Finally, Yngwie Malmsteen rocks Singapore! The last time the Swedish guitar virtuoso visited our sunny shores was in 1996, to promote his album, "Inspiration". Unfortunately, that was purely a promotional visit and there was no concert scheduled. Singapore was his only stop in South-east Asia in a month-long ATTACK!! Asian tour that included Japan and Hong Kong. The tour is in support of Yngwie's newest rock album, ATTACK!!, which was released Worldwide (excluding United States) in September 2002. This was his first ever concert in Singapore.
He was be backed by his own four-piece band, Rising Force, which features an all star lineup of ex-Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow members Doogie White on vocals and Mick Cervino on bass along with ex-Stormwind drummer Patrik Johannson. Doogie White in particular is one of the most exciting vocalists on the rock scene today having drawn comparisons to Robert Plant and Ian Gillan.
Malmsteen is simply one of the fastest and most technically advanced guitarist the World has ever known. He is a master shredder who first picked up a guitar in 1970 at age seven after being inspired by a TV special on the life and death of Jimi Hendrix. Another big influence on the young Malmsteen would be Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore who along with violinist Niccolo Paganini sparked his life long interest in blending rock and classical music into what has been coined “neo-classical rock.” Malmsteen has received rave reviews for his occasional performances with some of the World’s leading Orchestra’s including the New Japan Philharmonic whom he performed his "Concerto Suite for the Electric Guitar" last year in Tokyo. Malmsteen included some form of tribute to Deep Purple & Rainbow by performing a couple of his own favorites in Singapore.
The Swedish guitar sensation's performance took place in Singapore on December 19th at the Singapore Expo Hall 1.
Yngwie J. Malmsteen and his band displayed mastery of their instruments in a LIVE performance that Singapore fans have never experienced before. They may have set a new record for longest rock concert ever held in Singapore -- starting at 8:40 pm & ending at 11.15 pm; more than 2.5 hours! The fans were in the concert hall by 7:20 pm & waited eagerly for the concert to begin and by 8:30 pm, everyone was getting impatient. Then the concert organizer came on stage and made a surprise announcement: "For the first time in Singapore history... this has never been done before... Tonight's concert will be recorded live on CD and video to be released next year as Yngwie Malmsteen: Live In Singapore! On hearing the announcement, the strong 3000 crowd went wild with delight, chanting "Malmsteen! Malmsteen!"
Not long after, the lights dimmed and the amplifiers started blasting Yngwie playing some furious licks and intro of “Purple Haze” while still backstage.
Finally at around 8:40 the concert kicks off with “Rising Force” and from then on I was in a trance, I had my fist constantly up in the air, I was singing along, I was moving and headbanging with the music and constantly chanting "Malmsteen!" Malmsteen, the legend, the man himself right in front of me and man did he rock. Proving once again that he is all that people make him out to be and probably even more. With guitars blazing and a superb Rising Force line-up. It was truly a pure rock concert indeed. It has to be said that the best way to appreciate Malmsteen truly is to see the man himself live. This guitar legend guy has so much energy in him and his songs, which transcends into the crowd. Swinging his guitar around like the axe that it was meant to be, dragging it across the floor, rubbing it against his ass, and practically ripping out all the strings from his guitar, sent the crowd wild. He simply mesmerized everybody with his speed and extra-ordinary technical ability on his white Fender Stratocaster.
His band was phenomenal as well. The vocals from Doogie White was just excellent and his voice sounded extremely powerful live. Mick Cervino on bass was out of this world and everyone who saw this guy’s bass solo would know what I was talking about. Joakim Svalberg on keyboards was just as good, not to mention epic. Last but not least was the drummer Patrik Johansson was huge behind his kit and the way he was pounding it out on his drum was man…. fuck yeah!!!! The crowd was fantastic on this memorable night, everyone singing along, 3000 or more fists punching into the air.
It was only till the song “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget,” the concert reached its peak of excitement when Doogie White requested for the metal barriers between the standing fans and the seated ones to be removed. Once the barriers were removed, everyone made their way to the front while singing along to the chorus. It was then the concert moved to a next higher level of ecstasy. With everyone rushing to the front of the stage, the atmosphere was even greater. Half-way into the chorus of the song "You don't remember, I'll never forget…” the band and Doogie cheekily broke into "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!" before coming back and completing the song. Everyone sang in unison to the chorus of the song, which was extended for a singalong session. The highlight of the night was perhaps during the song “I am a Viking.” Everyone sang along to every line of the song such that even Doogie's vocals were buried.
Atmosphere at the concert hall was at a maximum high, and when the band bid farewell and the strong 3000 crowd started chanting “Malmsteen! Malmsteen!” Yngwie and band reappeared for the last time, starting off with the crowd favorite, “Black Star,” followed by an super long version of Deep Purple’s “Mistreated” and finally ending off the night with “I’ll See the Light Tonight.” Before leaving the stage, the band requested the crowd to scream and go wild, while they pose for a photo on stage with the crowd as the background. The band took 3 photos, and was promised that the photos, with us in the background will end up in the upcoming live album sleeve next year. With an emotional farewell and 3 bows by the band, this captivating concert finally came to an end at 11.15pm. Even with the band having left the stage, the crowd was still chanting "Malmsteen! Malmsteen!" On this night, everyone left the concert hall with an unforgettable & incredible experience, which they will cherish forever.
We, Pure Rockers in Singapore, hail and salute Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force for this Viking Invasion!
2. Rising Force
3. Ship Of Fools
5. Far Beyond The Sun
7. Razor Eater
9. Guitar Solo (Baroque & Roll, Trilogy Suite, Spacebo Blues, Red House, Fugue)
10. Keyboard Solo
11. Bass Solo
12. Drum Solo
13. You Don't Remember , I'll Never Forget ...(Medley of Jingle Bells, We wish you a Merry Christmas, Woman From Tokyo)
14. I am A Viking
16. In The Name Of God
17. Acoustic Guitar Solo ( with Air On G-string )
18. Black Star
20. I'll See The Light Tonight
P.S. For all you Pure Rockers out there in the USA! If you like to purchase the official and original import release of Yngwie Malmsteen's latest CD album Attack!! with Bonus Track. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org