is true to himself, and he's never compromised.
He deserves respect for that!
Let's put his ego and his attitude aside. It's a fact that he's a self-taught virtuoso and one of the best Rock musicians ever.
People would be less ignorant musically speaking, if there were more musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen and less than Justin Bieber.
Setlist Yngwie Malmsteen – Teatro Ecci El Dorado – Bogotá, – November 16 2013
01. Rising Force
Overture / From a Thousand Cuts
Arpeggios from Hell
06. Never Die
07. Badinerie (J.S. Bach) / Violin Concerto #4 (N. Paganini) / Adagio (T. Albinoni)
08. Far Beyond the Sun
Prelude To April
Dreaming (Tell Me)
13. Baroque & Roll / Masquerade
14. Rise Up
—— Guitar Solo ——
15. Trilogy Suite Op.5 / Krakatau / Blue
16. Fugue from Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E flat minor Opus 1
—— Patrick Johansson Drum Solo ——
—— Guitar Solo ——
I'll See the Light Tonight